Dynamite Date Balls
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 0 min
(Total time will vary with appliance and setting.)
Level of Difficulty: Easy
½ cup raw walnut halves or pieces
10-12 dates, pitted, preferably medjool type
¼ cup flax meal (or wheat germ or combination)
2 tablsp. almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter or soy-nut butter
¼ cup finely chopped unsweetened coconut or finely chopped walnuts
- Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the dates, flax meal or wheat germ and almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter or soy-nut butter until the mixture forms a ball.
- Divide the mixture into 16 pieces and roll them between your hands to shape into small balls.
- Place the coconut in a small bowl and roll each date ball in coconut or more walnuts.
Nutrition at a Glance (per serving)
Calories: 70; Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 1½g; Carbohydrates: 5g
Dietary fiber: 1½g Protein: 1g
½ fruit, 1 fat
Flax seeds are a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Other concentrated vegetarian sources include walnuts, canola and soy. Flax seed also contains a unique fiber that helps modulate blood glucose levels, lowers LDL cholesterol, aides in elimination of waste and may help reduce risk of breast cancer.
Omega-3 fatty acids are called essential fats because they cannot be manufactured by the body but must be obtained from food sources. They are digested, absorbed and metabolized into special substances called prostaglandins, which are involved in many life processes including regulating blood lipids and blood pressure, stabilizing emotional health and enhancing the immune system.
Flax seeds must be ground in order for the body to absorb the omega-3 fatty acids. A simple coffee grinder works very well, but you can also purchase ground flax seed or flax meal in natural food stores or in the health food sections of supermarkets. Whole flax seeds are protected from spoilage, but once it is ground, they are very perishable; store them in the refrigerator for up to one month, or in the freezer for longer periods. Ground flax has a pleasant nutty flavor. It can be used like wheat germ and sprinkled on yogurt and cottage cheese or added to salads and soups. You can also use it as a substitute for part of the flour and fat in baked goods. The fat from the ground flax will help to keep baked goods moist. Whole flax seeds add crunch to recipes, but be careful not to eat too many because the seeds, which are high in fiber, can be a powerful stimulant to the bowels.