How To: Snack Healthy – No Bake Chocolate, Coconut, Almond, and Date Snack Balls

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The other day I was wheeling a cart around my local grocery store and noticed that all the Passover foods were out on the shelves in all their unleavened glory. How on earth is it time for Matzah already??

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This Friday evening Passover begins once again – the time when matzah replaces the usual bread and quinoa (the only kosher for passover grain product) begins to make an appearance at every meal.

The hardest part for me isn’t the meal planning – some quinoa granola and yogurt for breakfast, a salad of some kind for lunch, and chicken/salmon with sweet potatoes or quinoa for dinner. Doesn’t sound bad does it? The hardest part is the snacks.

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Sure, fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, yogurt, almond butter, and cheese are all Passover friendly, but I usually reach for a granola bar, muffin, or no bake treat for my 3pm pick me up – all no-no’s during this 8 day holiday. Thank goodness for these no bake kosher for Passover snack balls!

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Whether you’re celebrating Passover or just in need of a quick and healthy snack, these no bake balls fit the bill. Loaded with dates, almonds, cocoa, and coconut they will satisfy your mid-day hunger and chocolate craving all in one. They come together with a simple whirl of your food processor and will keep in your fridge for a good couple weeks.

Easy, one bowl, AND passover friendly – I think I’ve hit the snack gold mine here.

Dara

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No Bake Chocolate, Coconut, Almond, and Date Snack Balls

Serves 15-20 balls
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Misc Pre-preparable
Website Adapted from The Healthy Maven

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates (pitted)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 Tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp almond milk

Note

These balls are the perfect on the go or post workout snack and will surely satisfy your chocolate craving! Walnuts, pecans, or cashews could all be substituted for the almonds.

Directions

1. Place dates in the food processor and process until they have come together in a ball.
2. Break up the date ball with your hands and add the almonds, cocoa powder, 2 tbsp coconut, and salt. Process for a couple minutes, scraping down the sides, until mixture is starting to come together and almonds are broken down.
3. Add in vanilla and almond milk and process until mixture comes together in a ball.
4. Remove mixture from the food processor and roll into small balls. Roll each ball in remaining 1/4 cup of coconut. The balls will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for a couple weeks.

How To: Snack Healthy – Tahini, Oatmeal, and Date Cookies

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What do you do when it’s pouring rain outside and you are trying to entertain an almost 2 year old extremely busy toddler in a two bedroom apartment?

You bake cookies.

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I have never seen such concentration scooping oats into a bowl and mixing them about. I guess the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. So that’s one good thing about a rainy weekend – you get cookies out of it.

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These cookies have a unique sesame flavour from the tahini and get most of their sweetness from the mashed dates. While you could surely substitute peanut butter for the tahini, I urge you not too. The taste is just not the same. However, peanut butter should most definitely be used in these delicious cookies  so have no fear peanut butter lovers.

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IMG_6254While these definitely classify as cookies, they also classify as healthy. So eat them for breakfast, grab a few for a snack, or top your ice cream with some leftover crumbles.

You know, it’s probably best you make a double batch, seeing as we are now eating them at all hours of the day.

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If the weather network is right (and let’s hope they aren’t), we may be in for a rainy day or two in the next week. So fair warning, stock up on cookie ingredients ASAP!

Dara

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Tahini, Oatmeal, and Date Cookies

Serves 10
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp raisins
  • 2 Tbsp chopped almonds
  • 3 pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Note

These cookies are great for an afternoon snack or an evening treat. Feel free to substitute chocolate chips or dried cranberries for the raisins and walnuts for the almonds.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, raisins, and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl microwave dates for 20 seconds. Mash with the back of a fork and then add the tahini, maple syrup, and honey. Stir to combine.
4. Add the tahini mixture to the oats and stir well until thoroughly combined. Roll out small balls of dough and place on baking sheet. Press down to flatten with your fingers.
5. Bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool and enjoy!

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How To: Snack Healthy – Date and Almond Oatmeal Cookies

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Simple seems to be the name of the game around this house lately.

Last Monday brought you a simple, single-serving banana pancake and this week, a simple oat based cookie.

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IMG_3184It is so simple, it can be whipped together in your food processor during even the shortest of nap times.

