Hello friends! I’ve had a bit of a quieter week here at Cooking for Sanity, since I have been fully engaged with decorating my elder son’s bedroom! My mind has definitely been elsewhere this week, but Thursday has become my blog and website day, and so as not to disappoint (myself more than anyone, I think) I have put my paintbrush down for today, though I will be back in the decorating gear this evening. Excitingly, I have also enrolled on an online nutrition course, but due to the sheer amount of work needing to be done on the house at present, as well as general day-to-day keeping on top of things, I have managed to sit down and look at it all of once! I am really looking forward to getting into it though, and putting some backbone to the things I know by common sense.
The recipe I have to share with you today is a nut lover’s dream! I’d had something like it going around in my head for quite some time, and I did tweak the recipe a bit as I went along, more in terms of method than ingredients, but they turned out so well, I think they’re my favourite sweet treat recipe. Well, along with Minty Maple Date Balls! They also make use of an interesting ingredient I picked up in Lidl: puffed quinoa. I’d been meaning to buy some for ages, but it isn’t cheap, so I’d left it because I had plenty of other things to experiment with, so when I saw they were selling it in Lidl for organic week I snapped some up, along with a packed of puffed amaranth. More on grains another time! If you don’t have puffed quinoa you can either just omit it altogether, or maybe try another puffed grain if you have it. The simplest would be rice krispies. Alternatively, you could try adding sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds or any other type of seed you think would work well, and let me know how it goes!
- 50g Brazil nuts
- 50g almonds
- 50g hazelnuts
- 50g jumbo rolled oats
- 10g puffed quinoa
- About 16 Medjool dates, pitted
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 heaped tbsp peanut butter
- 2 level tbsp tahini
- 1-2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- Pinch of salt
- 20cm square cake tin
- food processor
Turn the oven to 200°C fan.
Place all the nuts in a 20cm square baking tin, put straight into the oven, and bake for ten minutes until turning golden. Set aside to cool, removing the skin from the hazelnuts once you can handle them, by rubbing a handful at once between your palms, preferably over a food waste bin, so the skins can fall into it.
Put a dry frying pan on the hob and toast the oats until golden.
Place the dates, maple syrup, peanut butter, tahini, coconut oil plus the pinch of salt, in a food processor and blitz until well combined, then empty the mixture out into a large mixing bowl.
Tip the cooled nuts onto a large chopping board then chop by hand using a chef’s knife. You want the nuts to be a mixture of sizes, with some nice big chunks remaining.
Pour the oats into the mixing bowl with the date mixture and squeeze them into the mixture using your hands; the warmth from the just-toasted oats will help this process, which is why you add the oats on their own to start with. When roughly combined, add the nuts and squeeze them into the mixture too, until you have a lovely, combined lumpy ball!
Tip the ball out onto the same baking tray you used to toast the nuts and press down well into all the corners, using a palette knife to smooth the surface as much as possible. Finally, scatter the sesame seeds evenly across the surface. Place in the freezer for an hour to firm up, then remove and slice into 12 pieces (or more if you prefer them a bit smaller). Store in a tub in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
I do hope you enjoy these as they really are incredibly delicious. They are a fantastic afternoon treat, or even great to make if you are having friends over as they can be made to look quite pretty if you display them well.
Thank you for reading lovelies!
Edited 27th March 2019 for improved recipe and method.