Thursday, December 6, 2012

Vegan, grain and gluten-free cookie dough super bites

When I was hard-core dieting, I kind of briefly experimented with healthier desserts, like lower-sugar muffins, quinoa cookies, low-fat and low sugar granola. At some point, I realized that even really "healthy" desserts had to have a good bit of sweetness just to be worth eating, and that I really didn't have room in my calorie budget for any of it. It was better to just avoid as many sweets as possible and reduce cravings. Calories were better spent on slower release energy and meals, not extra desserts.

Well all that is still true, but I've returned to making the healthy desserts anyway, and I'm probably a 10 lbs heavier because of them, or, rather because of my inability to really be as stringent as I need to be to be 10 lbs thinner in general. The healthier desserts are one part of that.

Still - I did not revert to eating Ben and Jerry's, and I did not gain back 45 lbs. I did make some progress.

Result is, I'm obsessed with medjool dates, almonds, and the alchemy derived from combining them in a food processor. So I've experimented with date truffles, rolled, stuffed dates, date "cookie dough". You name it. I've added milled chia seeds, hemp seeds, cacao bits, cinnamon, orange peel, even Cheerios!

After much experimenting I came across this recipe  from the maker of Pure Bar- I knew it would be good just from watching the video and what I knew about those ingredients, and I made it even better, in my opinion. I reprinted the ingredients below with my alterations. I didn't keep it "raw" bc I like toasted almonds and the nutrition professors I've spoken with think the idea of nuts losing nutrients when roasted isn't so worrisome.

Pure Bar recipe from FitSugar video

1 cup medjool dates-pitted
3/4 cup toasted almonds (preferably the slivered kind from Trader Joe's)
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cacao nibs, unsweetened
1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract or preferably this super expensive vanilla paste- from Amazon or Whole Foods
1.5 Tablespoons coconut oil OR 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut (I've done both, oil has a better stronger flavor, but make them oily)
1/2 teaspoon salt or more
2 Tablespoons hemp seeds

Put all in a food processor, blend to desired consistency (more or less chunky) then press into silicone muffin tins and freeze or refrigerate

All I did to change the recipe was use the toasted almonds instead of raw cashews and I added the hemp seeds. I am not sure I used the exact measurements  - I may have had a higher date ratio, but for the purposes of this blog I'll promote the original. please taste and add more of what you think is missing and make it your own. You can try and work in some rice crispies, for a different texture.

super delicious and every ingredient adds some value - lots of antioxidents, fiber, omegas....

they go really well in a lunch box frozen or a work pouch.

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