Cooking

No Bake Coconut and Date Balls

The source: Kidspot Kitchen

The promise:

No bake coconut balls contain just two ingredients and they are super healthy. Pop them into lunch boxes, snack on them after exercise and use them to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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I’m a little new to this whole “use dates instead of sugar” phenomenon and I have to say, my relationship with so-called healthy sweets is… tepid. There’s nothing worse than spending half the morning with your food processor (and these recipes always seem to require breaking out the food processor) only to arrive at a result that is just ok. What’s the point?

However, I was happily surprised by these coconut and date balls. They are indeed easy (although you do have to use the food processor) and fast, and they are genuinely tasty in a whoops-I-ate-twelve kind of way.

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Tips:

The directions say to blend in the food processor for 3-4 minutes. I found that after a while there was an obvious change in the texture of the mixture, and it suddenly came together in a big lump, indicating to me it had been blended appropriately.

You’ll want to store these in glass, not plastic. After a couple of days, they began to take on the plastic flavor.

What did I change?

Not much. I rolled half in shredded coconut and half in unsweetened cocoa – the former is the recipe, the latter is a suggested option. The coconut covered ones are fine, the cocoa ones are the clear winners.

What did I mess up?

Nothing, exactly, except that I decided to use sweetened shredded coconut instead of unsweetened shredded coconut. It’s clear that the unsweetened is more in line with the spirit of the recipe. However, the unsweetened stuff looked dry, and I was concerned about the balls sticking together (that’s what she said) (sorry but this is how it’s going to be). There were no issues at all with failure to cohere, so next time I might try the unsweetened and see how the taste differs. I deeply love unsweetened coconut.

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And I also noticed something interesting when comparing the nutrition information, which is that the sweetened version actually has a lower calorie count and contains less saturated fat per serving. And that makes sense, because pure coconut is of course going to be more calorific and contain more fat than most other ingredients. Which leads us to…

Promise Kept?

Are these healthy? If your definition of healthy is “whole foods” or “natural” (both terms I loathe, but that’s for another rant post, I bet you can’t wait), then sure, they’re healthy. If you’re looking for something low in calories or fat, then – eh. Just because something isn’t made with butter and sugar doesn’t mean it doesn’t contain fat and calories. But let’s all remember that healthy bodies need a variety of foods to function, including fat and calories, and that any food is healthy and wholesome if it helps to nourish your body. Which these do! So there we are.

Final Thoughts:

Success! And something that will join my recipe rotation. I must admit that my 4-year-old hated them, even going so far as to elaborately gag as she tried to eat one, but I think at least part of that was due to the unfamiliar and unexpected texture. (I told her they were cookie balls because I’m not above lying to toddlers.) But kids are stupid. These are delicious, easy, relatively cheap, and the ingredients are simple to source. They are vegetarian/vegan, allergen-friendly for most common allergies, gluten free, and probably paleo or something too. I mean, there’s only two ingredients.

So go forth, and make some sticky balls of your own. And if you try it, report back in the comments!

 

Anna

 

Have a suggestion for Anna to try – recipe, craft, or project? Send me a message or leave it in the comments!

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