When I’m craving a treat – and trying to be healthy – I need look no further than Chocolate Covered Katie‘s blog. My favorite part is all her homemade Larabar recipes. And my favorite of those, a recipe I’ve made a bunch of times now, is her Thin Mint Brownies. Instead of making them into bars, though, I scoop them out of the food processor with a tablespoon (the measuring kind) and roll them up into balls.
I make a lot of variations on these, based on what nuts and dried fruits I have on hand. I always weigh the ingredients, because there’s a lot of variation on what a cup of dried fruit can be based on how hard you smush it, or of how much a cup of nuts can be based on how finely they’re chopped. The brownie bites have about 240 g of dried fruit and 120 g of nuts, so that’s a 2:1 ratio. Chuck whatever you have in the food processor, grind it up, add water as needed until it will clump. Then roll it into balls or press into a square and cut up.
My kids LOVE them, and it’s an awesome way to give them a quick, healthy snack that is perfect for lunch boxes. Gluten-free, all natural, no added sugars or flavors, high-fiber, and full of healthy fats and proteins to prevent the sugars from spiking in your blood.
Today, I made myself a batch of the brownie bites. My son doesn’t like mint, though, so I figured I’d use the other bag of dates I had to made something he’d like. Then I spied the bag of freeze dried strawberries that have been hanging out in my pantry for a year or so. I figured that chopped up, they’d be about equivalent to the cocoa in the brownie bites recipe. The result: YUM.
Too bad I’m not a food stylist, though, because I couldn’t really get them to look any more appealing than raw meatballs. Think of a redder, spherical version of Katie’s pretty picture above, and there ya go.
120 g peanuts
1 bag (8 oz, 227 g) dried dates
1 bag (1 oz) freeze-dried strawberry slices
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp water
Grind up the peanuts in the food processor, being careful to not let them turn into peanut butter. Add in the strawberries and process until powdery. Add the dates and vanilla, process until smooth. Slowly add in the water until the mixture begins to clump together. Using a tablespoon, scoop up and roll into balls. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Makes about 20 bites, each one with 75 calories (12 g carbs – 2 g fiber, 3 g healthy fat and 2 g protein).