Coconut Date Balls with PB Chips

This holiday is kicking our butt - it's rainy and damp in the house, which makes us hungry for soup and pasta and other stomach warmers (not raw salad). And with all the holiday ads and recipes, we just want to eat dessert - cookies, fudge, brownies, cake, custard - all no-no's if I'm actually going to stay on my plateau and not fall off, so made these "gift worthy" coconut date balls to fool us into thinking we're eating decadence.

Makes a dozen:
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
5 Medjool dates, pitted (a little more than 1/3 cup)
1/3 cup unsweetened cherries
1t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. sea salt (this is the key for balance - reduce it, but don't eliminate it)
1-2 T. water as needed to form the balls
1/4 cup chocolate chips, rough chopped (dark, coccoa nibs, peanut butter chips)
unsweetened coconut

Put the nuts in a blender or food processor until it's chopped up fine, but not yet butter. Put the nuts in a bowl.
Blend the dates, cherries, vanilla and salt. Blend until almost smooth. Mix the date mixture in with the nut mixture and combine. Use water if necessary. Add the chopped chocolate and form into balls with your hands. Roll in coconut and put it in the freezer for a little while to solidify it.


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