I have found, that as I continue my clean eating journey... I'm in the most trouble when it comes to snacks or a quick bite to eat. I've prepped a lot of cut up veggies and have 3 different kinds of organic hummus in my refrigerator... But sometimes I want something different; a different texture, a different flavor. I used to reach for a laughing cow cheese and a piece of fruit, but since I'm not eating dairy, that is out too. I can not even tell you how many times I have grabbed a packet of my daughter's fruit snacks justifying it by telling myself its only 80 calories. But it is 80 calories of crap. I think the biggest contributing factor to my clean eating weight loss (4 lbs in 1 week) has been my limitations I have set on myself with what I am "allowed" to eat. I can't grab chips, or random things that my body stored as sugar and fat. Since I have alienated most of my crap snacks, the calories that I am putting into my body are better kinds of calories. (I used to calorie count. Now I am eating clean but not tracking my calories.)
These key lime coconut bites are filled with protein packed nuts and naturally sweet dates. There is something that your body does when it combines "sugar" and protein... It turns the sugar (and by sugar, I mean natural sugar from fruit) into energy instead of sugar stored. This is why often in the past, I would grab a small cheese and a small fruit. The protein from the cheese helps your body to convert the sugar from the fruit into energy. As mentioned above, I'm not eating dairy, so that is out. But here, you have protein from the nuts, and the natural sugar of the dates to create a perfect little bite of energy packed deliciousness. And who doesn't love key lime?!?! (If you don't you just wasted 2-3 minutes of your day reading this... Sorry.)
Makes 30-40 1"-1 1/2" balls
12 key limes, divided
30-34 dates Medjool (about 3 cups)
1 cup almonds
1 cup cashews
2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1/4 cup almond or coconut flour
1 1/2- 2 cups shredded coconut (Bob Mills has a fine shredded coconut that is chopped pretty fine. If you can't find this, the other unsweetened coconut will work alright. But these are smaller flakes so I think they adhere a little bit better.)
1. Zest and then juice 8 key limes into a Vitamix. (You need a powerful blender for the dates coming up here.)
2. Remove the pits from your dates and add them to the blender. Puree until smooth. You will have to use the tamper to press some of the dates down. It might take a few minutes. Be patient and make sure you do not overheat your device.
3. Scrape out as much of the date key lime mixture that you can into a mixing bowl.
4. Add the almonds and the cashews to the blender. You might want to lower the setting on the Vitamix since you don't want to puree your nuts. Some larger pieces contribute to the texture.( I poked at mine for maybe 30-45 seconds before I scooped it out. )
5. Scrape all of the nuts out of the blender. If there are any whole pieces, set them aside and coarsely chop them.
6. Add the 1/4 cup of almond or coconut flour, juice the other 4 key limes and add 2 cups of shredded coconut to the bowl. Mix the ingredients well.
7. In a shallow bowl, get the Bob Mills coconut flakes (like I said above, if you can't find it, other unsweetened coconut shreds are fine.)
8. Grab a pinch of the date and nut mixture and roll it into a 1 inch ball. Once it resembles a ball, roll it in the coconut flakes until it is fully coated.
9. Lay on a piece of wax paper in a lidded container.
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 until you have gone through all f the date/nut mixture.
11. Keep a layer of wax paper in between each layer of date balls.
12. Store in the refrigerator.
Munch and Enjoy!