These little guys are packed with flavor and energy. If you would like to serve them as dessert then you might choose to leave the protein powder out. I like to have the protein powder in them for a more balanced snack when I hike or travel. The brown rice is optional; it adds more substance to the balls and cuts down on the sweetness. It is nice to have recipes for desserts and snacks that utilize the inherent sweetness in fruits rather than adding refined sugar.
In a food processor, pulse dates, nuts (either cashews with the coconut or hazelnuts with the cacao powder), salt, cinnamon and either 1/4 cup cacao OR 1/4 cup shredded coconut until well mixed with little bits of nuts visible. If you would like to add rice or protein powder, do so at the same time as the dates and nuts.
Roll into small balls about 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. If they are not holding together, add more dates. If you like, you may roll the balls in either shredded coconut or cacao powder to coat the outside.
Serve these up as dessert “truffles” or put into a hard container with a lid for travel or hiking. They freeze well in baggies