Alright, alright – I’m doing up this recipe again. Mainly because now I’ve gone through lots of trials and experimentation. And finally took pictures of the process today. And everybody keeps asking about them because I’m a bad blogger and a. never link and b. never explain. Although I should state that I’m not laying claim to owning this recipe – it stemmed from a Moosewoods date truffle recipe in efforts to get a drier, more larabar-esque goodie – and found these measurements to work well, and find it to be pretty universal based on further exploration afterwards, too. When you’re working with this many ingredients, it’s hard to be unique 😉
- a food processor – it doesn’t even need to be a great one. mine is lousy. but it gets this job done no problemo.
- dried dates and other fruit, as desired – to equal a half cup total. You’re likely to have best luck (and great health benefits!) if you use at least 1/4 cup dates, however.
- nuts – 1/3 cup, any kind
- optional: spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger – zests from oranges or limes – a hungry parent who eats them all before you do – family members to drive crazy with your new obsession
- optional: powders like acai, protein, maca, whatever floats your boat and keeps your heart and muscles pounding
- 5 minutes
- Choose your fruit victims. I’ve always used at least 1/4 cup of dates, about 5 dates. I use the big Medjool dates – don’t use the date pieces you buy in a bag. The other 1/4 cup can be your favorite ol’ dried fruit, or dates again. For today, I got a little crazy in the kitchen and opted for 1/4 c. dates (make sure you pit them, guys. I know, I know – obvious, but I could see myself doing something like that.) 2 T. dried sweet cherries, and 2 T. organic shredded unsweetened coconut.
- Process them in the processor until it’s all clumped together in one big ol’ clump. I’ve found it takes a bit longer to clump together if you’re using coconut, since it’s drier.
- Dump the puree into a medium sized mixing bowl. Don’t clean your processor, but dump your 1/3 cup nuts/seeds into the processor. Once again, I got a little crazy and experimented with using chia seeds today, in addition to some honey roasted almonds.
- Grind until course ground. I guess you could do finely ground, too…but I don’t know why you’d really want to.
- Combine everything into the mixing bowl. Here you could add in some powder or spices, too. I chose to add in some wolfberry Tera’s Whey today – but just a spoonful (half Tbs maybe?). I didn’t want the flavor to be overly abundant, and didn’t have any plain powder.
- Knead it all together into one ball. It takes more work if you use a powder of some sort, I’ve noticed. Don’t worry if it’s a bit too crumbly and you can’t work all the nuts in. Life will go on, I promise. Just form them into balls and store in a container. Sample one after that’s said and done, because otherwise you’ll probably want to eat the whole thing before actually forming them into balls.
The nitty gritty:
- Know that if you use all peanuts, they are quite more pronounced in terms of flavor than any other nuts. It will taste more peanut butter-y than fruity. Not saying it’s a bad thing.
- After having made them a couple times with protein powder, I think it’d be a good idea to cut back on the nuts a little bit, especially if you’re planning on using a lot.
- Obviously, form them however you want…but I think the mini-ball size is great for a snack when you just want a little something. That and, I’m likely to never stop buying real Larabars anyways.
Some fun concoctions:
- cinnamon-raisin – 1/4 c. dates, 1/4 c. golden raisins, 1/3 c. cashews, cinnamon
- cranberry-orange – 1/4 c. cranberries, any nut, orange zest
- pb & j – 1/4 c. cherries, 1/3 c. peanuts
- coconut-macadamia – 1/4 c. shredded unsweetened coconut, 1/3 c. macadmia nuts (note that this mixture tends to be more crumbly, but can still be easily formed into balls.)
- apple pie – 1/4 c. dehydrated apples (I used seneca apple chips), 1/3 c. mix of almonds, walnuts and pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg
and I’ve honestly forgotten what else. There are so many combos, though – just have fun! And I must say – this was my first time using some chia seeds, and I really think it may become habit 🙂