Last night, after splitting a batch of brownie batter with Andrew, I decided I had enough time to whip up a batch of my cashew choco balls – this time actually measuring and recording ingredients as I went. It ended up being a little different than my first batch – in a good way. I think this one had more cashews than the first batch, making them nuttier and almost reminiscent of Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Yum!
(makes about 45-50 balls – which sounds like a lot, but will disappear surprisingly quickly!)
2 cups dates
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1 cup coconut
2 tbsp cocoa
1 tbsp vanilla
Put dates and cashews in blender and blend until it starts to stick together a little.
Add remaining ingredients and blend for a couple minutes.
The mixture will be a little crumbly, but will press together well.
Press together to shape into little balls. (Don’t try to roll them. They will break apart!)
Put balls onto a baking tray and pop in the over for about 2 hours at 50*c. (This will dehydrate them without actually cooking them).
You can also eat them straight from the blender or pop them into the freezer for a colder, chewier snack.
Because you don’t need to cook it, you can try it as you go and make adjustments along the way. If you want it sweeter, add more dates or a little honey, agave nectar or maple syrup. Add more cocoa to make it more chocolatey or more cashews to make it nuttier, etc etc.
I brought a bunch of them into the office as a little Friday treat and within half an hour I had 3 people asking me for the recipe. Considering there are only about 12 people in my office, I reckon that’s a pretty good number! Plus, I emailed the recipe around to everyone after the third request… so the may have been more if I had waited. 😉
My favourite part, though, was Andrew wanting to help! I brought the mixture over to the couch so I wasn’t all alone in the kitchen making 50 little chocoballs and when I sat down, Andrew scootched over and looked at me with a smile, then said he wanted to help make them and asked to show him what to do. I love the fact that he not only tries my random recipes but that he takes a bit of an interest in it. He’ll taste-test things and give suggestions and opinions. And help me make a big baking tray full of chocoballs.
Nothing too exciting planned for the weekend. Gym Saturday and Sunday. Girls over for sushi and Top Model tonight. The rest of the weekend will be little tasks: getting a NZ credit card (now that I’m a resident!), picking up some things for mom’s visit (a nice pillow, a towel set, etc), picking up things for myself (socks, workout clothes) and possibly heading out to Bin Inn for the first time. It’s the closest thing I’ve been able to find to Bulk Barn so far in NZ and while I haven’t been yet, I’m getting pretty excited:
“Bin Inn is a wholefoods speciality store chain offering nuts, dried fruit, confectionary, gluten free products, home brew supplies and much more.”
I’m hoping I’ll be able to get things for cooking/baking a bit cheaper than I have been able to find at the grocery stores. Nuts and dried fruit, especially, have been racking up the grocery bills! I love the idea of eating way more raw foods and things, but I don’t want to end up compromising because the increased costs associated with that type of diet. We’re saving for a house, so we’re trying to watch what we spend, but to me food is something that’s hard to compromise on. A little extra spent on quality produce, nuts, good oils, etc translates into heaps saved on cold & flu meds, doctor’s visits and all sorts of other things. Andrew sort of agrees – but mainly because I don’t make him split costs on things I insist on buying (like 1 kg of raw cashews or agave nectar!) I think finding somewhere I could get a bunch of essentials at a slightly lower price would get less “Are you really going to spend that much on that!?” looks – and leave a little extra cash for the house fund. *fingers crossed!*
Does cost influence your grocery/food choices? Will you spend a little extra on something you know will be beneficial to your health or is the price a deciding factor? How do you convince your partner that it’s worth the extra costs for organic/unprocessed/healthier versions of things? Have you found ways to keep costs down without sacrificing the foods you want?