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My BIG FAT Grain Free Life: Date Nut Balls (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Date Nut Balls (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free)

(clockwise from top:  chocolate, plain, cinnamon sugar, and unsweetened coconut)
I've been looking for a healthy snack that my kidlings can just pop into their mouths when they're tummies are growling.  Something I could make ahead and keep in the fridge, that would also be good for them.

I came across this recipe accidentally.  I was actually attempting to make a pumpkin pie crust using these ingredients.  The crust didn't bake up well, but I took some of the leftover unbaked dough, rolled it into balls and tested it out on my kids.  It was a total hit!  They also enjoyed rolling the balls into different toppings.  

Date Nut Balls (grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free) 

Ingredients:

1 cup hazelnuts
2 cups blanched almond flour (I use Honeyville)
1 1/2 cups pitted dates, coarsely chopped (soaked in water if dry then drained)
4 tablespoon cold ghee
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions:

Add hazelnuts to a food processor and pulse until chopped.  Add all other ingredients and pulse until mixture looks like small crumbs.

Test mixture by giving a small handful a squeeze and seeing if it holds together.  If so, it's ready.  If not, add a little more ghee or even vanilla extract (1-2 teaspoons).

To make into balls, I use a mini melon scooper with a spring-loaded handle.  Pack the scooper and empty into hand.  Give a squeeze and then shape into ball with fingers.  Give a little roll. 

You can enjoy these as-is or with the following variations: 

Rum Balls:  Add a few tablespoons of rum to the mixture. 

Coconut:  Roll in unsweetened coconut. 

Cinnamon-Sugar:  Mix 2 tablespoons of cinnamon with 1 tablespoon of coconut sugar.  Roll balls in mixture. 

Chocolate:  For dark chocolate lovers - roll balls in cacao powder.  OR - mix some coconut sugar in with the cacao powder to sweeten it up a bit.

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