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Israeli Date, Macadamia and Tehina Energy Balls - Healthy, Gluten Free and Vegan (כדורי תמרים)

There isn't a dessert table in the Middle East that does not serve Sweet Date balls. They go back to ancient Egypt. Though, like many Middle Eastern recipes, every country in the region claims the origin of the recipe! I am sticking with the Egyptian origin since my Grandmother was an Egyptian jew and that's where I first tasted these decadent treats!

There are so many variations of date balls available. Different nuts are used with different syrups to sweeten and a variety of coatings. I like using tahini in mine. This adds a delicious flavor a little like halva (tahini is halva paste) but very subtle. It also helps bind everything together and is rich in protein!

These were not known as energy balls until recent years when it was noticed that they were completely vegan and gluten free as well as filled with protein. These are truly "Health Balls".

I only buy Medjool Dates, they are the sweetest and meatiest. I bring them back from Israel but you can buy them in most stores in the US.

These energy date balls are very similar to my Haroset energy balls but have some different ingredients in them!

Here's what you'll need!

12 juicy dates - pitted

2 cups of Macadamia nuts - you can use any nuts you have in the house

3 Tablespoons of Tahini - In Israel we call it tehina, available in most grocery stores.

1 teaspoon cinnamon

a pinch of salt

50 grams of honey - about ¼ cup

2-3 tablespoons water - if needed, wait until all is mixed

a food processor

To prepare:

If the dates are soft you can use them as they are, if they are a little dry pour hot water over them for a few minutes to soften. Cut them into coarse pieces. Often the dates bought in the US are a little dry.

Put dates, macadamias nuts, cinnamon, salt, honey and tahini in a food processor and process until well blended but still a little crunchy. I prefer the date balls crunchy and not smooth to a paste. But you can process to your desired consitancy. If the mixture is too dry add a couple of tablespoons of water. If it is fine leave the water out.

Put your mix in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and place int he fridge for 30 minutes to firm up.

Take out of fridge and form balls with your hands or an ice cream scoop. I use the scoop to get somewhat even sized balls the shape with my hands to round off the bottom part.

In a small bowl put shredded coconut. in another small bowl put 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder. Dip some of the date balls in the shredded coconut covering them all over. Using a small sieve sprinkle the rest of the chocolate ball with cocoa powder.

You can coat them with icing and sprinkles for the kids to enjoy too!

Best kept in a covered box in the fridge or freezer. I like keeping them in the freezer. Can be eaten at room temperature too but they will have a softer consistency. Take them out when you need an energy fix, something sweet for dessert or as a nutritious snacks to take to work.

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