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Chocolate orange date balls: the perfect snack!

Orange date balls |

A hint of orange and something extra

It’s not as if making date balls is something special really. I mean lets face it, the internet is full of variations to the theme but still…. I did want to share this one with you. Maybe mostly to make sure I do not forget the recipe as it is soooo good. So good in fact that Tom suggested I make it in batches to sell at the market. I don’t know about that though. The cost might be way too much for the profit but we’ll see. I need to calculate if it is worth the trouble.

Orange szechuan date balls |


What really makes these beauties so special is the szechuan pepper. I love szechuan. It’s a little bit spicy but not too much and the floral taste goes really well together with the pistache and the orange in this recipe. I think I am seriously addicted. Forget all the other date truffles or however you want to call them. These are the ones you want to make!

Chocolate orange date balls with szechuan pepper


  • 200 gr medjool dates
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 50 gr hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • little bit of orange juice (not too much. You don’t want it to get too wet
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp raw cacao powder plus extra for rolling
  • 50 gr pistachio nuts
  • 2 tbsp szechuan peppers (the pretty pink pepper)


  1. Remove the stones from the medjool dates and place in the foodprocessor. Chop them roughly with the machine than add the other ingredients, except the pistache and the szechuan.
  2. Mix thoroughly until it becomes a sticky ball.
  3. Make little sized balls of the mixture
  4. Chop the pistachio and the szechuan finely and mix it. Roll each ball through the nut-pepper mix and push a little if necessary.
  5. It will keep for a week outside of the fridge or two weeks in the fridge

How I took the photo

We started out with the darker shot (the second photo) but in hindsight I didn’t like the background and the green paper napkin that dominates the scene so we switched to the lighter setup which I think showcases the balls much more.

The light in the dark shot was coming from behind. No reflector used but blocked the light a bit from behind. The lighter shot was lit from the side and behind.

Technical details: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Lens 100mm f2.8 macro. 1/5s at f5.0 iso 125


About the author

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over.
She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats.
Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy.
Profession: Food photographer

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Welcome In Simone’s Kitchen

Hi. My name is Simone and I believe you can change your life by eating the right foods. I am a certified holistic nutritional coach, food photographer, recipe developer and story teller.
I am based in the Netherlands.

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Travel calendar 2018

March: Blankenberge, Belgium
April: 3 weeks roadtrip through East USA
May: Turkey
May: Germany
June: Germany
September: Newcastle