I almost called these “Coco-Walnut Creamy Ball Snacks.” Ballsnacks. Honestly?
I swear my mind is not really that dirty.
Anyway, the idea for these snack balls came to me on a total whim. I was about to leave the house to go grocery shopping and I wanted to bring something with me to eat. I looked in my cupboard and saw a box of Larabars I hadn’t touched in a while.
Checked the ingredients: “Dates, unsweetened coconut, almonds, cashews, extra virgin coconut oil.”
Well hey, nothin’ wrong with those, I thought. I’m on the tail end of the last stage of GAPS Intro, so everything in there is pretty much fair game for me.
So I opened one up, only to find it covered in mold! Sick! Into the trash went my box of bars, each one a dollar and thirty-five cents, down the drain. Whine.
But then I said, now wait a second. I have all those ingredients! Well, mostly. I only had soaked and dried crispy walnuts — no almonds or cashews on hand.
Who cares? Nuts are nuts. They’re all good.
I started throwing things into my little pink food processor.
In went about a cup of the nuts. Then some dried coconut. And coconut oil. And dates. And then I said, you know what? I’m doing honey, too. (I remembered the original Larabars I ate before they went moldy just weren’t sweet enough for me. Plus, the more carbs, the better.)
I blended the snot out of it and it. was. AWESOME.
I shared the awesomeness on Facebook and requests started coming in for this very post I’m writing with the recipe, so, here it is. Ball it up, people.
How to Make Ball Snacks — I mean — Snack Balls.
- 1 cup soaked and dried raw walnuts
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 6 or 7 dried organic dates
- 2/3 cup coconut flakes
- 1 big spoonful of raw honey
[easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B001F3LC80″ locale=”us” height=”73″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41zDX2OsroL._SL110_.jpg” width=”110″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B001EO5Q64″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51CCAuLWjFL._SL110_.jpg” width=”101″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B001E5DRC8″ locale=”us” height=”109″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ojEmSKCPL._SL110_.jpg” width=”110″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B002YR97BU” locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51L-j7v4zhL._SL110_.jpg” width=”85″][easyazon-image align=”none” asin=”B00014JNI0″ locale=”us” height=”110″ src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31qdW25MpdL._SL110_.jpg” width=”70″]
First, grind up about a cup of walnuts in your food processor. It’ll actually start to kind of turn into walnut butter. But, it doesn’t have to go all the way to butter status if you don’t want. Just get them good and chopped up.
Then, add in the rest. Blend it up as much as you want.
And now, form them into balls. (Or if you want to be not nearly as fun, you could pat them down into a pan and cut into bar shapes, like the Larabars. Lame.)
Put your balls in the fridge. They will harden a little because of the coconut oil, which becomes solid at anything less than a hot day in Hawaii, so basically never in my house.
Now, if you really want to get fancy, you could go ahead and roll your balls around in some cocoa/cacao powder. I would totally do this if I had it on hand. I don’t yet, but it’s on order. I found some good deals on the stuff from Vitacost. (If you haven’t experienced how amazing Vitacost is yet, with their super cheap prices and their free shipping and their ginormous selection on just about everything us crunchy people love, you can click here and get yourself a $10 coupon. I’ll get one too, and that way I can get more ingredients to make more balls to share with you. Win-win.)
Do you love balls?
I feel like this is one of those times where I think I’ve invented something, when really about a hundred thousand other people have already made the same thing. (It happens a lot.)
Anyone got any other good ball recipes to share? Or Larabar knock-off’s? I know they’re out there. I’m gonna keep making more recipes based off these things though, and pretending I was the first one to do it.
(Thanks for indulging me.)
Balls FTW. Enjoy!
Chef Christy says
You could use a more classical term: kebabs. That word really does mean the balls, not the skewer! There is a 12th Century recipe for “Hais” that I make all the time, but especially for camping trips and any travel away from home. They include almonds and pistachios as the nuts, dates, sesame oil, and call for either more oil or butter along with breadcrumbs. I get puffed rice cereal and blend it to make my crumbs for GF (not sure about GAPS and grains, but you can do without) and I use toasted sesame oil for flavor, then add either coconut oil or almond oil. I didn’t have enough dates once and ended up using other dried fruits I had on hand such as prunes, apricots and raisins. We’ve agreed we like the mixture of fruits even better!
