When my mother was in town last month, we picked up some medjool dates at the local warehouse store where we have a membership. I kind of felt like a kid in a candy store when we made the purchase because neither my mom nor I usually buy dates at home because neither my dad nor my husband are fans, and it’s a caloric nightmare to eat a huge box of dates by oneself. But they are so good, one of my favorite foods, and I enjoyed sharing them with my mommy while she was here.
Just after she left, I purchased one more box with the intention of using the dates to sweeten other dishes in lieu of sugar or honey. And I did, mostly in smoothies like this one, but I really wanted to make some sort of recipe featuring the dates for the blog. I thought about cookies, or an appetizer, but 18 month molars (or whatever teeth grow around that age) had the Godfather and I just exhausted, and the thought of making anything that took more than 2 steps just seemed too daunting. I found myself grabbing a date here and there in the afternoons along with some water to try and keep my energy up, but the rush of sugar was causing a crash after. I needed to make something that would hold me a little longer and still provide that mid-afternoon “boost”.
A quick look through the pantry revealed just enough other ingredients to make these easy no bake power balls using the dates for sweetness, oats for another source of carbohydrates, peanut butter for protein, and chia seeds because they’re awesome. One or two and some water have been my better-than-coffee (and easier!) pick-me-up mid-afternoon snack. Enjoy!
- 2 c rolled oats
- 1 c smooth nut butter of choice
- 1½ c pitted medjool dates
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- pinch salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ c maple syrup*
- 2-4 tbsp water
- Place all ingredients except the water into a large food processor and pulse until a dough forms. If it's a little dry, add water, 1 tbsp at a time until the dough comes together enough to roll, but isn't too sticky.
- Scoop into balls about 1½ tbsp in size and roll. Place in a single layer in a container with a lid. Use parchment or wax paper between layers. Close the container, and refrigerate to firm.
- Store in the refrigerator up to one week.