Last weekend I went to a Christmas party with a group of friends and shared these tasty sweet treats for the first time. They went over REALLY well!
I actually made a version of this recipe two years ago but wanted to come up with a new and improved version that was more authentic and closer to the real thing.
If you’ve ever had one of those fancy, gold-wrapped hazelnut chocolates by the brand Ferrero Rocher, you’ll see where the inspiration for today’s treats comes from. I’ve always been unsure how to pronounce the brand, and apparently I’m not alone. Over 20,000 people have watched the YouTube video for how to pronounce “Ferrero Rocher.”
This recipe takes a few more steps than a typical recipe I make, but I can assure you it will be worth every minute! Try these at home, and bring them to an upcoming holiday party or event.
I hope you enjoy them as much as we did 🙂
Yield: 21-24 truffles
24 hazelnuts, lightly toasted
1 cup raw hazelnuts
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
1 cup Medjool dates, pits removed
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown rice crisps
3/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil
Set the toasted hazelnuts aside in a bowl. Then, grind 1 cup hazelnuts, cacao powder and salt in a food processor until it reaches the texture of a fine meal.
Add dates, maple syrup, and vanilla and process until a dough starts to form. Pour brown rice crisps into the food processor feed tube or hole while the processor is still running, just until crisps are incorporated (you still want pieces of the crisps to be visible).
Turn off food processor, remove dough and shape it into a large ball. Remove 1-inch pieces of dough and shape into smaller balls. Wrap each ball around one of the toasted hazelnuts and press with your fingers to seal. Set balls aside on parchment-lined baking sheet or small cutting board.
In a double boiler (glass pyrex bowl positioned over a small saucepan filled with 1-2 inches of water over medium heat), melt chocolate chips and coconut oil, stirring until smooth and silky. Turn off heat and allow steam to continue warming the chocolate. Roll balls, one at a time, in the chocolate and remove using a toothpick. Place chocolate-coated balls on parchment paper.
Once all balls have been coated in chocolate, put them in the freezer to set, about 30 minutes. Store in your fridge or freezer.
I’d been wanting to come up with a new holiday recipe (and I absolutely love dessert!), so when my friend, Brenda, suggested that I try the Gingerbread Larabar, I was inspired to make this recipe.
The first time I tried ginger, I wasn’t a fan, but over the years, I’ve grown to love it! It’s one of my favorite ingredients because it’s versatile, flavorful and full of some serious health-promoting benefits, including digestive support.
Gingerbread recipes take things one step further with the addition of the blackstrap molasses. Of all of the sweeteners out there, blackstrap molasses is one of the few that has some serious nutritional value.
It has greater antioxidant activity and a lower glycemic index (blood sugar-spiking potential) than cane sugar, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar and agave.
It has a very distinct flavor, but in this recipe, I only use a little bit, and it brings everything together and adds a hint of the signature molasses flavor you’ve come to expect from gingerbread.
I’ve taste-tested these treats with coworkers, friends, and family, and everyone is on board, so I know you will love them! If you want to get fancy, you can roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper and use little gingerbread cookie cutters to make shapes!
After spending two weeks in upstate New York and the Pacific Northwest for vacation, Bill and I were both looking forward to being home.
We hadn’t been home for 48 hours before I was busy experimenting with new recipes. This one turned out to be a big hit with my husband’s men’s softball team (and their fans!).
I’ve made about dozen different recipes for no-bake energy bites, so I was trying to come up with a flavor combo I hadn’t tried before.
Sooo, I tried apple pie in August…why not? 🙂
Our friend, Matt, said these were the best things I’ve ever made, so I knew I had to share the recipe with all of you…and the quick video for how to make it. My husband, Bill, has been a BIG help making techie things like this happen.
1 1/2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla powder
1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped (Granny Smith works best)
1/4 cup raisins
3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted (DON’T use deglet dates…they’re not as chewy!)
1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
Add oats, walnuts, almonds, spices, and salt to the food processor and process for about 20-25 seconds or until it reaches a coarse meal.
Add the vanilla, apples, raisins, and dates, and process until it forms a ball. You may have to stop the processor, break apart the dough chunks and process again a few times to blend it all together.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in shredded coconut. Store in fridge or freezer.
If you grew up in the 90s or knew a kid who did, chances are you at least knew about the tasty snack gems known as Combos.
These little hollowed out pretzel logs were stuffed with all sorts of flavor-packed goodness, from cheddar cheese to pepperoni pizza.
I could house a bag of Combos in a matter of minutes, and my absolute favorite flavor was Pizza. They were addictive!
And after taking a look at the ingredient list, I can see why.
As a kid, I couldn’t have cared less about the ingredient lists of the foods I was eating.
