Sunday, September 16, 2012

Coconut Date Balls

I have been wanting to make these for a long time because I like Lara Bars (really expensive) and the recipe I found is kind of similar.  Cliff bought me a food processor for my B-day and we have really put it to good use.  This is a great healthy snack and maybe it can substitute for my dessert sometimes!  I am sure you could add your variations to the recipe, next time I am going to add chocolate chips (I was pretty bummed when I realized I forgot to do that this time around-how could I do that?).  Anyways, you have got to try these.  I even did a breakdown of some of the nutritional stats to see if it was the kind of snack that keeps you full!  If you are having them as a snack you would probably want to have 2 or 3 and put a little peanut butter on them for extra staying power.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

 My favorite way to eat these is with a smear of peanut butter (homemade peanut butter)
 Before I made the coconut date balls, I made homemade peanut butter, so I left about this much in my food processor before I made the date balls because I wanted to peanut butter flavor (plus it saved me from washing my food processor twice)
 These are the dates I used.  I used 14 and cut them like so
 This looks really weird but I wanted to show you what it looked like when I stopped my food processor.  If you wanted a little more texture you could process them less
I did toasted coconut for some and left the others plain, I like both.

Coconut Date Balls
1 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup dried coconut, plus a little extra for rolling
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
12-14 pitted dates, chopped
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp. orange juice or zest of one orange (I used orange juice because we had it on hand)
1/4 cup water (may or may not use all of it)

Place oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, dates, and peanut butter in your food processor.  Turn on and as the ingredients start to break down and come together add your vanilla and orange juice.  Gradually add water until it all starts to stick together.  Mine started for form a ball and it probably only took 2 minutes.  The pictures should help.  Roll into balls and then roll in toasted coconut (you could also roll in oats, crushed pretzels, cocoa powder, you name it).  You might try it with more peanut butter or mini chocolate chips too!  Have fun with it!
Makes 17 balls and here are the stats for 1 ball:  
Approx Calories:  93  Fiber: 1.6   Protein: 2.5  Sugar: 5 (this is mostly natural found in dates, but a little came from the sweetened coconut, you could use unsweetened if you want)
*Adapted slightly from Daily Garnish

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