The 12 Balls of Christmas: Chocolate Macaroon Balls

Chocolate Macaroon Balls
Amy:
Well this is the last ball of Christmas! It’s been a fun and creative process! These balls we my husbands request….he loves macaroons! I make these in bar form usually and figured that they do quite nicely rolled up and coated in chocolate ūüôā Simple ingredients in this one and no need for a food processor! ¬†Merry Christmas ūüôā

Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 cup unsweetened coconut
2 heaping tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Chocolate coating:

1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder
2 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Directions:
1. Gentle melt the coconut oil and honey. Add the shredded coconut, stir well.

2. Place in the fridge, stirring occasionally until firm enough to form into balls. Roll between your hands to make about 12 1-inch balls. Place on parchment paper and freeze while you make the chocolate coating.

3. Melt chocolate ingredients together gently over a double boiler or use a bowl over a pot of water. Remove from heat when melted.

4. Dip each ball in the chocolate, all excess to drip off, place back on parchment paper.
Store in the fridge!

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The 12 Balls of Christmas: Festive Cranberry Chocolate Chip Balls

Festive Cranberry Chocolate Balls

Amy:

For the 11th ball of Christmas I’d like to offer you….festive cranberry chocolate chip balls! ¬†When I was brainstorming different recipe ideas I came up with some flavours that were particularly festive. ¬†One of the tops flavours I picked were chocolate (goes without saying) and cranberries! ¬†Put them together and what do you get? ¬†Delicious granola-like balls that have a tart and sweet hit! ¬†Feel free to substitute with dried cherries or raisins if you wish!

Ingredients:

1 cup nuts, oats or a combination of both

3/4 cup medjool dates, pitted

1/4 cup dried cranberries

2-4 tbsp mini chocolate chips

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Directions:

1. Add nuts and/or oats into the food processor.  Blend until a fine powder or as chunky as you like.

2. Add the dates and blend until a “dough” consistency. ¬†Add water (1 tbsp at a time) if you need to make it more wet.

3. Scrape into a bowl, mix in the chocolate chips and dried cranberries.  Roll between your hands (wet your hands if they stick) to make about 12 1-inch balls.

Enjoy!  Store in the fridge for about a week or in the freezer!

The 12 Balls of Christmas: Apple Pie Balls

Apple Pie Balls

Amy:

For the tenth ball of Christmas I’d like to offer you….apple pie balls! Nothing better than apples and cinnamon! ¬†These ones are made with the standard mix that I’ve used with the other balls – 1 cup oats/nuts, 1 cup dried fruit and some flavour! ¬†Enjoy this nice light and nutritious take on a typically heavy and gluten laden dessert!

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats (wheat free if necessary) or more nuts

1/2 cup toasted pecan or more oats

3/4 cup dried apples, rehydrated slightly in water for 15 minutes, drained

1/4 cup raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla

Dash of salt

 

Ingredients:

1. Rehydrate apples in water for about 15 minutes.

2. Process oats and nuts in food processor until a fine powder or as chunky as you like it.

3. Add remaining ingredients and blend until it forms a cohesive dough. Using damp hands, roll into about a dozen or more balls.

Refrigerate up to 2 weeks or freeze.

The 12 Days of Christmas: Cherry “Cheesecake” Balls

Cherry _Cheesecake_ Balls (1)Amy:

Cherry. Cheesecake. Balls.

I’ve made a few “cheesecakes” during the summer, once for my husbands birthday in fact! ¬†In coming up with the remaining 12 balls of Christmas I wanted to come up with something really unique. ¬†Instead of making a cheesecake they are in the form of balls! ¬†If I had the sticks they would make awesome cake pops! ¬†This was intended to be the final ball of Christmas but after tasting them yesterday I had to post them today! ¬†SO PLEASED! ¬†Who says you can’t make deliciously addictive but nutritious plant based desserts for Christmas?

These could be adapted to many different flavours like pumpkin cheesecake, lemon cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake, peanut butter cheesecake….you get the idea….

