Teaching culinary school certainly has perks. One of the best perks is everyone around you has an interest in some aspect of food. Some grow great gardens, some make cookies, share fish they caught, bread, pickles, wines, liquors, there is always something going around.
A favorite activity for me is taking part in recipe development, especially in the cookie department. While attempting to come up with the “World’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookie” it became obvious that ‘world’s best’ is a matter of perception.
Some like cookies crunchy, some soft, others cake like. Then there are nuts or no nuts, milk chocolate or what degree of dark chocolate; 50% 75% 80% cocoa? Or sweeteners, honey, sugar or agave?
I hope you can start getting the picture that “world’s best” is only world’s best to that persons mouth. Certainly their taste buds aren’t speaking for everyone in the world.
Bob is our division director and quite an interesting person. He is very health conscious, an avid practitioner and teacher of Yoga (I don’t know what kind) and is careful with what he puts into his body.
Bob is the person responsible for getting me started in baking our own bread again. He gave me a bit of his sourdough starter last year and I have kept it going and feeding without any issues. The starter makes great bread!
He found a recipe for “Paleo Bars” somewhere that he began playing with to create his own version of what he calls “Good Health Balls”
Perhaps the name needs a bit of work, but the bars are delicious. I don’t think Bob would have appreciated a post title:
“Bob’s Good Health Balls”
Nope, not going there.
Good Health Balls
- 1 cup toasted chopped almonds
- 1 cup toasted chopped pecans
- ¼ cup toasted chopped sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup toasted pistachios
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 1 cup chopped dried dates
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate (optional)
- ¼ cup almond butter (Other nut butters can also be used)
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon organic blue agave
Pre-heat oven to 350°F while making the mixture.
In a large bowl, combine the almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, hemp seeds, figs, coconut, almond flour, cinnamon, and chocolate.
In a separate bowl, combine the almond butter, coconut oil, vanilla, eggs, and agave. Whisk together well.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until the dough is moist and blended.
Form the dough into 1-ounce balls, lightly press onto a silicone or parchment paper-lined cook sheet.
A 1-ounce ball is 2 tablespoons. Make the balls all the same size, the weight isn’t as important as even size. If you adjust the size larger or smaller, you will also need to adjust baking time.
Use a small muffin tin lined with cup-cake liners instead of a baking sheet, if you like.
Bake for 15 minutes. Balls will lightly browned on top.
Makes approximately 36 1-ounce morsels.
- The dough balls can be successfully frozen. This allows you to enjoy as many treats as you like.
Store unbaked dough in a zip-lock freezer bag.
Bake frozen balls for approximately 20 minutes in a preheated 350°F oven.
- If you have a Trader Joe’s in your neighborhood, try their 72% dark chocolate.
- Costco is a great source for hemp seeds
- Blackberry Hemp Muffins (livelearnloveeat.com)
- Shelled Hemp Seed Users (benefitsofhempseeds.wordpress.com)
- Snackable no-bake cookie dough (with almond butter, dark chocolate, mixed seeds & coconut flour) (thehappiestplate.com)