Cooking with Local Food, Mozambique – Wild Date Palm & Cocoa Balls ©

I found the fruits of the Wild Date Palm or Phoenix reclinata at the Inhassoro market. At first, I did not know what they were, although I suspected it was Dates. Some staff members working on the farm with us and some tree books confirmed it and someone was kind enough to bring me a whole bag on their way back from town. (We mostly find Lala Palm growing where we live.) I ate bowls full of the delicious, sweet fruits, but as always I wanted to experiment a bit. I popped some in the freezer, as I didn’t know how well they will keep and finally had some time to play with them.

The outcome was delicious, if I may say so myself. I made lovely Cocoa-date balls and the best part is that you can make these without any added sugar, and they are even vegan if you would want that.


  • 1-litre container filled with Wild Dates. (You will end up with around half of this, once the pips are removed.) If you do not have access to wild dates, you can use any dates, for pitted dates work on a quantity of around 400grams
  • 100 grams of roughly ground or finely chopped almonds
  • 2 Tablespoons of raw cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons of xylitol (Optional, if you have more of a sweet tooth, you can add some sugar instead.)
  • 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil.
  • A little desiccated coconut to roll the balls in.


Remove the flesh from the pips and mash. Mix all the ingredients together. Roll in balls and roll the balls in desiccated coconut.

Refrigerate and enjoy.

Top tip: To make the removing of the date flesh a little easier, heat for a few minutes in a pot with the lid closed. Stir frequently. Removing the pips are a timeous activity, but it is all worth it.


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