Gluten-free, no-bake brownie balls
You'll never guess by their taste that these mini-brownie bites are gluten-free and vegan. Try them as a weeknight dessert or a family get-together.
Mon, Nov 28 2011 at 8:00 AM
Is it possible to create a healthy brownie? A regular brownie contains oodles of butter, sugar, eggs and chocolate. It is a confection of mega calorific proportions and should be eaten as a treat.
But, if you have a food processor, you can whip up something in minutes that tastes delicious. The key is to use healthy replacements for the butter, eggs and sugar. In this recipe, which I created in my test kitchen (ahem, my kitchen), I used dates and almonds.
You can find dates next to the raisins in most grocery stores (I bet you haven't even noticed them).
Having a food processor in the house is extremely helpful. It cuts time on many cooking projects, such as making dough (pastry and pizza), grating cheese and chopping nuts.
I highly recommend the one featured below. I have had my Cuisinart for many years and it still works like new. Just be aware a food processor is NOT for liquids. A blender is a much better choice for smoothies, soups, etc.
Roasted almonds are just one choice for this recipe. You could use raw nuts or any kind of nut that you like. I used roasted because roasting makes the almond taste stronger.
I rolled these balls in confectioner's sugar and cocoa. My tasters (friends) thought that the cocoa ones were too bitter. I actually liked them better, so give them both a try. You can add more honey if you find these lacking in sweetness.
These would be a great party snack, too. You can make them ahead and just artfully arrange them on a plate. Or do what I did, and just put them on a plate.
These brownie balls are gluten-free so you can serve them at snack time for the kids with wheat allergies. Kids will also love making these as they get to use their hands in making them.
To make these brownie balls vegan, use maple syrup or agave syrup.
No-Bake Brownie Balls
- 15 pitted dates
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 cup roasted almonds (no salt added)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 tablespoons water
- confectioner's sugar (optional)
Add almonds to food processor and pulse until ground.
Add dates, cocoa powder, honey and water.
Mix until it just forms a sticky mass. Wash hands and attempt to make a ball with the dough (it may need more water to get to the perfect consistency).
Put a tablespoon of cocoa or confectioner's sugar on a plate.
Roll balls in your hand and then roll in sugar or cocoa (or both).
These can be stored in the fridge for a week.
Yield: 15 balls.
For one brownie bite: 109 calories, 6.8 g fat, 12.2 g carbohydrates, 3.6 g protein, 3.5 g fiber, 3 PointsPlus
Lisa Cain, Ph.D., writes about healthy snacks on Snack-Girl.com. She is a published author, mother of two and avid snacker. For more healthy snack recipes, check out Snack-Girl.com.
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