Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Nut Bombs!

So many things I mean to post about.  So few posted.

These little yum balls are me and Charlie's latest go to health bomb/treat/bribe to get him to eat his lunch.

Actually, it really started because I needed a bit more iron in my preggo diet, and I was tired of grabbing handfuls of plain pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, so I remembered a post I had read long ago about something like this, and then promptly set to work experimenting.  

These little nut bombs are packed with good nutrition!  Healthy fats, protein, fiber, and whatever vitamins and minerals your particular nuts and seeds are high in.  Which makes these especially awesome for little kids to eat, but you can eat them too. :)

The nice thing about these things is that they are SUPER SIMPLE.  And totally flexible with ingredients.  I am making them to cater to my higher iron needs, so I am using mostly sunflower, pumpkin and some almonds, but you could easily do mostly almonds, walnuts and cashews, stick with just one or two nuts/seeds, or toss in a small handful of every nut you have in the house.



So here is the recipe...and really by recipe, I just mean a set of guidelines.  Seriously.  Do whatever you want to do.

Nut Bombs!

2c. raw nuts or seeds (almond, walnut, cashew, pecan, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, etc)
      -my current go to is about 3/4 each sunflower and pumpkin, and 1/2c almond

1-2c dried fruit (dates, raisins, cherries, cranberries, blueberries, etc)
      -I generally stick with mostly raisins (cause they are cheap), and some dates (because I like the
flavor)

Any extra add ins (optional): I will toss in 1-2Tbsp of hemp, flaxmeal, chia, raw cacao, or unsweetened coconut - or all of them!  I've also started adding 1-2tsp of ground cinnamon, and up to 1 tsp of ground ginger for a nice spicy kick.

Place all nuts/seeds in processor and pulse/process till nuts are turned into a fine meal.  Start adding dried fruit little bits at a time (1 PITTED date at a time, 1/4c raisins at a time, you get the idea).  The amount of dried fruit I use varies each time.  Continue processing till mixture comes together*.  Once mixture comes together, and is sticky enough to squish together (but still crumbly and not nut buttery), scoop mixture out 1 Tbsp at a time and roll into balls.  Keep in the fridge for 7-10 days.  

*So this whole "mixture comes together"thing is the only even slightly difficult part of this.  The more you process nuts, the more the oils release.  If you are trying to use closer to 1c instead of 2c of nuts, be sure to process the nuts a little more, to release more oils, to make getting to the "sticky" part, a little easier with less fruit.  If it doesn't matter how much dried fruit you use and aren't watching sugar intake, then the increased fruit provides the necessary stickiness to hold these things together.  Whatever you do, don't process the nuts enough that they start to turn nut buttery.  But that really does take a long time.

And that's it folks.  Really I think I might have over explained them with that last paragraph, but I remember being slightly baffled the first time I went from really crumbly dough, to much more oily, sticky dough.  So you got the explanation early.

If you are feeling fancy, roll these little suckers in some shredded unsweetened coconut.  And whatever you do, try not to eat them all at once.  

Actually you could.  They are pretty darn healthy.

But of course these are mostly nuts and seeds, so if you are watching your fats and oils, don't eat them all. If you aren't watching your fat intake, eat away. :-)

And of course, enjoy. :-)



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