There is a recipe below, but I find I usually add ingredients and judge the texture by feel (yes, I like to feel my balls, I mean kebabs 🙂 ). When you squeeze it and it holds together well, you’re there.
al-Baghdadi p. 214/14 (GOOD)
Take fine dry bread, or biscuit, and grind up well. Take a ratl of this, and three quarters of a ratl of fresh or preserved dates with the stones removed, together with three uqiya of ground almonds and pistachios. Knead all together very well with the hands. Refine two uqiya of sesame-oil, and pour over, working with the hand until it is mixed in. Make into cabobs, and dust with fine-ground sugar. If desired, instead of sesame-oil use butter. This is excellent for travellers.
2 2/3 c bread crumbs
2 c (about one lb) pitted dates
1/3 c ground almonds
1/3 c ground pistachios
7 T melted butter or sesame oil
We usually mix dates, bread crumbs, and nuts in a food processor or blender. For “cabobs,” roll into one inch balls. Good as caravan food. They last forever if you do not eat them, but you do so they don’t.
random correction – kebabs actually means meat cooked over or next to an open flame/fire. That’s the original meaning of the words. Never heard it used to describe balls before.
On another note, this recipe sounds delicious…will definitely have to give it a try. I found your page a few days ago & have been busily bookmarking all the recipes & “X” number of ways to use “insert healthy/odd thing here” Love the site as a whole! 🙂
yum and funny
laughed my way thru this post, especially the part “put your balls in the fridge”! 🙂 And my mind isn’t normally in the gutter either! Will have to try this recipe soon, hope I don’t choke while eating them.
I like to make snack balls with nut butter, coconut, honey, nuts, maybe a little dark chocolate and anything else I can put in there. I don’t make these often (or I would eat them!) But, all things considered, not a bad snack. I avoid oats and puffed cereal for the obvious reasons… can’t soak the oats and cereal is toxic. 🙂 I’ll have to try your version sometime!
Susan W says
I agree, Sarah. Cereal is toxic. Hubby is moving slowly away from it. I call it “dog food” or his “kibbles and bits”. 😉
City Share says
I have to admit that I have never tasted a Lara Bar, but I hear only good things. These sound fabulous. I’ll have to give these a try.
Susan W says
Sounds tasty. Tasty, indeed! I have all of the items on hand and I just love coconut oil. I could eat it right out of the jar had I didn’t have restraint! 🙂
Susan W says
BB, if and when you are allowed butter, (I think you could do it with coconut oil) you should really make some ladoo: chick pea flour, pan toasted in butter, with date sugar and shredded unsweetened coconut. (You can also add some ground almonds to it) Toast them in a frying pan and then let cool to the point that you can form them into balls (oops!) uh… spheres. Then you can roll them in coconut, almonds or both. It’s a sweet treat from India. First time I had some was in 1975, when some Hare Krishnas came up to Penn State and they were giving them out.
What is this “crunchy” I have been hearing about?
Oh,and thanks for the recipe. I have the same food processor, but it’s not pink (even though pink is my fav color.)
I just want to say thank you for the great recipe, and the snort- inducing laughter. 😀
Linda DeLaura says
I used to love Larabars UNTIL I discovered that they are now owned by General Mills who just happed to have made a huge donation to fight the labeling of GMOs in California!!! I am boycotting them now. But Cliff bars make great organic bars that taste just like Larabars. They are called Kit’s Organic bars. I will try this recipe because you can’t beat homemade.
Just made these this afternoon and they’re almost gone…I have to say, these are absolutely delicious and ridiculously easy to make – they will be my go-to when I get a sweets craving that I can’t ignore! Consider these now a staple (for me at least) in our home!
May I ask why you soak the walnuts?
That is so strange about the mold on the Larabars…I thought they would last an eternity if unopened..guess not. Is the honey optional in this recipe? I don’t seem to have any on hand
I don’t even care about your recipe, you just made me laugh out loud! (Though I will be trying these asap!) Thanks!
I have a question about the walnuts – why do you soak them, and do you have to?
Oh I just laughed so hard I laughed even more. Thank you. Recipe also soinds delicious.
Irene Kennedy says
I clicked on the site for the $10 coupon, created an account and lost the page with the coupon’s number. I can’t get it back. Bummer! Any suggestions?