KITCHEN CURATIONS: DATE, WALNUT, AND COCONUT ENERGY BITES
Have a sweet tooth? Need a mid-afternoon pick-me-up? Searching for a little treat to cap off your dinner? These little energy balls are the perfect solution to all of that. Bursting with sweetness from the dates and full of texture from well, everything else, they are free of any refined flours and sugar, and are full of healthy fats and vitamins. Honestly, the only issue with them is the struggle of keeping the portion to just 1 or 2.
Oh, and did I mention that recipe is beyond simple? Cuz it is. Take a look!
INGREDIENTS: (makes 14-15 balls)
- 2/3 cup raw walnuts
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 Tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 10 medjool dates, pitted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/3 cup raw walnuts
- In a food processor, chop walnuts and coconut flakes into tiny chunks.
- Empty chopped walnuts and coconut flakes into bowl and add hemp hearts, chia seeds, flaxseeds, and salt.
- In the food processor, process dates, vanilla, and water until the mixture resembles a paste.
- Empty paste into the bowl with dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
- Using a tablespoon measure, make balls with the mixture and lay out on a flat surface.
- In the food processor, process the remaining coconut flakes and walnuts into even finer chunks than before.
- Empty coconut and walnut mixture into a bowl.
- One by one coat the balls in the coconut and walnut mixture.
- Chill balls in fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.
A FEW NOTES ABOUT THIS RECIPE
- There are different kinds of dates, just like there are different kinds of apples. And let me tell you, they are not all created equal. The most common kind of dates you'll find (at least here in New York) are deglet and medjool. My advice? Do not try to make this with deglet dates – the flesh is too fibrous and not nearly moist enough. Trust me, you will be disappointed in the outcome.
- To get the best of the health benefits (read: fiber and omega 3 fats) from the flaxseeds, they should be ground. You can buy them in the seed form and simply grind them at home as you use them. They will actually keep better this way, but if you are lazy (like I am!) then you can buy the ground version. Just be sure to store them in an airtight container in your fridge to keep the unsaturated fats from going rancid.
- If you don’t like walnuts, almost any raw nut will do!
- Just because these are full of nutrients and natural sugars, it does not mean that they are low-cal. If you have trouble with portion control (I don't blame you - they are delicious!), pre-portion them out into separate containers to keep the temptation at bay. You can also make the balls smaller using a 1/2 tablespoon or 1 teaspoon measure.
- Looking to serve these alongside another little treat? Try my Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls! They'd look great plated together and are easy to pack and transport as a gift or for a pot luck meal.