A big part of trying to do this whole dairy, grain and sugar free thing is making sure that I have something lekker to snack on when I feel like it. Which is harder than you think when you cut out all the fun stuff. So these date balls are nearly always in our fridge – the perfect snack!
We use them for everything – lunch box treats, party food and to shove in my mouth in excess when I feel like I need a pick me up and don’t want to cheat.
I know there are about a million date ball recipes on the internet. I know this because when I started this plight I found myself looking at them and cursing because I only had about half of the things in my cupboard. And half of the ones I didn’t have I’d never even heard of. So let me just reassure you that for “my” balls, there is a basic recipe and then so much more that you can add if you feel like it.
- Chia seeds
- Goji Berries
- Superfood powders. I sometimes use this one from Faithful To Nature
- Raisins (these are helpful if you prefer them to be quite sweet)
- Almonds or almond flour
- Nut butters – peanut butter is a favourite
- A shot of espresso
- Little dark chocolate drops
How To Make The Date Balls Of Awesomeness
1. You’re going to need some kind of blitzing tool.
I have been making these for a year now and in the process I’ve tried every possible type of thing to do this. I started out using a hand blender (and burned it out on dry dates – rookie error) and then progressed to my Nutribullet. This time I used the Nutribullet Baby Bullet and it did a splendid job. I wish I had one of these when my kids were little. Sure my hand blender did the job, but sometimes it was chunky and my kids hated me for it.
Also the other day I tried to blend something hot in my normal Nutribullet and when I took the lid off the spinach and stuff I had blitzed exploded all over my kitchen! There was a green puke like mist all over my kitchen! Learned that lesson quickly. The Baby Bullet solves that problem with a small hole in the lid.
2. Place your two handfuls of dates and cocoa into the blender and cover with boiling water. Only just enough to cover the dates. Leave them until they have cooled down and had a chance to soak in the water.
If you are wanting to get more creative, you could also add your raisins, goji berries, espresso or cranberries at this point.
DON’T ADD your chia seeds here. It makes the balls really slimy when they are eventually done and that’s just gross.
3. Once your mixture has had a chance to soak in all the water. Blitz the heck out of it.
If you are adding whole nuts like cashews or almonds – add them now.
4. Decant it into a mixing bowl and add your coconut until it makes a firm shape in your fingers.
I like to add 4 tablespoons of chia seeds because they are really good for you, but also they soak up any excess moisture while they set in the fridge. Also if you’re not that into coconut then you’ll want to add extra things in here – the nut butters, almond flour, superfood powders or chocolate drops.
5. You want to make sure that when you start rolling your balls, it forms easily in your hand and doesn’t leave a lot of excess goop sticking to your hands. If it does leave all the excess your balls are going to be too soft. And that’s just weird to eat. In my opinion anyway.
6. Place them in an air tight container on greasy proof paper. The paper is probably totally optional, but I find that it’s better than just plopping them in the container. Leave them to set for at least an hour but preferably over night.
7. ENJOY your guilt free snacks!
And maybe share it or save it on Pinterest if you’re feeling extra awesome. (haha, sorry, I had to ask)
The extra recipe of awesomeness:
- 2 handfuls dates
- 1 handful goji berries
- 1 handful raisins
- 4 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 4 heaped tablespoons almond floor
- coconut till firm