One bowl, 5 ingredients, well 6 if you count the optional chocolate chips – so I guess actually it is 6 because when are chocolate chips really ever optional!

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These cookies actually get a double hit of almonds from the almond butter and almond flour. If you’re not familiar with almond flour, it can now be found in most grocery stores in the baking aisle. If you can’t find it, you can take regular whole almonds and grind them up in your food processor. But we’re keeping things simple over here so I bought a bag and store it in the fridge – perfect to have on hand when the baking itch strikes.

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The batter will look wet and sticky – but after a rest in the fridge it is easy to handle and shape into golf ball size cookies. If you are also working against the nap clock of an 8 month old, a short 15 minute rest in the fridge will do just fine.

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The sweet dates lend all the sweetness you need and combined with the creamy almond butter, they hold the cookies together without the need for any extra fat. In fact, these would be just as suitable for a healthy breakfast on-the go.

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Betcha can’t eat just one!

Dara

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Date, Almond, and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serves 25 cookies
Meal type Dessert, Snack
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dates (soaked in warm water for 10 minutes and then drained)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 tbsp almond meal/flour (purchased or grind fresh almonds)
  • 3/4 Cup + 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used half white chocolate and half peanut butter chips.)

Note

These simple, one bowl cookies are an easy and healthy snack you can whip together. They taste delicious on their own as well as crumbled on a bowl of Greek yogurt - a good breakfast option too!

Directions

1. Add the dates to the food processor and process until they are in small pieces.
2. Add the banana and almond butter and process again until combined.
3. Add the almond meal, salt, and rolled oats and process again until combined. The dough will be sticky and wet, that's how it should be.
4. Turn dough out into a large bowl and mix in your 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.
5. Place the dough in your fridge for at least 15 minutes and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
6. Scoop out about a tablespoon or so of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned on the bottom.
7. Store for 2-3 days at room temperature in a covered container or for about 1 week in the fridge.

How to: Snack Healthy – No Bake Energy Squares

Turns out, as you age, boundless youthful energy fades.

It’s basically robbery.

So now that I’m a grown up (and I use the term loosely) I recognize that fuelling my body the right way at the right time is key to maximizing my energy level.

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A couple of weeks ago I played in a volleyball tournament that lasted the whole day. Being a good little dietitian, I brought lots of healthy fuel for the day. Thing is, there just wasn’t a ton of time to enjoy a leisurely vegetable and hummus platter.

I’ll admit, I got ‘hangry’ (hungry-angry) and as my hunger increased so did my competitive-psycho Erin behaviours.  I felt a little like I was starring in one of those Snickers commercials.

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And then, my brilliant teammate offered me her own version of a Snickers – a homemade energy bar.

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This recipe is a take on the one she made using ingredients you can find at any major supermarket.  I’ve never used dates in anything I’ve cooked/baked/made before and I’ll tell you, I’m hooked.

Even the most basic brand comes unsweetened and entirely preservative free.  A true ‘whole food’ that has a deep, rich sweetness.

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These squares pack the energy in so a small square should do you for snack time.  You’ll be getting healthy plant based fats, carbohydrates, protein, fibre and a boost of antioxidant power from the natural cocoa powder.

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If you’re looking for something with bang for your buck to tide you over during the afternoon slump, or a quick source of energy and protein post-workout, these are a home run.

Erin

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No Bake Energy Squares

Serves Makes 16 squares
Prep time 10 minutes
Website Adapated from Tara Miller via Catelaine.com

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cup pitted dates (approximately 200g)
  • ½ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup natural cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ - ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup large flake oats
  • ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds

Directions

1. In a food processor, combine dates, tahini, cocoa powder, maple syrup, vanilla and approximately ½ cup water. Process, adding the additional water if needed until a somewhat smooth and very thick paste forms.
2. Transfer wet mixture to a bowl, add pumpkin seeds, coconut, oats and sesame seeds and mix with a spoon or with hands until well combined. The mixture will be quite sticky.
3. Transfer to a 9"x9" parchment lined baking pan. Spread and press mixture around the pan evenly. Place pan in freezer for at least an hour. Remove from freezer and cut into to 16 squares. Wrap individually if desired and refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat.