I know I have already posted about these date balls or bars as I sometimes like to make them, but I know you haven't tried them yet. I know they are the kind of thing you kind of have to taste to be convinced that you too need to get yourself some Medjool dates. That is why you might see me carrying around a little container of them begging people to taste my new flavor. I am a crazy lady and I have gone crazy inventing new flavors. I have now made seven different kinds. Have I convinced you yet???
Cut them open and take out the pits. I like to cut each one into fourths to help the food processor along. COUNT YOUR PITS! Make sure you have 12 and throw them away. I have accidentally put one in the processor a few times. Trust me. You will know if this happens to you. Set the dates to the side.
Place one over flowing cup of almonds into the processor and turn it on for a few minutes. You want it to be ground pretty finely.
It should look like this with no big chunks. Pour the almonds into a separate container and put the dates into the processor.
You will want to process the dates until they form into a ball. It is one sticky big ball of dates! Then dump your almonds back in and get your other ingredients ready.
This is where the fun begins! Most of these date balls I have made have only 4-5 ingredients. I absolutely love that! It makes them a cinch to whip up and I feel good about how healthy they are. For the sake of this post I will pretend you are all making my latest version, Chocolate Cherry, but I will give you all the recipes!
You do need to use dried fruit. Regular fruit would have too much moisture and would also leave chunks of the peel which wouldn't roll up nicely or taste great. I added about 2/3 of a cup of these dried cherries. It can be a bit of a struggle to find dried fruit without added sugar. Do your best! The dates already have plenty of natural sugar and are super sweet. You don't need any added sugar. Pour the cherries into the processor.
Then add about 3 tbsp. of unsweetened cocoa powder. You can add a bit more if it isn't chocolaty enough for you.
Because the flavor of the cherries was a bit mild the flavor wasn't turning out like I had imagined it would. Almond extract can sometimes take on a cherry flavor so I added about 1/2 tsp. Don't go overboard with this. Start with the 1/2 tsp. and add more if you find it isn't enough for you. It is a strong flavor! This was the perfect addition. Process this mixture until it all comes together. Stop the processor and pick a bit out and try to roll it into a ball. If it comes together easily then you are done. If you find it isn't coming together easily then you may need to add a bit of milk or process a bit longer. I like to use almond milk but regular is fine too. I would definitely keep them in the fridge after that though. You probably won't need more than a tsp. of milk.
This is what your mixture should look like. Dump that out onto a piece of waxed paper and start rolling into balls. I usually get about 30-32 balls out of one batch.
This happens to be the lemon ginger flavor but this is an idea of the size for you. I would probably call them one inch balls or maybe just under an inch.
You can also flatten the mixture and use a rolling pin to get a nice even square and cut them into bite size squares. I like to do this if I am serving these more as a dessert then an energy ball or little pick me up. I do have to cut the uneven edges off when doing it this way and press those scraps into a new square until the mixture is all used up.Store them flat with parchment or waxed paper between layers if you do it this way.
This is how I like to store them. I do keep them in the fridge. I like them to firm up a bit and the date container says to store the dates in the fridge after opening. If you like them softer then take a few out at a time and leave them on the counter for a bit.
Miles and I have both loved having these around the house. They are perfect for before or after a workout or for that little something sweet to cleanse your palate after a meal. I also like them when I am just having a snack attack!