(Chocolate Peanut Butter and Date-Nut Creations)
Happy Holy Days TO EVERYONE!
This month’s recipes are two very simple, easy to prepare concoctions that can be prepared well ahead of time. They contain a few simple ingredients that can vary according to your pantry contents. They always make a hit and are very suitable for children as well as adults. Both recipes are festive as well as full of protein because of their nut or seed ingredients. The chocolate wonders are delightful but the Date Nut Balls are RAW! (Please use caution as many folks are highly allergic to any nuts or combinations of nut butters as well as chocolate, and therefore these treats should be clearly labeled if you share them at a potluck-type gathering!) Our dear friend Henry loves these treats!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
1 cup creamy peanut butter (roasted, organic, no salt)
¾ cup powdered sugar
1 cup crispy brown rice cereal (organic/ wheat free)
Use a food processor to pulse these ingredients together, adding a few drops of water until the mixture is combined into a soft coherent texture which can hold together and not crumble. Use slightly wet hands to form small or medium sized balls. Place on a sheet of wax paper and set aside.
Now prepare the coating:
1 cup semi-sweet vegan chocolate chips
1 tbsp. vegan shortening (Earth Balance)
Melt together in a microwave oven for approximately 1 minute and stir. Continue to heat at 10 second intervals until the mixture is completely smooth when stirred. Let cool slightly. Use 2 teaspoons to roll and coat each of the balls evenly with the chocolate mixture. Place back on wax paper and cool in the refrigerator.
Now, you can show your creativity by rolling the balls into various ingredients when they are slightly cooled. Flaked coconut, mini chocolate chips, and ground walnut crumbs are just some suggestions. When presented on a platter, alternate each of the different coated treasures for a festive appearance and watch them disappear!
NOTE: When coated and cooled thoroughly, transfer each ball into a paper mini- cupcake baking cup for serving. Remember to keep well refrigerated until serving time. Makes about 15 medium balls. These freeze well and defrost quickly to melt in your mouth. If you have leftover chocolate, try dipping healthy pretzels into re-heated chocolate and let set in the refrigerator. A great late-night snack.
YUMMY IN THE TUMMY!
2 cups unsalted walnuts, pecans, cashews or almonds
(Or a combination of all of these nuts), roasted or raw
¼ cup unsalted sunflower seeds, roasted or raw
¾ cup pitted dates (any variety)
½ cup organic maple sugar
¼ cup cocoa or raw cacao powder
½ cup almond or cashew butter (or a comb.)
Optional choice of coatings:
Finely shredded coconut (unsweetened)
Sunflower seeds, toasted, unsalted
Raw or toasted sesame seeds
Any finely ground nut mixture
Place the walnuts or nut combo into a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the dates and pulse until well combined. Add the rest of the ingredients until the mixture is thick and almost smooth. Form into golf size balls with slightly wet hands or a small ice cream scoop. Roll into any suggested toppings and place into a sealed container in the refrigerator dividing the layers with wax paper. These are best served after cooling as they harden or can be frozen for later use.
These treats work equally well as a snack or a dessert. A great nutritious party food or a sweet potluck pleaser!