Even if you have no issues with dates, there’s good reason to choose prunes instead. While prunes and dates are about the same in terms of iron, fiber and protein, when it comes to sugar, carbohydrates and calories, prunes are lower. Prunes are also significantly higher in antioxidants including vitamin K and vitamin A. A number of studies show consumption of prunes not only helps prevent osteoporosis but actually reverses bone loss thanks to a combination of bone building calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and copper.
I’ve always loved dried fruit, it’s high in calories so I use it as only as a treat or in recipes. To make my version I closely adapted the Date Coconut Energy Balls recipe from Ellie Krueger published in the Washington Post, substituting the dates with prunes. I also used lemon instead of orange and since the Gluten Free Bites had cocoa, I added some of that as well.
Cocoa Energy Bites
8 ounces pitted prunes
1/3 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
4 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest or orange zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
Water, as needed
Combine the dates, sunflower seeds, 2 tablespoons of the coconut, cocoa powder cinnamon, orange zest and salt in a food processor; pulse until finely chopped and mixture forms a ball. You may need to add a little bit of water to get the mixture to come together, just a teaspoon or two. Place the remaining coconut in a bowl.
Roll the mixture into 12 slightly rounded balls. One by one, place the balls in the bowl with the coconut and jiggle the bowl to coat them. Repeat until all the balls are done.
Since I’m not eating the Gluten Free Bites, I’m giving them away along with a non-edible surprise item from the Must Have box. In the comments tell me your favorite healthy and gluten-free snack and I’ll pick a winner at random on October 6, 2016. You must have a US mailing address to win and include your email in the requested field so I can contact you.
If you’re interested in purchasing a Must Have Box use code SHOP5 to save $5.
Disclaimer: My thanks to Popsugar for sending me the Must Have box. I was not compensated monetarily for this or any other post.