Let me take you through the tragedy of one too many of my afternoons. I'll be scrolling through Pinterest, Instagram, or wherever I happen to be browsing for recipes, and I see an enticing offer: Cocoa-Dusted Coconut Cream Truffles. Um, yes please!
I open the recipe, scroll to the ingredients to discover what delectable foods go into making such a chewy, chocolatey bite. The photos look divine.
I find the list: peanuts, chia seeds, collagen, chickpeas, unsweetened cacao.... ARGH.
I've tried these "treats" before. They taste like a dense ball of extra-grainy dirt dusted with unsweetened cacao - that's nature's excuse for chocolate that's harvested and made palatable with heaps of sugar.
Before you get all high and mighty, know that I'm not some health-hater who binges on cookie dough and subsists on fast food. I'm a wellness blogger and the Healthy Eating Editor for The Daily Meal; I've been interested in health and wellness for years. I understand nutrition and eat a balanced diet. I cook, I eat kale, and I live for matcha lattes.
But these "energy balls"? I cannot get on board.
If you want a truffle, eat a damn truffle. These look like Godiva but taste like juice pulp.
Sorry, bloggers. Even if you hashtag #balance next to a coconut-covered energy ball, you're not fooling anyone into thinking you eat dessert.
Then there are some people who make these energy balls not as a dessert replacement, but as a healthy snack to eat on the go. If you want a nutritious snack, you don't have to spend 30 hours mushing nuts and protein together in a clogged, cranky blender to make one. Pick up a snack bar or just eat the nuts and fruit separately like a normal human being.
I don't need to purée and mold my cashews into tiny balls of food. I can eat them on my own with my very able human hands, thank you very much.
Energy balls are like robot food. A tiny ball of condensed nutrition that's almost always tasteless that people inhale during the day as "fuel" or whatever.
Somehow, people have become more entranced with the words "five ingredient" than with "deliciously satisfying." No matter what form they're in, cashews and raisins are going to taste like cashews and raisins. Spending hours beautifying them into their truffle disguise will not make them taste better.
So eat your cashews and raisins separately. Throw a couple chocolate chips in there, too - live a little. Then you'll have an appetizing assortment, kind of like trail mix. But whatever you do, stop living a lie with your five-ingredient truffles and stop fooling me with your impressive food photography. Unless I'm making a recipe for a delicious dessert, I'm not cocoa-dusting anything.
Holly Van Hare is the Healthy Eating Editor at The Daily Meal with a passion for podcasting and peanut butter. You can listen to her podcast Nut Butter Radio on iTunes and follower her health food Instagram @eating_peanut_better for more.