sugar-free, soy-free, gluten-free option
1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup rolled oats (use certified gluten-free for that option)
1 cup pitted dates (I use honey dates)
1 1/2 – 2 tsp lemon zest (can reserve some for coating, if using)
1 1/2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
seeds scraped from one vanilla bean (see note; or 1/4 – 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)
couple pinches sea salt (about 1/8 tsp, wee scant)
2 – 3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut (as desired)
Extra lemon zest (about 1/2 tsp; optional)
few teaspoons (each) coconut and oats
In a food processor, add the cashews, oats, dates, zest, lemon juice, vanilla seeds, and salt and process. At first it will appear as if nothing is happening, and the mixture is just whirring around crumbly, but soon it will start to become sticky (patience my pretties)! When you see it start to become a little sticky, add the coconut and process again. Continue to process until it forms a ball on the blade. Stop, and then remove the dough. Take small scoops of the dough (about 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp in size) and roll in your hand. Repeat until you have used all of the dough. If using coating, mix ingredients in a small bowl. Toss or roll the balls in the coating if using, and refrigerate. Eat and repeat often. 🙂
Makes 14-16 dough balls.
1) To remove the vanilla seeds from the bean pod, slice the bean down the outer side using a sharp tip knife, to open up lengthwise. Press open the sides, and using a blunt (butter) knife, scrape out all the tiny seeds from the bean on both sides, and then add seeds to processor. The pod can be discarded or kept to infuse flavor in other dishes.
2) The texture of these bites is somewhat soft, but firms with chilling. For a firmer texture, add another 2 tbsp of rolled oats.
3) These are excellent to pack in school lunches (where nuts are permitted).