(Which would explain why things like Toaster Strudels, Gushers, Fruit by the Foot, Sour Patch Kids, Dunkaroos, Funyuns, and Little Debbie Swiss Rolls were perfectly permissible snacks on a regular basis :))
But, as an adult, who feels better than I’ve ever felt, I do care.
I don’t follow a strict set of “rules,” per se, but I do make sure that the food I eat is real (not a chemical concoction), whole (an avocado vs. a Cheeto), unprocessed (is a plant vs. made in a plant) and health-promoting.
I prioritize the “fuel” I put in my body and make sure it’s high quality, going to give me energy, and make me feel good…because I like feeling good.
Don’t you? 🙂
I was inspired to “upgrade” Combos and bring some of the same flavors to a healthy snack bite. When Bill and our friend, Brian, tried one for the first time, theysaid it tasted like Pizza Combos…YES!
One of the best parts is that they are no-bake, so they come together quickly. These are snacks you (and your kids) could have every day!
1 cup almonds
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (I used Trader’s Joe’s jarred ones, since they were soaked in olive oil. If you only have dried tomatoes, soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften them and add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the final recipe for moisture.)
1/4 cup hemp seeds
Some of the ingredients in this yummy recipe!
Coating (Optional but awesome)
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Process almonds in a food processor until they reach a fine meal, about 30-45 seconds.
Add remaining ingredients through hemp seeds and process for about 60 seconds, or until the mixture looks like this and clumps together.The longer you process, the longer the oils from the nuts and seeds release and bind everything.
Form the dough into 1 inch balls and set aside.
In a mini food processor (or the bigger ones you just used), make the cashew coating, and process until it reaches a fine texture.
Roll the dough balls in the coating and store them in a glass container in the refrigerator.
Aaand this is what my kitchen looked like afterwards…:o) It’s okay to make a mess. It makes me feel like a mad scientist!
He wanted to help us make them, too, so we propped him up on the counter next to the food processor and laughed as he watched the food processor whirl, mesmerized and totally focused on his newfound entertainment.
My sister-in-law, Layne mentioned that she’d heard a mom on a local radio station talk about Lactation Cookies that she used to stimulate milk production while she was nursing.
The only problem?
It costs $40 for one dozen cookies.
Not exactly something most of us could afford on a consistent basis, no matter how tasty or helpful they are.
Layne had also heard about the benefits of Mother’s Milk tea from Traditional Medicinals, which contains many of the lactogenic ingredients listed below.
Determined to find an alternative to the $40/dozen cookies, I went into nerdy food research mode and started looking online to learn more about lactogenic foods called galactagogues (ga-LAC-ta-goggs) – foods that are known to naturally increase milk production. I found a few different lists, but certain foods were consistent:
Nuts, seeds and nut butters
Beans & legumes (lentils, peas, beans)
Leafy green vegetables (spinach, kale, broccoli, etc.)
Stone fruits like papaya, dates, and apricots
Coconut & coconut milk
Herbs & spices like cumin seeds, anise, fennel seeds, fenugreek, alfalfa, milk thistle, and turmeric
As I was looking through the list, I noticed some common themes. They’re all whole, unprocessed, real foods, and many of them also have strong anti-inflammatory properties.
So whether you’re breastfeeding or not, these foods are nourishing! And, no, you won’t start lactating just because you’re eating lactation cookies. You have to be breastfeeding for that to happen 🙂
Check out the recipe below to make your OWN no-bake lactation cookies (much cheaper than $40/dozen!). The key lactogenic ingredients are oats, flaxseed, dates, cinnamon, and coconut.
A few notes about this recipe that will be helpful as you shop for ingredients:
We buy gluten-free oats from Trader Joe’s.
We use a coffee grinder to grind our flaxseeds, but you can also just buy milled flaxseed or flaxseed meal. You get the most nutrition from the seeds when you grind the whole seeds just before using them.
We always use raw honey because of its health benefits. Trader Joe’s, Wegmans, MOMs, Whole Foods, and any natural foods store sell raw honey.
You can use almond butter instead of peanut butter for a greater lactogenic effect. If you use almonds, use a total of two tablespoons of honey because almond butter is milder in flavor than peanut butter.
The shredded coconut is optional and doesn’t leave a coconut taste – it just adds another galactagogue! If you absolutely hate coconut (like my husband) or are allergic, you can leave it out. The peanut butter dominates the taste anyway, so Bill didn’t even notice the coconut 🙂
These little bite combine a bunch of lactation-supportive ingredients that nourish both mama and baby.
1/4teaspoonfine grain sea salt
1/2cupsunflower seed butteror almond or peanut butter (I prefer to make them allergen-free)
Put the oats, ground flaxseeds, shredded coconut, salt and cinnamon in a food processor fitted with the S-blade, and run for about one minute until it reaches the consistency of a fine meal.
