Hello and Happy Easter! I hope you have enjoyed the holiday! I am taking full advantage of the all the rituals of Holy Week and attending mass Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights! I love my church and enjoy the traditions of the services. I will attend early service on Easter and then head to Clover to have Easter lunch with my mom and all the family. Such joy in living a short drive rather than a plane ride away!
Today I have a very simple recipe for you..... a little snack ball and sweet treat. We all buy bars of some sort to keep around for when hunger strikes and you are out and about. Or you need a little something to tide you over to the next meal. Many bars you can buy are full of additives, sugar and questionable ingredients. There are some that are great....Lara Bars, Kind Bars, Pure bars. They can get expensive and are sometimes bigger than you need. Enter these little balls. You will find all sorts of recipes for energy balls if you look around the internet. You can play with the recipe and add all kinds of things. Some people add protein power. (Not me.) Some have oats and other grains. Some are nut free and focus on seeds. Some sweeten with maple syrup or honey. These are a version I made up that are sweetened with dates and have peanut butter, pecans, and cocoa with dried cranberries and some chocolate chips. I warn you they are not very sweet. If you think you need a pretty sweet version go with 10 or 12 dates, rather than 8. You can vary the size. I made some large and some small. I eat them for a snack and sometimes for dessert. I keep them in the fridge but I also stick them in my purse and eat them late in the afternoon. Once you start eating this kind of snack, the bought kind are just way too sweet!
On a side note, I am trying to grow some flowers from seed this year. I really want my flower beds to be packed with flowers. I love a cottage garden and am going to give it a go this year. I have a good start with what is already here. Lots of iris and some peonies. I added in a few hydrangeas and more peonies last Fall. I also planted holly hocks and they are growing huge! I don't have a very green thumb so I often don't have very good luck with what I plant. Since I want to plant a lot of flowers I decided to be cost effective, I would try to grow from seeds. Wish me luck! I reserved some zinnia seeds to direct sow but otherwise, last week I started a bunch of things indoors. Morning glory, a mix of nasturtiums, inpatiens, sunflowers, zinnias, and basil. I am so excited that they are growing! Sadly, one of the cats has twice gotten into them and pulled a morning glory pod out into the floor. I keep the doors closed now! I plan to let the seedlings get to 4 leaves and then plant each one in their own little pot. Once they are stronger I will put them on the porch to harden and then plant them. I sure hope they work! I have cleaned the beds and gotten things ready. I planted some lettuce plants last week and a rabbit already nibbled them down to almost nothing. Boo. I need to put a little fence up. I am also going to order this edging for one of my beds on the side of my house.
So...Happy Easter. Enjoy your friends and families and some chocolate! If you're traveling in the car, try these snack balls for the road trip!
Cocoa Chocolate Chip Snack Balls
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: none
Keywords: snack gluten-free vegan cocoa cranberries dates peanuts
Ingredients (12 or so balls)
- 8 dates, pits removed
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter (no sugar or oils added!)
- splash of vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/4 dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- spinkle of kosher salt
If your dates are hard and dry, put them in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let soak for about 5 minutes then drain well.
In a food processor, chop the pecans into small pieces. Remove and set aside.
Put dates into the food processor and pulse to grind into a paste.
Add the peanut butter, pecans, splash of vanilla, and cocoa and pulse together until well combined. It will look dry but don't worry it will work.
Scrape the mixture into a bowl. Stir in the cranberries, chocolate chips and a pinch of salt.
Using a spoon or small scoop, form into small balls of dough about an inch in diameter. Using your hands to roll them into a tight ball. It will stick together.
Yield depends how large you make the balls.
Store in the refrigerator.