Sunday, December 22, 2013

Date Nut Balls! Easy Treats For Last Minute Holiday Sweets And Parties!

It's party season for the next week or two! Here is a simple recipe loaded with delectable sweetness. Bite sized treats looking like baby snow balls, they're perfect for any winter get together! Do you see my edible fruit/veggie tree sitting on the buffet table behind the snowy date nut ball pyramid in the photo above? You can find that very popular colorful edible tree post here along with simple instructions. Both of these dessert recipes are fun to make, and to eat! Mmmm I can't wait!!! Let's do this nut ball thing!

The kitchen equipment required to mix the date nut ball mixture is a food processor, or a high speed blender, as a regular blender will not handle the gooey sticky dates. Remember to soak your nuts of choice the night before you make these date nut balls, and you are ready to begin. If you do forget, then soak the nuts six hours before you make this easy yummy dessert. I did not soak the cashews, as they do not respond well to soaking.  

You can use any other soaked nuts you prefer, and if you use only two kinds of nuts that is fine too. For example you could use walnuts and macadamia nuts if that is what you have in your pantry. As long as you use 3 parts nuts/seeds to 2 parts dates, your mix will turn out okay. Everyone loved the combination I put together for the date nut balls in my recipe below. You know I had to add superfoods to this raw vegan dessert. These date nut balls will look just beautiful on your holiday buffet table!

Easy Date Nut Balls

3oz Hazelnuts
3oz Cashews
6oz Almonds
6oz Walnuts
1 oz pumpkin or sunflower seeds
1 TB Hemp seeds
2 TB ground flax seed
2 cups Medjool dates that have been soaked 30 minutes
Coconut flakes
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Rinse your pre-soaked nuts and drain off the water. Remember I did not soak the cashews. Carefully pit your dates! You don't want to throw away the entire mixture because you missed one! Place your pitted dates into a bowl and just cover the dates with spring water. Let dates sit in bowl for 30 minutes while you get the nut and seed mixture together. Get out your food processor or Vita Mix blender, and gather all of your ingredients together. Add the nuts, seeds, cinnamon, and vanilla into the food processor. I used the S blade. You could add 2 TB of the coconut flakes in with the nuts and seeds if you like, although this is optional.

Then add 1/2 of your soaked and carefully pitted dates. Pulse all into a medium grainy texture. At this point add the remainder of the dates to the food processor. I also added about 2 TBS of the sweet water liquid from the date bowl into the food processor. If your mixture gums up around the blade, stop the machine and move the mix around. Pulse till medium grain again. Any ingredients can be adjusted to create the right texture. Transfer from food processor into a bowl and mix well. 

Form into small balls and roll in coconut flakes to coat the outside. You can see from the photo we made half of the balls small, and half of the date nut balls larger. Three small balls are about 100 calories, so don't over eat these very sweet treats! You can store them covered in the fridge for up to two weeks. Honestly these wont last longer than a few days! Enjoy! Everyone else will!

It just would not be a complete holiday date nut ball recipe without sharing one of our favorite seasonal traditions... watching the classic 'Delicious Dish Schweddy Balls' video. Slip on into your crazy Christmas sweater and giggle along with this funny skit while it is still available online. How Alec and the girls remain serious while delivering these lines is a mystery! Click on the link right now to view, as it's not always easy to find. You will be LOL to this old SNL!

Don't rely on Pete! Get yourself a festive sack! Date nut balls are great for holiday food gifts! Super easy to make! Good times!!! And wayyyyy better than rice and tap water for Santa. Our food lifestyle does not wreak havoc on the digestive system 'cause we be eatin' good in the neighborhood! Season's Eatings to All! And to all a good night!

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