In Home Cooking

Healthy NO Bake Date Balls

I have a sweet tooth. So do our three children. And lets not even get started on the man of the house and his love for all things gummy bears, kit kat bars, maple cookies, chocolate chip cookies, orange jelly cookies covered in chocolate and any other cookie this world has ever seen.
I have been trying my hand at healthy versions of sweet snacks so that I can feel better about my family mowing down on treats and the after dinner cupboard raiding.
These will trick all the cookie monsters at your house too.
Healthy, no bake date balls are what will curb your families sweet tooth — and fast. You can have these made and on the table in twenty minutes.
This recipe came about because a lovely girl friend sent me a recipe for date balls after I tried a delicious one she had made, I had to recreate them — ASAP.
I’m totally serious. I begged for the recipe and then headed to the grocery store to purchase dates for the first time ever.
PS: They sell them in the produce section at my grocery store in little prepackaged tubs. 🙂 I’m sure you can buy them in bulk as well.
The only thing is, I couldn’t bear to use the butter or the confectionery sugar the recipe called for; I knew that there was probably a healthier alternative. So, I put on my frilly apron and then mixed and changed the recipe until I finally aced one that had my kids clapping with excitement. 
Dates, people. My kids were clapping for dates.
I’m pretty freaking proud.
To have your family clapping too, you will need to use:
1 1/2 cups of pitted dates
1 teaspoon of organic coconut oil
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon of salt
2 1/2 cups of rice crispies (we used brown rice gluten free crisps)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of apple sauce 
1/2 cup of raisins first soaked in hot water so they plump up
1 cup of sugar free flaked coconut or 1 cup of chopped peanuts (depending on nut allergies obviously)
In a sauce pan heat up your dates, eggs, apple sauce, salt, vanilla, raisins and coconut oil, the mixture will become nice and creamy after about 15 minutes. (NOTE: If you do not like raisins you can omit them and instead use only a 1/4 cup of apple sauce.)
With a wooden spoon mix well so that your dates mix in evenly. Remove your mixture from the heat and pour in your rice crispies (we used the brown rice gluten free ones, but any will do).
Once your mixture has cooled, spoon the mixture out and roll into a ball with your hands and then roll into your coconut or your peanuts.
I rolled ours with peanuts this time and rolled some in organic sugar
for the kids. 
I love them rolled in coconut too. To be honest, I like anything rolled in coconut. It is totally a weakness.
I stored our date balls in a sealed container for about a week. They were still delicious down to the last one. I find that the date balls rolled in coconut freeze really well if you wanted to make these in a large batch or for a special occasion.
I’m pretty sure the kids and I are going to mix up an extra large batch in case we have unexpected visitors over the Easter long weekend. We are already talking about dipping them in dark chocolate (my idea) topping them with pink sprinkles (my daughters idea) and adding a surprise center of some kind (my sons idea).
This recipe changing stuff is pretty fun. 
The possibilities are endless and so are our appetites. 

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