Ingredients:

2 cups of cashews (4 hours but preferably overnight)

6 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Juice of one lemon

1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

Pinch of salt

3/4-1 cup dried cherries or cranberries, divided (soaked for an hour)

Chocolate coating:

1/2 cup coconut oil

3/4 cup cocoa or cacao powder

2 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

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Directions:

1. Soak the cashews for 4 hours to overnight.  They need to be very soft in order for it to blend well.  Soak dried cherries for about an hour until a bit softer.

2. Add all of the cheesecake ingredients, except for half of the cherries, into a food processor. If you have a really good blender….mine didn’t work well at all for this, use that. ¬†Process until it gets as smooth as possible. ¬†Scrape down the sides as you go.

3. Spoon into a pan or bowl. Take remaining cherries and process in the food processor until in small chunks.  Swirl the cherries into the batter.

4. Place the pan in the freezer, mixing occasionally for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until able to mold into balls. ¬†(If you let it freeze for too long like I did…just let it thaw on your counter until softened a little) Roll into 1 inch balls between your hands and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. ¬†Should make about 30-36 balls. ¬†Place into the freezer until firm.

5. Prepare the chocolate coating.  Melt the chocolate ingredients in a double boiler or a bowl over top of a pot of water.  Gently heat until warm and melted.  Take each ball and coat with chocolate, place back on parchment paper.  The chocolate should harden almost immediately.

Store balls in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer.

 

The 12 balls of Christmas: Pecan Pie Bites

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Amy:

For the eighth balls of Christmas I’d like to offer you….pecan pie bites! These decadent beauties are made of two simple ingredients – pecans and dates! ¬†Don’t let that fool you, in ball form these two ingredients are like a party in your mouth! ¬†I chose to toast the pecans because I’m obsessed with how delicious it makes them! ¬†Although toasting is optional in the recipe, I highly recommend it.

 

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Ingredients:

1 cup medjool dates

1 cup toasted pecans

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions:

1. Toast pecans by placing them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheat oven to 350F for about 5-7 minutes.  Watch carefully because they burn very quickly!  They should smell very aromatic and turn darker in colour.

2. Blend pecans until fine in food processor.  Remove pits from dates and add along with the remaining ingredients.  Process until well combined!

Makes about 12-14 inch sized balls!

12 Balls of Christmas: After-8 Balls

The 12 Balls of Christmas - (1)Amy:

For the seventh ball of Christmas I’d like to offer you….After-8 Balls!

After 8’s used to be one of my all time FAVOURITE treats over the holidays when I was a kid. ¬†I guess it was the mint and chocolate combination that won me over. ¬†Okay…still is one of my favourites. ¬†Looking on the label this year I see that one of the ingredients is made from wheat so that makes another confection that people with celiac disease cannot partake in. ¬†By the way, I was horrified last year (our first gluten free Christmas) to discover that Lindt Chocolate Balls contain barley malt (sad, sad day)!

Anywho. ¬†This recipe is an easy homemade alternative! ¬†I made them into balls to fit within the theme but I’m sure I could easily make them into squares. Just spread chocolate on some parchment paper (freeze), spread on the mint filling (freeze)….then add some more chocolate! I’ll have to try that later….

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil + 3 tsp, divided

3-4 tbsp honey (depending on sweetness preference)

2-3 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

1 tsp-1 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

1. Mix coconut oil and honey together well.  Add peppermint extract and shredded coconut. Refrigerate, stirring every 5 minutes or until it holds its shape.

2. Place baking sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes.  Line with parchment paper.  Using a spoon scoop about 1 teaspoon worth of mint mixture onto the paper.  Makes as smooth as possible but it will still taste good lumpy!  Place in the freezer for 5-10 minutes or until hard.

3. Microwave chocolate and 3 tsp coconut oil until very liquidly.  Remove mint balls from the freezer.  Dip bottoms into chocolate, return to parchment paper, freeze 5 minutes.

4. Place mint balls with coated bottoms on a fork and pour chocolate over top using a spoon.  Allow extra to drip off and return to the baking sheet. Finish remaining balls.

