I’m really no good at baking, mainly due to the fact that I like improvising in the kitchen and substituting ingredients (I always seem to be missing something, especially if the list is longer than 5 items), which is really a recipe for disaster when it comes to baking.
That is why I LOVE these raw nut cookies which are so easy to make and delicious.
Plus, no baking is required – it’s just mix and eat!
This will really save you time and energy; plus they are ideal dessert in the summertime (other than ice-cream, of course), when you don’t want to be using your oven.
To make your cookies, nuts are bound together with the stickiness of the dates. If your cookies are too crumbly, just add a few more dates to the mix. Or you can add a tablespoon of water, agave syrup or olive oil, to add more moisture that will help keep the dough together, if needed.
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Basic Raw Nut Cookie Recipe
- 3 cups nuts, such as hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, or walnuts
- 1 cup dates, pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins (optional)
- pinch of sea salt (optional)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Place the nuts and seeds in a food processor or Vitamix and break down nuts into chunks. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the nuts bind together with the sticky fruit. Process until you reach the desired consistency. It you don’t want chunky cookies, blend until almost creamy.
Test the batter by taking a handful and squeezing to make sure it holds together. If it’s not sticky enough, you may add a few more dates, some water, agave nectar and/or olive oil until it holds together. Using your hands, roll the mixture into ping-pong-sized balls.
For additional “wow” effect, dip in shredded coconut or cocoa.
Serve as is, or cover and refrigerate before serving until thoroughly chilled for a more solid consistency.
Once you get the hang of the basic recipe, have fun experimenting with various ingredients:
- nuts: hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, almonds, cashew or walnuts
- seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, chia
- dried fruits: dates, apricots, raisins, cranberries
- spices: cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, vanilla extract, shredded coconut, carob/coconut, etc.
- sweeteners: agave, maple syrup, honey, etc.
- oatmeal or granola
- shredded coconut and cocoa for added cuteness
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But aren’t nuts and seeds high in calories and fats?
Yes they are, so don’t go crazy on me with these cookies (they are delicious!)
Nuts and seeds average about 175 calories an ounce, and one or two ounces a day would provide 15 to 30 percent of a daily caloric intake from the fat range.
However, judicious regular consumption of nuts and seeds is highly beneficial for health, but also for weight loss and even diabetes.
Studies on nuts indicate an inverse association between frequency of consumption and weight, contrary to the situation with oil or other fats. Several studies have confirmed that, even though raw nuts and seeds are not low in calories and rather high in fat, eating them may actually help suppress appetite – and thus help lose weight or even get rid of diabetes.
Of course, it doesn’t mean that we should binge on these foods in an effort to lose weight, as this can easily backfire. Eat about 2-4 ounces per day, but only an ounce of nuts per day if you are trying to lose weight.
Benefits of Nuts and Seeds for Health
Raw nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients that provide a variety of health benefits. Nuts and seeds are high in fat and protein, but their effects on the body are completely different when compared to animal fats and protein, or processed vegetable fats and oils. They have been demonstrated in hundreds of medical studies to dramatically extend life and protect against disease.
Eating too many wrong fats or too little fat is a bad thing. Too little fat in the diet leads to dry skin, thinning hair, muscle cramps, poor sleep, high triglycerides, and poor exercise tolerance. Too little fat in the diet can also compromise the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and phytochemicals. Eating more healthy fats – such as these in nuts and seeds, supplementing with DHA, the long-chain omega-3 fats, and eating fewer processed foods helps relieve these problems.
When you eat seeds and nuts with your meals, the fatty acids supplied significantly increase the absorption of micronutrients. For example, when you add nuts and seeds to your salad, you will absorb more of the micronutrients in the raw vegetables. More than 10 times as much of certain nutrients is absorbed, according to some studies. It’s worth to note that the same effect was NOT observed when a fatty dressing was used.
Remember that it is best to eat nuts and seeds raw or only lightly toasted. The more nuts and seeds are cooked, the more nutrients are destroyed.
For all my blending recipes I use Vitamix. If you don’t already own a VitaMix, I strongly encourage you to check out what this machine is capable of! For more information about VitaMix you can go directly to the VitaMix website. You may also want to read my post about the Best Blender.
I LOVE my VitaMix and highly recommend investing in one if you are ready to make serious changes to your diet. I have had mine for almost 5 years and use it daily!
If you decide to purchase Vitamix – be sure to use Promotional Code 06-004554 to get free shipping.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions?
If you have a favorite recipe, why not submit it here in the comment section of this smoothie recipes blog for others to enjoy too!
I also welcome any comments, questions and suggestions. Thanks!