Friday, April 9, 2010

Date Almond Balls

On to dessert ..........

Once again, I've been inspired by my favorite local health food store, the Whole Earth Center in Princeton, NJ. If I'm honest, I've basically stolen this one, since I adapted this from the list of ingredients on their date almond balls, minus sesame seeds. The dates are so sweet that there is no need for any additional sweetener, although the chocolate chips are certainly sweetened. For those wishing to cut out even more sugar, you could swap the chocolate chips for unsweetened carob chips, cacao nibs, or chopped nuts. You do need something in there for texture/crunch, though.

My 7-year-old nephew called these balls "awesome". Ditch the cookies and candy and try these out on your own kids (or yourself).

Date Almond Balls
3 cups dates, pitted
1 16 oz. jar almond butter
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1 cup reduced-fat shredded coconut

In a food processor, puree dates until they make a smooth paste. In a large bowl, combine date paste with almond butter, mixing together well with a wooden spoon. Kneed with your hands a few times to disperse the almond butter evenly. Add chocolate chips (or other mix-ins) and kneed until combined.

Form mixture into balls about 1 1/2-2" in diameter. Roll balls in shredded coconut. Enjoy!

Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 3 dozen balls.


Brian said...

I've been meaning to leave a comment since the night of the Seder. Ilana's up to dessert so I can't wait much longer.

I'll start by saying that the entire meal was amazing. Having said that, where's the controversy if I don't pick a few favorites. <grin>

On the way home from the Seder I said that my three favorites were the matzah balls, fish fritters, and date almond balls. (My 14 year old niece tried to limit herself to 3 favorites but in addition to the three I said, she also added the brisket, duck, and kale.)

The matzah balls: It seems that most matzah balls I get are huge (softball sized) fluffy things with no texture. I don't want a dense rock, but there has to be something in between. These were perfect - not too dense, not too fluffy. They had just the right texture and a nice flavor. I had my two and would have been able to get one from my daughter if my wife hadn't claimed it first. I did get up for seconds and was promptly asked to get more for 4 other people at the table.

The fish fritters: I don't know how to describe these. They looked like green crab cakes and had a similar texture. They had a nice fish flavor without being fishy. I usually consider the "salad" underneath a fish cake as decoration, but not this time. The mushrooms and horseradish dressing really added something special to this dish. I would have been very happy if this was the only dish served.

Date almond balls: Wow, these were amazing. Seeing how simple the recipe is, we'll be making these. These had everything I like in a dessert - sweet, great flavor, a little chocolate, and you eat it with your fingers. I don't eat dates and I'm not a fan of almond butter, but somehow when they're together, they're amazing.

I don't want anyone to think that the rest of the meal (duck, brisket, kale, quinoa, chocolate chia mousse) wasn't great - but you can't have everything be your favorites. These 3 were just the very top.

Ilana Kriegsman said...

Wow, Brian! I'm blushing! I'm so happy that you all enjoyed the food so much! That makes all the effort that much more worthwhile. And I'm glad some of the recipes might end up in your rotation at home.

Want some duck soup (recipe coming soon)? I've got a vat of it!