Between my being a “casual hire” (which pretty much means I work full-time but get zero benefits), teaching + grad school and Ben’s student teaching, grad school + part-time job (which has him working a lot of holidays), weekdays together are pretty much non-existent. So when we realized that we’d both have Election Day off, we. were. stoked! And when we woke up that morning to a crystal clear, gorgeous day, we could barely contain ourselves!
We only knew two things about that day:
- we needed to vote, and
- at some point we had to go see one of my best friends, Kamaile, because it was her quarter-of-a-century celebration of birth!
Other than that, our day was WIDE open. We prepared ourselves to be gone all day and, because I knew we’d be running around, I decided we needed some good–easy to pack and eat–energy snacks to take on the road with us.
I had just the thing! Alli posted a great recipe for coconut date rolls that only had three ingredients and looked delicious! I meant to follow her directions exactly but it was a bit too sweet for my liking so I added more almond. I encourage you to play around with these. We made two variations because (1) we ran out of coconut and (2) Ben has an obsession with cacao nibs.
As Alli says, these are ridiculously simple (and don’t involve any cooking!) and you can either roll them into balls or shape/cut them into squares (they’re essentially lara bars). They’re sweet and super versatile, so they’d be great for kids–especially kids who play sports! You could use different types of nuts, add seeds or fruit or flavorings… the options are limitless!
[Full-disclosure: I had never heard of dates until I started working at a health food store a couple of years ago (I’d like to blame it on being from Hawai`i but apparently they grow on date palm trees). They are so delicious! The texture is somewhat like a prune (in that they’re dried) but thicker and with more intensity. They’re rich and aren’t overpoweringly sweet. And they have incredible binding capabilities!]
- 1 c pitted dates
- 1/2 c raw almonds
- 1/2 c mix ins (we used cacao nibs for one batch and unsweetened coconut for another)
Pulse all ingredients together (I actually found that chopping the almonds a bit beforehand helps out a lot) until everything is in small bits – be careful here, because there’s a thin line between bits and all-out sticky date paste.
Form into balls/bars (it’ll be crumbly at first but they’ll stick together nicely with a little bit of pressure).
[cacao nib energy balls]
Enjoy! Makes about 12 balls. We wrapped ours in individual plastic wrap and found that they held up excellently!)
We packed our bags with stuff for hiking, walking, swimming, and/or picnicking and–energy balls in hand–were off to take on Maui!
What’d we do? That’s gonna take another post… 😉 Stay tuned for the Adventures of Haley and Ben!