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July Ball of the Month

Hey, ballers!!! So, someone recently suggested that I maybe call them "bites" instead of balls. Umm...not nearly as fun. Yes, maybe more appropriate, but not as fun, so #sorrynotsorry. Once again, I am squeezing this blogpost in at the very last minute, but I have had a crazy summer of traveling to both coasts for my daughter's dance workshops, conventions and competitions. It has been, and always is, such a fun adventure. I am writing this now from Huntington Beach, CA where the weather is LOVELY. The locals think it's hot, but they clearly haven't been to Kansas in July or August. While she is dancing to her dreams, I am here in my hotel room doing this. Why am I not shopping, dining, or sunning myself at the beach right now, you might ask? Because, it's rush hour in CA, and I can't emerge until it's over :).

Snickers Balls. You HAVE to make these so you understand how good they are. They are ridiculous. There is a rich layer of chocolate, a caramel layer, and a salty crunchy peanut in the center. You get this "omg, I am eating a candy bar" sensation, but you are really eating healthy whole food ingredients that are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals blitzed and formed into perfect bite-sized balls. They are oh-so-satisfying--believe me. I brought some on this trip to California, and they went WAY too quickly. There are ways, my friends, to satisfy that sweet tooth without refined sugar, dairy, gluten, preservatives, trans fat, and other nasty chemicals. Keep these in your freezer, and indulge when you need it! Peanut allergy in your house? Put a roasted, salted almond or cashew in the center instead.

Snickers Balls

Caramel Layer

3/4 cup equal parts macadamia nuts* and raw cashews

1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted

1/2 t. vanilla

pinch sea salt

Roasted, salted whole peanuts for stuffing

*you can either use roasted salted mac nuts, roasted unsalted, or raw. Adjust the salt accordingly--you want that salty-sweet thing happening.

Chocolate Layer

3/4 cup raw pecans

3/4 cup raw cashews

1-1/2 cup dates

1/4 cup cocoa powder or raw cacao powder

1 t. water

1/8 t. sea salt

For the caramel layer:

Place nuts in the bowl of a food processor, and blitz until it looks like meal.

Add the dates and vanilla, and pulse until mixture comes together. Taste for saltiness, and add more if necessary. Roll into very small balls--about 1 inch in diameter, and press a peanut into the center of each ball.

Roll into balls again so that the peanut is in the center.

For the chocolate layer:

Place nuts in the bowl of the food processor (you don't need to clean it before this step). Pulse until broken down into a meal.

Add the dates, cacao powder, water and salt and pulse until mixture comes together.

Take about a heaping tablespoon of the mixture and flatten into a patty. Place a caramel ball on the patty, and fold the chocolate layer around the caramel ball. Continue until all the chocolate mixture has been used.

Place in the freezer in a Ziploc bag and try to make them last several days. I usually double this recipe because they go too fast!

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