Vanilla Ginger Snack Bites

April 11, 2012

in Cookies & Bars, Snacks

Thanks so much for all of the positive feedback on Monday’s how to grow a kombucha scoby post! I know the process seems a little intimidating and the kombucha “mother” isn’t the prettiest (okay, it’s kinda gross), but I promise brewing your own is totally doable. And if I can get past the whole jellyfish-looking scoby, you can get past it too. Trust me, I’m a wimp when it comes to this stuff.

I’m finally enjoying my first batch of kombucha this week and I added some blueberries to about half of it, and it’s much more appetizing, I swear. I’ll be posting a follow-up in the next week or two explaining how you can turn the scoby into kombucha that rivals the pricey bottled stuff. You know, so you can spend more money on fancy coffee, coconut water, etc.

I had originally titled this post “Vanilla Ginger Balls”, but calling these “balls” sounds a little crude, no? Then again, I’m not sure “snack bites” is much better. Regardless, balls/bites – these are my latest snack obsession.

Vanilla Ginger Snack Bites

I don’t know why it took me so long to post this sort of a recipe. It’s the type of thing I see on other blogs all the time and I always have the urge to drop everything I’m doing and make them. Instead, I add it to my out-of-control list of “things I want to make”, get caught up in a freelance project, Olive eating something she shouldn’t (a towel, the rug, the baseboard), and then go right back to eating my delicious, but boring snack of plain medjool dates and walnuts.

Chewy Vanilla Ginger Bites

The other day, I finally got my act together and made some balls (there, I said it). I’m still on a ginger kick and recently bought some candied ginger that ended up being a great addition to the dates and walnuts. I processed it until it was finely chopped and paired it with a heavy dose of vanilla bean paste, some chia seeds for crunch, and just a touch of sea salt. I’m a big fan of the vanilla and ginger combination, although you could definitely play around with other flavors. I’m thinking dried cherries and cinnamon for my next batch.

Vanilla Ginger Ball

You can store them in the fridge or freezer, but my vote is to freeze them. They don’t freeze solid, and instead take on this very addictive, chewy texture. They’re perfect for pre- and post-gym snacks or as a way to satisfy your sweet tooth after dinner, without going to town on a bag of chocolate chips. Not that I would know anything about that…

Vanilla Ginger Walnut Ball

Vanilla Ginger Snack Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Snack, Dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: about 18 balls
 
These vanilla ginger balls are naturally sweet and slightly spicy, with a texture that closely resembles a Larabar. They make an excellent pre- or post-workout snack and a great healthy dessert.
Ingredients
  • 1½ C. Chopped Walnuts, plus an additional ⅓ C. for coating
  • ¾ C. Pitted & Chopped Medjool Dates
  • ¼ C. Chopped Candied Ginger (I used uncrystallized, but crystallized should work too)
  • 1 Tbs. Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbs. Vanilla Bean Paste (or Pure Vanilla Extract)
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Ginger
  • ¼ Tsp. Sea Salt
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place the 1½ C. chopped walnuts, dates, and candied ginger in a food processor and pulse until ground.
  3. Add the chia seeds, vanilla, ground ginger, and salt and pulse until the mixture forms a ball.
  4. Using a cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon, portion the mixture into small balls, and roll them in the additional ⅓ C. chopped walnuts to coat them. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Allow to harden in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for half an hour and enjoy!
  6. Can be stored in the fridge or freezer.
Notes
These balls are easily customizable to suit your taste preferences. Not a fan of ginger? Try dried cherries and cinnamon instead.

 

What’s your current favorite snack?

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Gina @ Running to the Kitchen April 11, 2012 at 1:15 pm

Welcome to the world of balls! hehe ;) If it’s crude to say that word in a post title well then, I’m the queen of crudeness :)
They’re the best for snacking aren’t they? Now that you’ve made them, I guarantee you’ll have some form of them on hand at all times. They’re so easy and so perfect for popping in your mouth when any other snack sounds like too much work to put together. I really love the ginger you put in these. Just when I thought I had used up all the combinations out there, here’s another one! :)

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Amanda April 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm

I am definitely planning on having some form of these on hand at all times! They’re so easy!

