Food + Wine

Raw (and Healthy!) Cookie Balls

Ever been to one of those health food stores (you know, the ones that smell like turmeric?) with the big bins of beans, grains and veganized versions of junk food? I love those stores. They’re generally uber pricey but have such amazing things. (note- the raw ingredients in the bulk bins, specifically spices, are actually CHEAPER there than at a regular grocery store) One thing you can always count on these stores having is a big selection of ‘energy bites’. There are usually spirulina ones, cranberry ones, carob chip ones, and they basically are some sort of healthy grain mixed with fruit or fake chocolate, among other things, and pressed together before cutting into squares.

These little bites remind me a lot of Larabars. Those are the only snack bars that I will buy because they are only made of ground up dried fruit and nuts. They are very delicious, and completely natural, even my 4 year old loves them.  Well I saw a recipe for something very similar to those energy bites the other day and wanted to try it. Only, (you know me), I didn’t really follow her recipe exactly…

These little bites are absolutely delicious! Both my 4 year old and my slightly older husband agree. I will be making these again a lot, if not weekly.  They are a great thing to have on hand for a snack and great for when you have a sweet tooth. They are so easy to make that I literally made them in 3 minutes while the baby finished up the last of her lunch.

I have noted a couple different variations to the recipe, but I encourage you to make them your own with the things that you like or have on hand. For instance, replace the agave with honey if that’s what you have, use raw barley or wheat flakes instead of the oats, add raisins or other dried fruit, chocolate chips, use nutella instead of the nut butter, peanut or cashew butter instead of the almond, etc, etc. The only thing I would pay attention to is that the ratio of grain to wet sweetener stay the same, and that if you take out the coconut (which helps with the moisture), replace it with an equal amount of another moist, dried fruit…maybe a pureed or finely chopped one like a prune? I also used unsalted, natural almond butter and sweetened coconut flakes because it’s what I had, but if yours is salted butter and unsweetened coconut, then you probably won’t need the salt and would need less sweetener (my agave version ended up being a little too sweet for me, actually, but I was afraid any less agave would result in a crumbly mess.  That’s why I noted a less sweet variation at the bottom of the recipe.)

So here it is, I hope you enjoy it!

*Raw Cookie Balls
(recipe makes 15-20 balls, depending on the size you roll them)

1 cup raw, rolled oats
1/2 cup unsalted almond butter
1/3 cup agave nectar*
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flax seed
Splash vanilla extract
Couple pinches kosher salt
-Mix everything together in a mixing bowl until well combined.  Roll into balls, pressing together well with your hands.
-Keep in a airtight container in the refrigerator for a week or two.

(*use unsweetened applesauce for a less sweet version and add 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon to it to make them ‘apple cinnamon’ cookie balls)

If you want a more smooth cookie, then follow the following recipe for a just-as-delicious cookie ball!
-1 cup oats
-3/4 cup raw walnuts
-1/2 cup ground flax seeds (or whole if you have that)
-splash vanilla extract
-several pinches of kosher salt
-1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
-1/3 cup agave nectar
(add any flavorings you want at this point…cinnamon, other extracts, citrus zest, etc.  And if you’d like to change it up even more, stir in some chocolate chips, dried fruit, or anything else you’d like!)


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