one thing is true about this time of year…. there is no lack of sweet things to eat.
if you’ve followed this site for any time at all you know that i indeed have a weakness for all things sugared and baked. surprisingly, i confess that my sweet tooth is waning. too many bites of sugar leaves me feeling weird and jittery. (not rocket science, i know). and i am not quick to feed too much sweet to my kiddos because their tiny bodies seem to succumb to illnesses so easily during these colder months. we need all the immune support we can get and sugar doesn’t help!
however, these little growing people are always hungry. always. and with christmas treats around it’s hard to keep those hands from grabbing cookies and candy. as with any good plan, the answer is preparation.
that preparation means having easy-to-grab, whole food, healthy snacks that are high in protein to help them grow and stave off hunger pains, and some natural sugars to satisfy their sweet tooths a bit. my answer is an easy-to-prepare, no-bake christmas date-nut ball full of nuts and fruit and all the flavors of the season. after the first bite, my son declared “mmmm, these taste like christmas!” …and so they were named.
for even more healthy snack ideas for your kids and yourself, visit nuts.com.
Christmas Date-Nut Balls
- 13-14 fresh dates pitted
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sweetened dried cranberries
- 1 cup pecans
- 1 cup walnuts
- Combine dates, coconut oil, salt, vanilla, orange zest, and cinnamon in the container of a food processor or blender. Pulse until mixture almost forms a paste.
- Add cranberries, pecans, and walnuts. Pulse until nuts are very coarsely chopped. Stir with a spatula to combine, if needed.
- Form balls with greased hands with slightly heaping tablespoonfuls of mixture. Store in refrigerator.