P.S. Does your husband make fun of you for making all these snack balls? Mine has been non-stop with the ball jokes since I made them. haha

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen April 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

haha, he keeps it to a minimum b/c he pops them like they’re going out of style! He comes home from work opens the fridge (before even saying hello to me) and will grab 1 (or 2 or 3) if they’re there. He finds it entertaining to rate them all on a scale of 1-10. So the first thing I hear after he comes home is “these are ok, I’d give them a 7..”

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Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau April 11, 2012 at 1:36 pm

This is perfect for me because I have approximately 1 handful of crystalized ginger sitting in my pantry that I keep staring at and not knowing what to do with it. I’ll be snackity snacking on these today!

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Amanda April 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm

Nice! I actually bought the candied ginger instead of other dried fruit because I thought it would curb the amount I was eating. Definitely did the trick – the spiciness provides instant portion control!

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lauren @ the talking kitchen April 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

ive been looking for something to use up my bag of candied ginger and too have seen lots of these little balls all over the blog world. I have a variety of my own but def need to switch it up. thanks for the recipe.

ps. dates and pistachios or dates and walnuts is my go to snack. everysingleday. so good!

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Amanda April 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

I absolutely love pistachios! I haven’t bought them in forever – time to change that!

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Lindsey April 11, 2012 at 4:04 pm

I have yet to make “balls” too! haha. But I should and I even have crystallized ginger at home.

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Amanda April 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm

You have to make “balls”! haha They’re so good!

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Rhona April 11, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Yum, these look so great. I am really into “balls” :), as snacks these days. They are so satisfying as making them at home, you can have them mainly unprocessed and full of natural ingredients. I HAVE to make these. Right now I am feeling like something sweet and this would hit the spot. I am on these this weekend for sure.

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Aylin @ Glow Kitchen April 11, 2012 at 8:52 pm

My current favorite snack is spoonful(s) of nut butter :)

These look like they melt in your mouth!

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Amanda April 11, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Nut butter is always in my snack rotation. This week it’s sunflower seed butter. :)

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Rhonda (@diningalone) April 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Imagine all the fun google searches you’d get if you called them balls! They look tasty whatever you call them.

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Amanda April 11, 2012 at 11:15 pm

haha True!

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Jen April 12, 2012 at 1:58 am

Yum! These remind me of ginger people…I would love these!

PS those scones were SO good!!!!

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Amanda April 12, 2012 at 2:13 am

I forgot about ginger people! Love those!

Glad you liked the scones. :)

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Madison @Veggieful April 12, 2012 at 9:23 am

This looks YUM! I want to try it… I never really make any sweet things so I will definitely be coming back here and getting some recipes :)

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Amanda April 12, 2012 at 11:55 am

Thanks, Madison! I tend to favor sweet over savory, at least when I’m doing the cooking. ;)

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Saskia van Rijn April 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Thanks for this amazing recipe. The first time I made them they were an instant success. Bookmarked it and will come back for a second batch.

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Amanda April 15, 2012 at 3:14 pm

That’s great to hear! I’m so glad you liked them!

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Maria @ WayfaringTeacher.com May 7, 2012 at 12:18 am

Hi! I love your recipes and plan on trying some very soon! I am also inspired by your story. It is so easy to get caught up with a comfortable life and kind of “forget” to pursue your real passions. It is very cool that you decided to make that leap . I am trying desperately to never end up in comfortable but uninspiring life. Thank you.
Please check out my blog wayfaringteacher.com and let me know what you think.

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Amanda May 7, 2012 at 1:28 am

Thanks for your comment, Maria! I just checked out your blog – congrats on the new endeavor! Looking forward to reading more!

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