Cashew, Date, & Coconut Balls

A friend of mine recently turned me on to Lärabars; a bar I had glanced at numerous times while waiting in the cashier’s line, but never bothered to try. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to try these gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO bars with minimal pure ingredients, then by all means, please do! (Most of my local supermarkets carry this brand, but I know for a fact that both Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s carry these simple bars of goodness throughout the U.S., and hopefully, somewhere close to you.) I was blown away when I inquired of my friend regarding the ingredients in the bar, and found, to my utter amazement, only two ingredients listed. I kept re-reading the contents, searching for added salt, sugar, or that ever-present, soy lecithin. I kept thinking to myself, “How could this be?” But there it was, clearly written, “dates, cashews.” And nothing else. I opened the package, took a quick glance, and chewed off a small bite. Delicious!

I immediately began scheming a plan to recreate this bar at home. Luckily, I had some fresh dates in the refrigerator, as well as a bag of raw cashews (a favorite snack of both my kids). I got out my food processor and started to grind away. In my haste, I forgot to use my logical brain, which I have a tendency to do when I’m excited about making something, and I placed the dates into the processor first. Big mistake! Dates are extremely sticky and don’t allow the blades of the food processor to move correctly, which could lead to motor damage if left going for too long. So, my advice to you, readers, is to chop the cashews first and then add the dates.

I kept adding cashews until I got a good ratio of nuts to dates.  I peered down into the processor, assessing the glop I had just created, all the while thinking how much I didn’t want to try and scrape out all this lovely stickiness onto a pan and then have to cut into bars. Thus, I thought of forming my concoction into small balls and rolling them in some dried coconut. Behold….a ball of goodness, which is easy to make, healthy for you and your family, and most importantly, delicious!

Your palate may be different than mine, so experiment. You may want more or less of either ingredient. And you may just want to experiment with other ingredients, such as peanuts. I store these little delicacies in the refrigerator, since they do have raw cashews, but since they seem to be consumed entirely in a couple of days, refrigeration is most likely not necessary. This recipe is perfect for dinner guests, who may be vegan, as a light dessert, or even to give as homemade gifts. But for whatever reason you decide to make this recipe, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Yield: 50 balls

30 fresh dates (about 1 lb), pitted
2 c. raw cashews
1/2 c. dried, shredded coconut

Process the nuts; remove half of the nuts and set aside in a bowl. With the other half of the nuts remaining in the processor, add half (appx 15) of the dates; process together until the dates have fully incorporated. Remove this batch and set aside in another bowl. Add the rest of the nuts and dates; repeat. Combine the two halves together in a large bowl. Remove small chunks of the dough and roll into small balls with your hands. Roll the balls in a plate of coconut. And that’s it! No baking required!

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3 Comments

  1. Miriam

     /  May 23, 2011

    I would love to *actually* make these. I love lara bars (especially the coconut ones) and I too was tempted to concoct my own version. I eat a more rustic version of these by just cutting the date down one side and removing the pit, dipping it into some raw cacao powder… then dried shredded coconut and finally replacing the pit with some nuts of my choice, it’s such a fantastic combination! They were all made for each other! Someday I hope to be ambitious enough to make a “ball” or “bar” but when I want them I can’t wait for all that and just stuff all the ingredients in my mouth at once, lol!!

    Reply
  2. Alex

     /  May 25, 2011

    I made these and they were a huge hit. I put them in little gift boxes and gave them out and everyone raved about them. There’s something about that taste combination that is so delicious. And making them into cute little balls rolled in coconut was inspired.

    Reply
  3. Thanks for the delicious recipe!
    Iren

    Reply

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