Vanilla Chai Yummies


I had a long day yesterday that involved sitting in a conference room for a meeting from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.  The mere thought of the afternoon weighed like an elephant on my shoulders by the time 11 o’clock rolled around.  What eventually made the afternoon bearable was the Raw Revolution bar I nibbled on from time to time.  Chocolate Raspberry.  Let me repeat… Chocolate Raspberry.  And now imagine a little slab of raw goodness that is the color of a naughty chocolate bar with the flavor of super ripe raspberries and sinful chocolate ganache. 

Normally I make snacks like this at home with my kids.  They are healthy, quick and much cheaper than commercial bars.  I haven’t made chocolate raspberry before, but we routinely make one with dates, cashews and a berry blend (my little guy calls them “Sweet Fruit Snowballs”). 

A friend of mine was writing on facebook about enjoying a cup of homemade chai tea.  How I love chai!  What’s not to love, really?!  Got me thinking about making a raw bar or raw ball using chai spices.  I started imagining a blond ball speckled with fragrant Indian spices and studded with coconut.  Knowing me, as some of you do, you are aware that I am an info junkie.  So I started checking out some of my favorite web resources and I came across a few ideas for raw vegan macaroons and even one with a chai spice blend.  I played around with my food processor and my spice grinder and came up with something that is share worthy.  What I ended up with are perfectly sized nuggets of spiced coconutty perfection.  They are not flecked with spice as I envisioned because I started off with fine ground spices, but they are well spiced and studded with coconut!  The spice flavors definitely developed over night, so my suggestion is to make them one day and eat them the next if you can stand to keep your mitts off that long!

Right, here you go!  I am also posting my recipe for Sweet Fruit Snowballs since it’s a perennial favorite in my household!  Enjoy.

little mound of spiced coconut goodness

Vanilla Chai Yummies (makes 30 tablespoon size balls plus a few teaspoons for tasting along the way)

12 pitted dates

2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened

1 cup raw cashews

4 Tbsp agave nectar, maple syrup or honey

4 Tbsp melted coconut crème or coconut oil *

3 tsp spice blend (see recipe below)

1 tsp flaxseed meal

*If you are keeping you snack raw go ahead and melt the coconut creme or coconut oil over a cup of hot water.  You put the product into a glass dish and let the dish rest in the water without getting the water in the glass dish, of course.  Stir, stir, stir and then remove.  It’s about gently warming the raw product while keeping it raw.  If you aren’t concerned about the rawness of the coconut creme or coconut oil then you can zap it in the microwave for a few seconds or melt over a double boiler.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until the mixture is evenly moist and will hold together when you press it.  Use a small ice cream scooper to make even tablespoon size balls or use a spoon to portion and then roll in the palm of your hands.  You can roll these guys in a little extra shredded coconut if they are sticky.  I didn’t need to do that.  Eat or chill and eat… yum!

  

 

 

   

Chai Spice Blend (Makes about ½ cup)

 

2 Tbsp of each of the following spices, ground:  Ginger, Cardamom, Cinnamon

2 tsp of each of the following, ground: Cloves, Nutmeg, Allspice, Black pepper and Vanilla Powder

Mix the ingredients until combined.  Store in a tin or a spice jar. 

 

 

Sweet Fruit Snowballs (makes 36 teaspoon size balls)

12 pitted dates

1/2 cup goji berries

1 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup fresh cranberries

1 tsp agave nectar, maple syrup or honey

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp flaxseed meal

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, for rolling — you may have coconut leftover depending on how much you press into the balls.

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until a smooth-ish paste forms.  Roll tsp amounts of the fruit-nut mixture in the coconut.  Eat.

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