Friday, May 29, 2009

Nut Balls!!!!

I know what you are think- she's lost it-"Nut Balls??? What's next???" But honestly, these are a really YUMMY and equally important, NUTRITIOUS snack and little fingers love them (as well as my husband!) If you have ever had a LARA BAR, this is essentially a home made version of one. They are SUPER EASY to make, quick, and last long if kept in the fridge (or longer if you freeze half the batch!). They are full of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. There aren't very many ingredients, but you could really change things up and get many different variations, I will share with you my favorite. Here we go:

  • 1 1/2 cup of nuts your choice ( I use 1/2 cup raw cashews, 1/2 cup raw pepitas, 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds)
  • 8 dates rolled in coconut (sold at Trader Joe's or Lassen's or Whole Foods- they come in a little tub, the dates are pre-rolled in coconut, that's not something you have to do)
  • cinnamon (as much as desired)
  Okay, first you are going to pour all of your nuts in your blender. I use my Vitamix for about 10 seconds until everything is finely chopped, almost like a chunky powder. If you leave the nuts too large, it will be hard to get them to mesh with the dates.
  Next, scoop the nuts out of the blender into a bowl and add 1/2 your dates. Take out something to mash with, I use a pastry mashing tool, you can use a potato masher or fork or even your hands. You want to incorporate the nuts throughout the dates. Generously sprinkle some cinnamon to the mixture. Add the remaining dates, continue to mesh together and sprinkle some more cinnamon (I am fairly generous with my cinnamon sprinkling, it's your flavoring- taste a smidge to decide if you have enough in your batch). Once you have a pretty good mixture of nuts and dates and your happy with your cinnamon, you are going to start balling the "dough" just like cookies. I make mine into small, bite size balls for Emery to chew on, but if you have older kids, you can make them a little larger (or if you wanna get in on the yumminess, make some larger ones or bar shaped ones for yourself). Place them on a plate, then cover them with plastic wrap and let them set in the fridge for a bit. You can freeze half the batch or keep them in the fridge to last about 2-3 weeks before they get dried out. Enjoy and experiment with different types of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and seasonings!

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