‘Tis the season for sweet treats, savory dinners, and fun times with friends and families! One of the holiday traditions that I’ve seen being revived with my friend group is the holiday treat exchange. I’ve got several I’m participating in this year and I can’t wait to taste all the goodies people create!
This year, Sprouts Farmers Market challenged a group of bloggers to do a treat exchange – but twist – all the treats had to be plant based. No eggs, dairy, or animal products allowed. Time to get creative!
For my treat, I chose to make Chocolate Date “Snowballs” inspired by the fruit and nut rolls my mom used to make growing up. These healthy, “bliss ball” treats are packed with good fats from walnuts and flax seeds, sweetened and with added fiber from dates, and of course choc full of some good old chocolate too! They only take 10-15 minutes to make and require no baking. The perfect treat to make over the busy holidays!
First up: ingredients. Because this recipe required no cooking, making sure the ingredients were fresh was my top priority. You can find almost all the ingredients for these treats in the bulk foods section at Sprouts!
I buy a lot of ingredients from the bulk section at Sprouts. I like that I can buy just what I need, and since the bins are replenished often, the food is always fresh. This is especially handy for us when buying nuts! Nuts can be pricey and if you only use certain kinds occasionally for baking – buying a big bag can be expensive and wasteful if they go stale. Keep an eye on the Sprouts app for when nuts are on sale – they change every week!
I also love that you can use reusable bags or mason jars to take the ingredients home in to save on wasteful plastic packaging as well – and bonus – you don’t have to transfer your purchases to another container when you get home if you use a mason jar. Life hack.
For this recipe, I stocked up on walnuts, whole brown flax seeds, dates, and shredded coconut from the bulk section. Make sure to get the pitted kind of dates, otherwise you’ll have to spend time removing the pits before you can get started! You’ll also need cocoa powder – I use Sprouts Organic Cocoa Powder. In order to make the snowballs, you’ll need a food processor, a blender that can handle nuts, or a good knife (and some patience!).
You’ll want to blend everything but the coconut until it comes together into a well chopped mix and keep in mind that you don’t want any large pieces of walnuts or dates. I added a little water (~1 tsp) to help bring it all together.
Then, you’ll roll the mixture into balls. You can use a cookie scoop if you have one or a tablespoon measuring scoop works well too. The mixture may coat your hands but should be pretty easy to roll into tight balls. Be prepared to get messy but the cleanup is so tasty when you’re done!
Finally, I rolled the balls into the shredded coconut. If you want finer “snow” for the snowballs, you can run the shredded coconut through the food processor to made the pieces smaller. Voila – that’s all there is to it! Cute and festive treats!
I packaged my treats for the treat exchange in some tins lined with parchment and put each of the snowballs in cute gold candy liners. Don’t forget to pack them in tight so they don’t roll around during transportation! I decorated my tins with some ribbon and accompanied each with a handwritten holiday card. I’ve found that it’s helpful during a treat exchange to include the recipe or ingredients in the card for friends who may have allergies!Print
Chocolate Date Snowballs
Get in the holiday spirit with this healthy plant-based treat! You won’t feel guilty
sneaking a taste of one of these fruit and nut packed power treats!
- Prep Time: 15
- Total Time: 15
- Yield: 24 balls 1x
- 12 oz. pitted deglet dates
- 6 oz. walnuts
- ¼ cup whole brown flax seeds
- 1 tsp. water
- 1 Tbsp. Sprouts Organic Cocoa Powder
- ½ cup shredded dried coconut
- In a food processor, blitz 12 oz. of pitted dates, 6oz. of walnuts, ¼ flax seed, 1 tsp. water, and 1
Tbsp. of cocoa powder until evenly chopped.
- Take 1 Tbsp. of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Continue with the rest of the mixture.
- Spread ½ cup of shredded coconut onto a plate.
- Take the date balls and roll in the coconut to make them look “snow-covered”. This prevents them
from sticking to one another.
- To share with loved ones this family season, line a tin or box with parchment paper, fill with the
snowballs, top with more parchment paper, and share!
It was so fun to taste all the other treats people came up with! Check out Plant Based on a Budget’s Chocolate Chip Cookies here and Brewing Happiness’ Tahini Thumbprint Cookies with Ginger Pear Jam here!
Editor’s note: Thank you Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this treat exchange! It was so much fun!