Saturday, June 30, 2012

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


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 or cacao nibs

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
These are a great snacking cookie. They firm up nicely due to the coconut butter and coconut oil.

1 cup oats (regular or gluten free)
3/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup agave + 1 tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon himalayan salt
2 1/2 tablespoons melted coconut butter
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

In a food processor grind the oats and cashews into flour.
Add agave, vanilla, and salt. Process again to incorporate.
Add the coconut butter and oil. Process.
Fold in the mini chocolate chips.
Roll into balls or use mini ice cream scoop. Chill.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls #3
These cookies are softer than version #2 but they're a great addition to ice cream! Freeze the balls, chop and add to ice cream after processing in an ice cream machine (will be soft serve consistency at that point).

1 cup oats
1/2 cup almonds (blanched if you want a more white dough)
1/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup agave or maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs

In a food processor grind the oats, almonds, cashews and salt into crumbs.
Add the agave, vanilla, and salt. Process into a dough.
Add the coconut oil.
Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips. The dough will be sticky.
Chill in the fridge for 30- 60 minutes then roll into balls or use a mini ice cream scoop.
Chill until firm.

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 Canada Day to my fellow Canadians!!
Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Potluck Party, Wellness Weekend

20 comments:

pureglow*16 said...

yummmm! this post is so full of goodness. i love anything cookie dough!!

Lauren said...

How fun!! Those recipes have my mouth watering! It's so hot here so we've been keeping cool! Enjoy your weekend!!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

The pudding creation = delicious.

The party = you guys look fabulous, as always!

The gift from your penpal is so cute!

Heather Pace said...

Thanks girls! Yeah cookie dough is always the best ever :)

Maria said...

Yay! Welcome to Foodie Penpals :) so much fun isn't it?!! Your package looks great btw..and I've just gotta try those cookie dough balls OMG!! Thx for the recipe :) Happy Canada Day btw, have an awesome time!

Averie @ Averie Cooks said...

between the avo ice cream and the 3 versions of raw cookie dough...all this chocolate - I am in heaven!

and you look FABULOUS!

Gabby @ the veggie nook said...

So many good things going on in this post! The recipes look amazing! Cookie dough is always ok by me.

And that gift you got is so cute :)

Spencer said...

looks fantastic! Almost too good to eat infact. It is almost a work of art!

Anna @RawGuru said...

Holy guacamole, Heather! This recipe looks so amazing. Not very many ingredients either, really easy to make. Thanks, darling! I'm totally craving peanut butter cookies now....

Gabbie Raymond said...

Hey Heather! I've been following your blog for a while now as a reader since I'm new to raw foods and have never blogged either. I bought some of your ebooks and everything I have tried is so amazing!!! You've inspired me to start a blog of my own to share my passion for food and creativity in the kitchen! Just wanted to say thanks so much, and everything you post is awesome :)!!!

Heather Pace said...

Thanks Gabbie, I'm so glad you're enjoying the recipes. How wonderful that you started a blog! Its such a great creative outlet.

MissFeelo said...

I just started getting into raw foods and I'm so happy I stumbled by your blog. Everything looks amazingly delicious!

Michaela {au naturel design} said...

I love that half of the fun is in the toppings!!! I love making gluten free cookies but never thought to use the dough as a replacement for the oh so tempting original chocolate chip cookie dough. Genius for sure. Can't wait to test it out.

Hope you had a fun long weekend, the weather couldn't have been better.

purelylori said...

wow - wish I had a plate of those cookies in front of me right now!!!
Heather they look amazing!!!
hugs
~Lori

Heather Pace said...

Thank you so much lovely ladies! Hope you'll make some cookie dough and pudding! :D

shannonmarie said...

Happy belated Canada Day! We're celebrating our Fourth of July today. So glad to see the weather is nice where you are. Beautiful! Love the Pen Pal idea. So much fun. And, the desserts are as yummy as ever :-)

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner said...

OH MY GOSH! Cookie Dough Chocolate Pudding?!?!?!?! That looks SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 :DDDDDDDDDDDDD

Heather Pace said...

Thanks Shannon - I could see you having fun with the foodie swap too!

Kat, lol :) Yeah it's such a delicious treat!!! :)

Chelsea said...

Hi Heather! I'm new to your blog, and everything looks so delicious! I'm especially excited to try out these recipes. I love how easy you make everything seem; although I'm not vegan per-say, I do have Celiac disease and lactose intolerance, so many of your recipes are such a comfort! You have such a talent for explaining things in a non-intimidating way; as a girl who went from microwaving pizza to suddenly having to plan to eat REAL FOOD overnight, people like you who make the transition seem calmer are so much help. However, I just wanted to make sure - everything you mentioned here is Gluten-Free, right? Reading the recipes it certainly seems so, but as one Celiac in a house of three, you can never be too careful!! :D

Heather Pace said...

Hey Chelsea! Thanks for your kind comments. These recipes are gluten free as long as you get certified gluten free oats! :) The recipes are super easy to make. I hope you enjoy.