11.2.14

More reasons to make Date Balls

Date balls are tasty, sweet, portable, healthy snacks that are cheap and easy to make. Add nuts for flavour and texture
Easy to make,  no-bake, healthy snacks you won't get bored of.
Date balls are tasty, sweet, portable, adaptable, healthy snacks that are cheap and easy to make. I'd heard it before but it wasn't until I made them myself that I realised how great these things really are, for the following additional reasons:
  1. No cooking/baking required, just blend ingredients and compress into balls
  2. They don't actually taste of dates. I've never been a fan of dates on their own but they provide the perfect foundation for this snack
  3. They're made up entirely of dry things in your cupboard so you can make a batch any time and don't need any fresh ingredients
  4. Because they're made form long-life dried goods you can make a big batch and keep them for ages 
  5. The ingredients are all cheap, especially the dates
  6. They're perfect for a snack in your lunchbox for when you need an energy boost and crave something sweet in the afternoon
  7. Unlike many commercial snack bars/energy bars/breakfast bars these will be largely free from artificial sweeteners, preservatives, thickeners, emulsifiers, stabilisers, colourants, excess salt and sugar, and glucose-fructose corn syrup (only as much as is in the dry ingredients)
  8. They are really versatile and you can have fun experimenting with whatever is in your dry cupboard, so you'll never get bored because there are so many possible combinations
Date balls are tasty, sweet, portable, healthy snacks that are cheap and easy to make.
There are so many things you can add to your date balls for flavour and texture like nuts, berries, coconut and spices.
You will need a blender to make these, and some pitted dates but the rest you can free-style based on this 4-step guide: pick one or two ingredients from each category, blend, and have fun molding into balls. The possibilities are almost endless:

1: DATES (the sticky part)

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2. SUBSTANCE (the filling part)
  • oats
  • bran
  • puffed rice
  • puffed quinoa
  • unsweetened breakfast cereal (corn flakes, fiber bran flakes, shredded wheat, muesli)
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3. FANCY BITS (for variety)
  • any unsalted nuts (cashews, pecans, almonds, peanuts, macadamia, pistachio)
  • unsalted seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, poppy)
  • dried berries (raisins, cranberries, cherries, goji berries)
  • dried fruit (prunes, apricots, banana chips, apple)
  • cookies, marshmallows or chocolate if you're feeling decadent
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4. FLAVOUR (the finishing touch)
  • peanut butter
  • black sesame paste/seeds
  • peppermint oil or just abut any essence
  • vanilla seeds
  • coffee powder (be aware of how much caffeine you're consuming though)
  • cocoa powder
  • cinnamon, cardamom, clove, nutmeg
  • desiccated coconut (unsweetened because the dates are already naturally very sweet)
  • marmalade, jams or fruit preserves
  • ginger
  • chilli/pepper (a tiny bit enhances chocolatey flavours, I promise)
  • dried lavender flowers (a sprinkle could add a subtle lavender flavour)
  • brandy or Amaretto (for grown-up date balls)
Date balls are tasty, sweet, portable, healthy snacks that are cheap and easy to make.
Make two types of date balls for variety in your lunch box every day.
As a guideline, a bag of 375 grams pitted dates with all the added bits above makes about 20 golf-ball-sized snacks. If the blended mixture is too crumbly and dry to hold it's ball-shape you just need to add more dates into the mix to make it sticky again. To make it less wet/sticky add more from the SUBSTANCE category to stretch it further. The only caution I would add is that dates are naturally very sweet so be careful of adding any sweetened/sweetening products (eg. honey, syrup, Nutella, jam, marshmallows, chocolate) or these balls could become overwhelmingly sweet.

Mr Zissou and I have had great fun coming up with new flavours and ways to translate classic desserts into date balls. These are our favourite combos (add these flavours to your dates+substance base):

  • Cherry and Chocolate- dried cherries, cocoa powder, generous dose of vanilla seeds
  • Apple Pie- dried apples, cinnamon and a tiny bit of grated nutmeg 
  • Coconut and Banana- desiccated coconut, banana chips, vanilla seeds
  • Ginger Orange- candied orange peel from the baking section of your supermarket, dried ginger, cocoa, vanilla seeds 
  • Christmas Cake- Christmas mince meat (mixed fruit, mainly raisins), a dash of Amaretto, cinnamon, a little grating of nutmeg and clove. 
  • Lemon and Poppy Seed- plenty of poppy seeds, lemon curd or lemon preserve
  • Black Sesame- black sesame seeds, a dash of sesame oil, honey, prunes
We usually make a big batch consisting of 3-4 different flavours so we never get bored of our afternoon snacks.

By the way if you enjoy recipes then head over to Mr Zissou's blog because he seems to be updating it again. It's called Kos I Like It, because in Afrikaans which is spoken in South Africa, the word kos means food :)

2 comments:

  1. Oh yummy, I know what I'm making. :]
    Thanks for sharing this delectable treat!!
    ♡ Dulce

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know how it goes, and if you come up with any new flavour combos!

      Delete

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