For this month’s Recipe Redux challenge, we were asked to share a delicious and healthy “no cook dessert” that takes no time to prepare. Thank you, Danielle, for the sweet idea . Honestly, this one was a head scratcher for me. To me, unless it’s ice cream, dessert normally implies “baked to perfection.” And then I remembered making date balls a while back when they were all the rage on Pinterest. I’m sure they still are…aren’t they?
Not only do they require no cooking, they make for an awesome portable snack packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and endless possibilities. Throw in some nuts, seeds, protein powder, coconut, chocolate chips, shredded veggies (I’ve added carrots before)…you get the idea. I like to go on the Larabar website (creeper alert!) and check out their various flavors as well as the ingredients so I can make them myself. My no bake pumpkin date balls were inspired by their new Pumpkin Pie flavor.
Pumpkin’s everywhere I turn even though the temp is still in the 90s. We are longing for fall even though the calendar already says it is. I shall start stalking up on canned pumpkin now bc that’s what I do . This was really just trial and error. I don’t think you need to follow the recipe exactly. If you want a bit more nuts, throw some extra in. Less dates and more pumpkin? Why not? Just be careful keeping in mind the moisture factor. Wouldn’t want things getting too wet or soggy. If this ends up being the case, though, just add some more oatmeal. Don’t have maple syrup? Use honey. Have fun with it!
First step is to chop the dates and process them until smooth. I like to roughly chop the pecans with a knife rather than throwing them in the food processor, as I have a tendency to go a lil’ too happy with the “pulse” button. The nuts are there to provide a nice, crunchy texture as well as a healthy dosage of protein and good fat, so add as much or as little as you’d like.
As you can see, it’s not the most appetizing looking snack (I tried all kinds of background fabrics to make them look pretty in the picture, but in the end, white worked the best), but it’s delicious and satisfying. I like to store them in an air-tight container and pop them in the freezer. They don’t get hard, just super cold. I ran out of granola recently, so I’ve been breaking them up and throwing them into my plain Greek yogurt. Fabulous!
Hope you try this one first and then explore all the possibilities!
- 10 oz dates, chopped
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3/4 cup rolled oats
- Place dates, maple syrup, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. Roughly chop pecans with a knife and add to bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients until evenly combined. Shape mixture into balls. Enjoy right away or store in refrigerator or freezer.
If you need some more inspiration for quick & healthy no bake desserts, be sure to check out what the other Recipe Reduxers came up with!