Date Balls

Date Balls & Nut-less Balls from Quick and Easy Paleo Comfort Foods
Homemade “LÄRABAR®” Balls, 3 Ways
LÄRABARS® have been my emergency go-to staple for many cross country flights, weeks at summer camp, or times when I know it might be challenging to find any snacks to tide me over until the next meal. It seemed a no-brainer to go ahead and try our hand at making some mini versions of the same – as these   make for the perfect snack or treat when you’re craving something sweet. Here are three of our favorite varieties to make. - Julie

Date Balls
Yield: 10-12 balls 
Active Hands-on Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/3 cup walnuts
1/3 cup unsalted cashews
3/4 cup dates, pitted

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients in the food processor and process until well blended, about 30-60 seconds. Check to make sure the mixture will hold together when pressed between your fingertips. If it's too dry, add a tablespoon of water and process a bit longer.

2. Using clean hands, take a small amount of the mixture in your hand and roll into a small ping pong ball sized balls (you can make these as big or small as you'd like!).

Notes: Store the date balls in an airtight container for several days (or until you devour them all!).

Nutless Balls
Yield: 16-20 balls
Active hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

1-2 teaspoon water
3/4 cup dates, pitted
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

Instructions
1. Combine all ingredients (staring with 1 tsp. water) in a food processor. Mix for 30-60 seconds or until the mixture is well-combined. If the mixture won't hold together when you pinch a small amount together in your hand, add more water and process a bit longer.

2. Working with a small amount, roll together to form a ping pong-ball sized ball.
3. Store in an air-tight container until ready to serve or snack upon!
Island Balls
Yield: 16-20 balls
Active hands-on time: 5 minutes
Total time: 5 minutes
Ingredients
3/4 cup pitted dates
1 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, toasted

Instructions

1. Combine first three ingredients in a food processor and process until well-blended, 30-60 seconds.

2. Check to make sure the mixture will hold together when pressed between your fingertips. If it’s too dry, add in more dates and process in the food processor.

3. Form the mixture into small, ping pong-sized balls (bigger or smaller if you prefer).

4. Roll the balls into the toasted coconut mixture.

Notes: As a general rule, too many nuts (or too much of anything, for that matter) can negatively impact your health. To minimize the amount of phytic acid in the nuts used in these date balls, you can soak the nuts in water for 18 hours, dehydrate them in a food dehydrator or low-temperature oven, then roast them. That being said, these are indeed some sweet treats, and are not meant to be consumed all the time or in copious amounts, so if you're eating them in moderation and have minimized your other sources of phytic acid (non-soaked nuts and seeds), you should be okay! 

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