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Foodie Penpals, Cookie Dough Chocolate Pudding, and Peanut Butter Balls

Posted Jun 30 2012 11:49pm

This month I participated in Foodie Penpals , a fun food swap program created by Lindsay from The Lean Green Bean . I stumbled across her site a few months ago and thought it looked like so much fun I just had to join in.

In a nutshell, every month each participant is assigned a person to send a box of food goodies too ($15 worth). You contact them to get their address, discover likes/dislikes/allergies, and then get a package together and send it off. Everyone blogs about it at the end of the month. The person you send to is different from the person you receive from.

I received from a lovely gal named Christina (she doesn't have a blog). A cute gift bag arrived with goodies wrapped in pink tissue paper. She nailed my favourite colors from the start.

Here are the awesome things I found in the bag:

Chocolate Fix Quinoa Snack Crackers
Zico Coconut Water
Theobroma Chocolat bar in Coconut
Oskri Coconut Bar

She said she's on a coconut kick. Good thing coconut is one of my favourite foods too! I admit I have a hard time with any bottled coconut water. They taste funny to me - perhaps because I'm used to fresh coconut water.

The quinoa crackers are super crunchy and delish. I immediately ripped into them because it was the one item I'd never seen before. They're especially great slathered with nut butter.

Christine included a recipe for frozen fudge too! It uses carob and nut butter, dates, and coconut... Mmm I'll have to try it one of these days. Thanks again girl!

Now for a recipe... I made this recently when I was hit with a chocolate craving. Everyone's familiar with avocado chocolate pudding by this point. It just can't be beat. Creamy, rich, sweet, yet lighter than a nut based dessert. Toppings are essential for me. I like different textures. Chocolate chip cookie dough balls were just the thing since I already leftovers on hand.

Raw Chocolate Pudding

2 large avocados
1/2 - 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup pitted dates
1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla
1 tablespoon maple syrup
10 drops vanilla stevia
1/3 cup cacao powder

Blend all but the cacao powder in a blend until smooth, starting with 1/2 cup water. Use more as needed for blending and getting to desired thickness.
Add the powder and blend again. Eat immediately or chill first.

As I was saying, cookie dough was the perfect topping for the pudding. It makes a great snack too. I have two versions of chocolate chip cookie dough balls. Basically different ratios to produce slightly different result. #1 came out to be more of a smooth dough, while #2 came out a bit more textured. I like them both the same.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls #1

1 cup almonds
1/4 cup cashews
1/2 cup oats, oat groats, or gluten free oats
3/4 cup pitted, packed dates
Pinch of salt
1/2 - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

Grind the almonds and oats into flour in a food processor.
Add the cashews. Grind again.
Add the dates, salt, and vanilla (starting with 1/2 tsp). Grind into a smooth dough.
Add the other 1/2 teaspoon vanilla IF it doesn't hold together when pressed in your hand.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Use a mini ice cream scoop to make cookie balls OR roll into balls. Chill.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls #2

1 cup oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup agave
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips

In a food processor grind the oats and almonds into a flour.
Add the cashews, grind again.
Add the agave, vanilla, and salt. Process into a dough.
Stir in the chocolate chips.
Roll into balls or use a mini ice cream scoop.

Mmm, who doesn't love chewy cookie dough balls with crunchy chocolate chips?!

Peanut butter balls are another tasty and delicious snack that's super easy to whip up. I mean hey, when the food processor is already being used, why not make another treat? I brought these over to a friend's place and they were a hit. They almost couldn't believe they were healthy - if it weren't for my health conscious reputation.

Peanut Butter Balls

1 1/2 cups peanuts
2/3 cup pitted, packed dates
1/4 cup raisins
Pinch of salt
Mini dark chocolate chips (optional)

In a food processor combine the peanuts, dates, raisins and salt. Grind into a dough. It will still be a little textured but make sure things are broken down.
Add the chocolate chips and pulse briefly to incorporate.
Roll into balls.

We're fortunate to have gorgeous weather here lately!  J and I spent last evening with our friends for a bbq and bon fire. Today was filled with a deck workout, lounging on the dock, a jet ski ride, and delicious food. I crave being outside. What nice things are you doing this weekend? Are you making anything tasty?

Love hanging out on the deck in the summer.

Happy weekend!
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