5. Freeze for another 10 minutes, until hard.

Store in the fridge!  Makes 12-14 balls

 

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12 Balls of Christmas: Apricot Coconut Balls

The 12 Balls of Christmas -

Amy:

For the sixth ball of Christmas I’d like to offer you….Apricot coconut balls!

My grandmother was requesting some non-chocolate recipes so here is a nice non-date, non-chocolate, nut-free ball for those not fond of those ingredients!  These ones are not overly sweet which is a nice change from the usual Christmas fair.  Plus they look so festive on the plate!

 

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C dried apricots
  • 1 C shredded unsweetened coconut
  • Tiny pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp raw honey

Directions:

1. Blend the coconut until fine.  Add everything into the food processor and blend until it forms a nice cohesive dough.

2. Roll into balls.  Place and lined parchment paper and let solidify in the fridge before serving!

 

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Recipe from: http://fooddoodles.com/2011/03/03/coconut-apricot-bites/#ixzz3KhGVVkkn

12 Balls of Christmas: Raw Gingerbread Balls

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Amy:

For the fifth ball of Christmas I’d like to offer you….spicy gingerbread balls!

Look out…these ones are a spicy little number! ¬†HANDS DOWN my favourite one so far as I just love the taste of fresh ginger and gingerbread cookies ūüôā¬† Not only are they made with whole ingredients, raw, vegan, gluten free¬†and all that good stuff…but you get to eat them right away!¬† No waiting-for-them-to-bake-nonsense…

Use fresh ginger if you can Рthey really make these balls pop.  I store my ginger in the freezer as it lasts longer and grates very easily that way!

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Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup oats, regular or quick (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup almonds or pecans (or more oats)
  • 3/4 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 2-3¬†teaspoons fresh ginger, finely¬†grated¬†or 1 teaspoons ginger powder (or to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsulphured molasses, optional (I didn’t use it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg or ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Cinnamon, for rolling
 Directions:
1. Combine oats and nuts in food processor, blend until you get a fairly fine consistency, doesn’t have to be perfect.
2. Add dates and rest of ingredients, blend until combined and dough like consistency, about 1 minute. If for any reason you added more oats or nuts/seeds and you feel it is too dry, try adding 1 tablespoon of water at a time to get desired consistency.
3. Roll your dough into 1 inch balls. If you like you can roll them in cinnamon for a more finished look. Shredded coconut would be another great option.

Keep refrigerated and enjoy within two weeks or so. Makes 12 balls!

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12 Balls of Christmas: Lemon Melt-away Balls


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Amy:

For the fourth ball of Christmas I’d like to offer you….lemon melt-away balls!

This recipe is based off of a recipe¬†I found when brainstorming ideas for the 12 balls of Christmas. I’ve tweeked it a bit to suite me taste a little more – a tad less lemon and a bit more sweetness as well as created a nut free alternative! ¬†I actually prefer the nut-free version better. ¬†I think it is because it reminds me of a cookie my mom always makes at Christmas that made with oats and is coated in icing sugar!¬† Adjust the lemon juice to suit your taste preference too.¬† Sizes and tartness of lemons can vary quite a bit.

The basic ingredients in a traditional lemon bar dessert can include up to: 2 sticks of butter, 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup of powdered sugar, 4 eggs, and 2 cups of processed sugar!  Whoa nelly!

Add text (1)Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup almond flour or oats processed until fine (GF if necessary)
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • Dash of¬†pink himalayan salt or regular
  • 2-3 tablespoons¬†maple syrup or¬†honey
  • 2¬†lemons (fresh squeezed juice)
  • 2 teaspoons¬†vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted/liquid)

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until well combined.  Process oats into a flour first if using.
  2. Take out about a spoonful at a time and roll them in the palms of your hand into a ball shape.
  3. Leave them plain or roll in shredded coconut flakes or powdered sugar.
  4. Put them in the refrigerator to firm for about 10 ‚Äď 15 minutes.
  5. Keep them in the refrigerator until ready to serve because they will get soft if left out at room temperature as the coconut oil melts.
  6. Enjoy!

Based off http://www.onegreenplanet.org/plant-based-recipes/raw-vegan-lemon-meltaway-balls/