06 Mar Date Pecan Almond Hemp Balls
As often happens, I had a craving for a sweet treat one afternoon last week. A quick look in the pantry revealed a distressing lack of goodies. Sigh. Thankfully, Dan had not yet discovered the tub of dates, so I knew I had a good base to start with. Dates are terrific as they lend a sweet, caramel-like taste without added refined sugars. They’re also handy as they have effective binding properties that let you hold lots of yummy goodness together. I next checked the freezer to see what nuts/seeds were on hand. Now that I had a few key ingredients it was only a matter of minutes before I could enjoy something good without the “head rush/crash” I used to experience back in my strawberry marshmallow/rockets days.
I really find the flavour of nuts and seeds to be enhanced with a light toasting. No need to over-do it, just a mere 3 minutes of toasting (handy toaster oven) makes a subtle, yet significant difference in the taste.
I look for opportunities to toss in hemp seeds whenever I get the chance. These miracle babies are worth their weight in gold. A perfect ratio of omega 3/6/9 fats, protein, fiber, magnesium and more. Their taste, too, is so subtle and never over powers.
For added texture and a little sweetness, I tossed in apple juice-sweetened dried cranberries. Later in the week I made a batch using goji berries which turned out equally well. So use whatever dried fruit you have on hand. These would be nice with dried cherries or apricots, too.
Date Pecan Almond Hemp Balls
1 cup pecans
1 cup almonds
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
3/4 cup pitted dates
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or goji berries, cherries, apricots, or mix)
Lightly toast pecans and almonds. Once cooled, process in food processor until crumbly in texture. Add hemp seeds, salt and pulse. Add dates and vanilla and process until well incorporated and will stick together when lightly pinched. Add dried fruit and mix in. Roll into bite-sized balls and store in fridge or freezer.