Thursday, December 12, 2013

Not-So-Naughty Sweets: Gingerbread Bliss Balls

Back so soon? Ah, I knew those cheesy-eggy muffins would keep you coming back for more! ;-)

This morning we are switching gears a bit from our breakfast focus to mmmmm.... SWEETS! As I'm sure you all know, sweets are absolutely ev-er-y-where! You can run, but you can't hide... ha ha! So, besides incorporating my other Healthy Holiday Tips, whipping up a batch of these super-easy, incredibly delicious Gingerbread Bliss Balls will promise to keep you off the naughty list this year.

Why are these little gems so great? Oh, so glad you asked!

- NO sugar, NO butter, NO oil, NO flour. For real. 
- sweetened with nature's candy: dates
- dates have a super low "GI score" which means the sugars are released slowly and steadily into your blood keeping you feeling full and satisfied longer
- they are only 100 calories a pop and packed with 4 SUPERfoods... score
- they take 10 minutes to make -> whip up a double batch, seal in airtight container and keep them in the freezer until you're called upon to contribute some goodies for a holiday party - easy peasy! 

Gingerbread Bliss Balls
Adapted from Running On Real Food + Nutritionist In The Kitch 

1 1/4 c pecan pieces
1 c quick oats
2 tbsp cinnamon
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp honey
1.5 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 cup dates (approximately 20)
a few grinds of fresh sea salt

Throw pecan pieces and quick oats into a food processor (I use my Magic Bullet because Santa hasn't brought me my long-awaited food processor yet *wink wink Santa*). Process until close to a flour consistency. 

Add cinnamon, ginger, cloves and salt to the pecan/oat flour you have created and pulse to distribute evenly. 

Now here's where the dates come in. If you have pitted dates, simply chop them up roughly and add to the processor - if they are not pitted, remove the pits, chop and add to processor.  Process until a nice dough forms. Add honey and molasses to the mixture and fold these ingredients into the dough with your hands. 

 Grab a tablespoon sized chunk of dough, roll into balls, and place on a nice big cookie tray lined with parchment or tin foil. If the dough sticks to your hands while you're rolling, a little water on your hands really helps to un-stick it all :) Put the tray of bliss balls into the freezer to set and transfer into an airtight container or baggie to store. Because these goodies are free from preservatives, they are best stored in the freezer. 

Fit Tip: Dates can be purchased at pretty much any grocery store - and trust me - I've tried them all! Some are too dry, some have those funky little nubs on the end, some are pricier than others. I've found that Save-On-Foods' newest brand is the best - the most moist, fresh, and well priced. Wrapped in a little yellow cardboard box in the Produce section and are called "Bam" dates. But feel free to use whichever brand you prefer, of course!

I hope you all enjoy this delicious, nutritious recipe and am more than happy to answer any questions you have about this recipe or any of the other tips I've provided. 

For now, I'll leave you with one of my favorites.. 

"Success is a sum of several small efforts, repeated day in and day out" - Robert Collier

Yours in strength & stretchiness,

- Brooke

Facebook | @BrilliantByBrooke
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