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Gift Recipe: Crisp Rice Date Balls

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My family has a long standing tradition of making an insane amount of sweets each holiday season. When I was a kid, this was the only time of year we ate sweets, except you know, cake on our birthday. There are a LOT of different things that my mom and grandmothers made, potato candy, rolled painted sugar cookies, almond crescents, fudge, peanut brittle, and tons of other things I can’t think of right now. Another, odd addition, was date balls. As a child, I probably had no idea that of all the holiday treats we were making, this was probably the one that was the least unhealthy. I’m not saying these are healthy by any means, but they aren’t based on white flour, white sugar, butter, eggs and chocolate like most holiday treats are. These are so simple, but so delicious, give them a shot! I didn’t even know what dates were when I was a kid, so trust me, they don’t taste healthy. Plus, you’ll see by the ingredient list…they aren’t exactly a health food what with all the earth balance they contain, but they are very easy to make. These are also a no bake treat, so you can make them when your oven is otherwise occupied.

Date Balls
8 T Earth Balance (1 stick or 1/2 cup)
3/4 c brown sugar (if anyone experiments w/brown rice syrup, holler!)
1 c chopped dates (I prefer dried to fresh in this recipe)
1 c chopped pecans
1 c crisp rice cereal (I like Erewhorn Brown Rice Crisp)
1 t vanilla

For coating afterwards:
1/2 c powdered sugar and/or
1/2 c shredded coconut

Melt earth balance and sugar in a medium sized pot over low heat. Add the dates to your melted butter and sugar mixture, and cook for three minutes, then remove from heat. Stir in pecans, crisp rice cereal and vanilla. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes so that you can handle it. When it has cooled enough to handle, but still warm, form tablespoon sized balls and roll them in powdered sugar or shredded coconut. In my family, we have almost always used powdered sugar, but the coconut is a nice treat sometimes.

You can still enter my contest to win Everyday Happy Herbivore.

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About laceythevegan

I'm a reader, a food lover, a crazy cat lady, an animal lover, local shopper and local music supporter. You can find me in East Nashville most of the time, shopping, having a drink at a locally owned bar, or eating food at a local restaurant. I like cumin and smoked paprika way more than I should, winter squashes make me happy, and while I do like most fruits, I only *love* berries and mangoes. I'd rather have salty snacks than sweets, and the darker chocolate is, the better. I still think Earth Balance is the best fake butter, Vegenaise is the best vegan mayo, and Almond Milk tastes better than soy milk. Chia seeds are my favorite egg substitute for the most part, and pumpkin tends to bind better than applesauce-especially in chocolate goods. I know a lot about food and nutrition, but that doesn't mean I'm the healthiest person. I tend to avoid eating out because I know I can make food that tastes better at home.

5 responses »

  1. Question…for the non-vegan would butter work just as well as the earth balance? Or would that be over-kill?

    Reply
    • Tracy: the recipe originally was made with real, unsalted butter, so it won’t mess it up at all. My mom also used to use those sugared diced dates too, so if you can’t find plain dried ones, those kind work 🙂

      Reply
  2. Yummy! I love date balls…I especially love the idea of adding butter to them since I’ve only had the uber-healthy raw food ones.

    Reply
  3. I dunno, I never had a Date Ball before. Not sure what they would be like…

    Reply
  4. blessedmama3

    Sounds good to me!

    Reply

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