disclosure: by posting this recipe i am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the california raisin marketing board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. i was not compensated for my time.
’tis the season to indulge.
sugar cookies, gingerbread houses, peppermint bark, apple strudel, fudge, divinity, buche de noel, date balls…. what a fantastic (completely inexhaustive) list of sugar-packed holiday treats. i love the tradition of it all. i love the experience of it all. i love the tastes and smells. the joys of making and baking and sharing it all.
what i don’t love is knowing the horrid effects that all of that sugar has on our bodies. it’s no wonder everyone tends to be ill during the sugar-laden holiday seasons… we are doing ourselves and our immune systems no favor by constantly feeding ourselves sugar. did you know within 30 minutes of eating sugar your body’s ability to fight germs drops for up to 5 hours. i know… i hate passing on the bad news… but we might as well face the truth.
the good news is that there’s a way to have our proverbial cake and eat it too (sorry… pun intended). as i mentioned in this golden raisin & golden apple post, raisins are a fantastic, natural way to sweeten without any extra sugar at all. those little guys are all-natural, with no added sugar. their sweetness comes from their own juices, concentrating and sweetening as they dry in the sun. their skins provide extra fiber, too, which slows our blood sugar spikes and keeps us healthier too.
i have a definite weakness for all things peanut butter and chocolate. those two flavors were meant to be together… the ultimate salty-sweet combination, if you ask me. and for some folks, it isn’t christmas until the peanut butter balls are made.
though they’ve not always been a part of our family’s christmas cookie tray, i cannot disagree with the holiday peanut butter ball crowd. these peanut butter balls, however, use only golden raisins to sweeten them… both delicious and some extra nutrition for a less indulgent holiday treat.
i’m thrilled to feed these to my family, knowing i’m not taxing their little immune systems and perpetuating a nasty germ season.
it’s christmas time… time to be celebrating the birth of Christ, and eating delicious meals and treats, and enjoying the ones we love.
Peanut Butter Balls
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 3/4 cup California golden raisins
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup 60% bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
- Combine peanut butter, raisins, vanilla paste, and salt in the container of a small food processor or blender. Pulse and blend until mixture is smooth.
- Roll mixture into 1-inch balls. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
- Combine chocolate chips and oil in a medium saucepan. Heat gently until just melted, stirring often.
- Dip balls in melted chocolate, working with one ball at a time. Lift ball out with a fork and tap fork gently on the side of the bowl to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on wax or parchment paper until chocolate is set, or chill quickly to set chocolate. (To get a swirl on top, just as the chocolate is setting, swirl it gently on top with a toothpick!)
- Store in fridge.