Add the rest of the ingredients, and run the food processor for about 60-90 seconds or until everything is combined and starts to clump around the sides.
Mold hunks of the dough about one tablespoon at a time into round balls. Store in the fridge in a glass container. We like taking them out a few minutes before eating so they soften up a bit.
I used to put chocolate chips in these, but babies are supposed to stay away from chocolate until about their first birthday because of the caffeine content, so if you're not a nursing mama, feel free to add in 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs before taking the dough out of the food processor!
If you're not a huge fan of flax, cut the portion back to 1/4 cup.
If you’re a mom and want to learn more about how to increase your milk supply, boost your immunity, lift depression, lose weight, and even reduce colic and allergies, check out the book Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson. Please consult with your doctor or lactation consultant for further guidance.
Here are a few other recipes on my blog that are full of galactagogues. I’ve given you a link to the recipe and listed the lactogenic foods next to it:
Curried Lentil & Rice Casserole (lentils, brown rice, carrots, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, cumin turmeric) – This is one of our FAVORITE dishes of all time. It freezes well, too!
These little treats comes together in about 10 minutes and are great to make with your kids. I was able to recreate the chewy texture and cinnamon-sugar flavor of traditional Snickerdoodle cookies without using refined sugar or flour.
The key is using blanched almonds.
I bought mine at Trader Joe’s and dumped the whole bag in the food processor to grind them up until they reached a fine almond meal. You can also just use blanched almond meal if you have it, but the method I used is the cheaper way to go.
Most grocery stores sell blanched almond slivers in the baking aisle, so you should have no problem finding them. (I tried the recipe with whole almonds, and it didn’t taste as good.)
These bite-sized treats make a great dessert or after school snack.
They have an energizing combo of healthy fats, fiber and protein from the almonds and almond butter along with a hefty dose of blood-sugar balancing cinnamon. I know you will love this recipe! 🙂
Bill and I have been making that smoothie a lot lately for breakfast, and the flavors in it inspired today’s recipe for chewy cherry chocolate brownie bites.
Several ingredients in these brownie bites are anti-inflammatory, health boosting and super satisfying, including almonds, walnuts, and cacao powder. Those three foods also made my Top 11 Sweet Treat Staples pantry list.
My friends and coworkers, Michela and Jillian, were all over these when I brought them to a party last week. Jillian called them Cherry Bombs, which is pretty appropriate since they are like an explosion of flavor! 🙂
In a food processor fitted with the “s” blade or a coffee grinder, process the cacao nibs until they are broken into smaller pieces. Set them aside.
Put the almonds and walnuts in the food processor and process until finely ground, about 45 seconds.
Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the mixture becomes sticky – about 2 minutes.
Form into balls about 1 inch in diameter, and roll them in the crushed cacao nibs for some crunch! Store them in the fridge. They taste even better after they’ve had a chance to sit for a couple of hours, so all the flavors can meld.
Depending on who you ask, masala recipes vary, but they almost always include cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and black pepper. Some blends also use nutmeg and/or star anise, which has a licorice-like taste.
Not only does this spice blend make for a rich and flavorful tea, but it also works well in dessert recipes like this one.
Almonds and almond butter serve as the base of this recipe.
1/8 teaspoon black pepper (yes, you read that right!)
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pulse almonds and 1/2 cup shredded coconut in a food processor until completely ground (no chunks of almonds!).
Add the remaining ingredients, except for the 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut, and blend in the food processor until all ingredients are combined into a dough-like consistency.
Lightly toast the remaining 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut until lightly browned.
Roll dough into balls with the palms of your hands, and then roll them in the toasted shredded coconut.
Store in the refrigerator in a glass container. They will firm up in the fridge because the coconut oil will cause them to “set” at that cooler temperature. If you want them to be a little softer, feel free to set them out on the counter for 10-15 minutes before eating. As you chew them slowly, they will feel like they are melting in your mouth because of the coconut oil melting 🙂
Enjoy for breakfast, a snack or dessert!
What are some of your favorite flavor combinations? Let me know and I’ll try to incorporate them into a future recipe!
I love peanut butter and chocolate…especially when they’re together.
It’s pretty tempting to take a spoon right to the jar, isn’t it? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t do that at least once a week 🙂
Have you ever had those crunchy chocolate-covered peanut butter balls made with Rice Krispies? The recipe usually calls for a cup of refined sugar, margarine and vegetable shortening. That combo is an inflammation nightmare for your body! I wanted to find a healthier alternative that still had a similar flavor and texture but without all the not-so-good-for-us ingredients.
The combination of crunchy rice cereal, creamy peanut butter, sweet maple syrup and chocolate means these little bites won’t last long. Bring them to a party or just make them for your friends and family. They’re definitely a crowd pleaser!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bliss Balls
Ingredients for these bites of pure peanut butter bliss!
1 cup 100% natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
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