As I sit here and type this post with walnut crumbs in my fingernails and the hint of coconut on my breath, I’m excited. I’m excited to share this recipe and I’m excited for you to try it… because I know you will! It’s too easy not to. If you’re getting bored with your post-workout smoothie or your morning snack that usually consists of a granola bar, these deliciously satisfying date & nut balls are for you.
I was first introduced to these by my good friend and neighbor at the time, when we lived in Colorado, and I was about 20 months pregnant with Laurel, (okay that was an exaggeration but let’s just say she was overdue). My friend walked over to say Hi as she often did when she took her daily stroll with her infant son, but this time she had a clear container in her hand. Little did I know at the time that the container she was holding was full of the most glorious little treats I’ve ever laid my taste buds on.
My friend “instructed” me to eat them in order to encourage my body to naturally progress into labor. Ask any midwife or doula about dates during pregnancy and they’ll likely know what you’re talking about. An old wives tale? Well, although there is really no firm scientific recommendation on the topic of dates supporting pregnancy or labor, there is some compelling data to support a potential relationship. All I knew was that my friend brought me a snack and I was going to eat it because I was pregnant and hungry.
I took the first bite of one of those balls and my eyes grew wide and my mouth started to water. For a moment I wondered if there was a risk of going into labor right there in my kitchen if I ate the date balls too fast. I decided it was worth the risk and I ate the entire container.
Fast forward some time now that Laurel has successfully been born and I scheme different reasons to make these date balls. Other than the fact that they’re delicious, they’re also a perfect snack for pregnant and non-pregnant people alike, including your toddler! Let’s look at the ingredients:
Dates • full of fiber, natural sugar (energy), magnesium, potassium, and folate- all very important nutrients for kids, active adults, and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Walnuts • loaded with Vitamin E, antioxidants, potassium, and omega-3s. I keep mine in the freezer due to their glorious fat content.
Coconut oil • delicious flavor, a vegan alternative to butter that contains saturated fats which provide energy & aid in hormone production.
To make this recipe, throw your dates into the food processor first. I keep my dates in the refrigerator so they tend to be firm, which is why I like to let them get a little head start in the processor before adding the other ingredients. Process until dates are broken apart as shown below.
Add the walnuts and coconut oil (no need to melt first) and process until a mealy texture develops, as shown below. You can really tailor the texture to your liking at this point, whether you prefer bigger chunks versus smaller will determine how long you process the ingredients. I usually go for about 15-20 seconds on High.
Now pop open the lid to your processor and take a big whiff.. yummm! Remove the blade before you scoop these bad boys into your hands for rolling. Again, personal preference on the size you choose to make your balls. I usually make a variety, some small I can just pop in my mouth, others larger I can take bites from. Laurel prefers the smaller ones. The sky’s the limit!
Coco-Nut Date Balls
- 1 cup unsweetened, dried pitted dates
- 1/2 cup unsalted walnuts (I use raw)
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- Place the dates into your food processor and process until broken apart.
- Add the walnuts and oil and process until a chunky/mealy texture develops, about 15-20 seconds.
- Scoop desired amount into your hand and form into balls.
- Consume at room temperature or store in fridge and eat cold (my preferred method).
- Option: Make a double or triple batch and freeze your coconut date balls for up to 2 weeks (if you can wait that long to eat them).
Recipe makes about 12, 1-inch balls.
Recipe from Enso: Motherhood Revolution