Thursday, February 13, 2014

Protein Snow Balls

We’ve been having such a fun ice day! I can’t seem to stay out of the kitchen. Its nice to have my husband playing with the baby in the living room while I play in the kitchen. I was so inspired by the beauty this ice storm is leaving around our apartment complex that I came up with this quick and easy treat. It has only one ingredient that may be uncommon (not for us, but I accept that our pantry may be a little less than main stream). Lucuma powder is made from a Peruvian fruit and is a common flavor used in many countries. It is naturally sweet and almost creamy. I love adding it to raw and baked deserts. We are lucky enough to have it in the bulk bin at the local CoOp so I always have some on hand. If you don’t have it, you can leave it out of the recipe but it won’t be as creamy and sweet. ( P.S Lucuma is also the Peruvian symbol for fertility ) In addition, this recipe is full of healthy fats and is a complete protein source; it can fuel all of your sledding adventures and is mighty tasty with some hot chocolate. Enjoy!

Protein Snow Balls

Gluten Free, Vegan
Makes about 12

3 medjool dates, pitted and soaked until soft
¼ cup unsweetened coconut shreds
¼ cup hemp seeds
2 tbl coconut oil, melted
1 tbl lucuma powder
¼ tsp vanilla powder or ½ tsp vanilla extract
pinch sea salt

For the ‘snow’
¼ cup unsweetened coconut shreds

  1. Pit the dates and soak in just enough water to cover them for at least 30 minutes or until soft.
  2. Next make the ‘snow’ by pulsing ¼ cup of shredded coconut in a small food processor until powdery. Don’t do it to long or it will turn to coconut butter! Set aside.
  3. Add the dates and soak water, hemp seeds, a separate ¼ cup of coconut shreds (not the snow!), melted coconut oil, vanilla, and salt to the small food processor and begin blending. Scrape down the sides and blend until it is mostly smooth. It may take a few minutes.
  4. Add in the lucuma and blend until incorporated.
  5. Set the mixture into the freezer for a few minutes until it is firm enough to roll into balls. Mine took about 5 minutes.
  6. Take the mixture out of the freezer and roll into balls with your hands, toss each ball in the ‘snow’ and then return to the freezer for at least 1 hour to firm up.
  7. Store in the freezer.

Notes and Substitutions

  • You could easily make these chocolate by adding 1-2 tablespoons of cacao powder.
  • You can adjust the number of dates to fit your desired sweetness.
  • You could use another nut or seed instead of hemp seeds. I think cashews or blanched almonds would be tasty.

What is your favorite protein snack?

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