I've always had a major sweet tooth. So, I have a habit of trying to create "healthy treats" in the kitchen--sometimes with great success, and other times, not so much. This week, a recipe on Pintrest caught my eye, so I decided to take a go at it, with a few minor alterations.
These little nuggets of goodness are made with natural ingredients and cure my cravings for something sweet. The original recipe did not require any baking. However, although I thought they were quite tasty in their initial form, after testing them on a couple of girlfriends, both felt strongly that the texture left something to be desired. So I grabbed the already-made treats, and popped them in the oven for a few minutes. Test round number 2 proved to be far more successful by my subjects. They both concluded that the texture was much improved, post-baking. My photos, unfortunately, aren't the beautifully professional food shots you tend to see on most blogs, but I think you'll get the picture (haha).
1 cup of oats
3/4 cup cashews
1 tsp vinalla
1 tsp cinnamon (I just put in as much as I wanted, to be honest)
1 tsp all spice (same as above)
4-5 pitted dates
3/4 cup blueberries (I probably used closer to a cup)
1 tsp lemon zest (this was my favourite part!)
The amount of spice and blueberries isn't overly critical, in my opinion. You can play around with these to alter the bites to your desired flavour and texture.
Start by adding the oats, cashews, and spices into the food processor. Pulse for a minute or so until completely blended.
Next, spill the container of cashews on the floor. You can skip if this step, if you want.
Add the remaining ingredients and pulse for another minute or so until completely combined.
Layer a cookie tray with parchment paper and roll mixture into balls (or use a cookie scoop). Mine, as you can see, were varying sizes. I like to think of this as creative freedom. Place the tray in the fridge for about 25 minutes to let the ingredients set.
At this point, you can call it quits. However, as mentioned, I opted to bake them (on parchment paper) after receiving some feedback from my taste testers. This provided them with more of a muffin-like texture. Try 325 degrees for about 8 minutes.
All in all, I would definitely make this recipe again. It was simple, did not take a lot of time (20 minutes from beginning to end), and produced a tasty treat without being too sweet.
Here is the link to the original recipe. My minor changes included adding spice, using fewer dates (I didn't want them too sweet), less cashews, and baking the final product. Next time, I would try adding additional lemon zest.
Happy healthy baking!