Back when the boyfriend and I first went paleo (almost a year ago) we had to break our sugar addictions cold-turkey. We had NO IDEA how much sugar was in EVERYTHING we were used to eating!
Sugar is a sneaky little demon (read: drug) that has been dressed in various alternative names to trick consumers into thinking they’re not eating as much as they are. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of all the alternative names for sugar as an ingredient: barley malt, beet sugar, brown sugar, buttered syrup, cane juice crystals, dehydrated cane juice, dextran, dextrose, diastase, ethyl maltol, fructose, fruit juice, glucose, glucose solids, high fructose corn syrup, lactose, maltodextrin, maltose, sucrose, mannitol….
Okay, you see what I mean now? That wasn’t even everything on the list! And yes, some forms of sugar are better than others. And yes, sugar IS naturally occurring but it is also chemically made, so choosing something made with natural sugar (example: cane sugar) is always a better choice than chemical (example: maltodextrin…ew)!
Finding alternative, healthier sweets was a challenge at first. Ask Paul about my beginning stages of paleo baking and he’ll inevitably bring up my WORST concoction: Sand Brownies. Sound yummy, right?!
Sugar-free baking can be a frustratingly hit-or-miss affair. But after a year of tweaking this recipe right here, I’m proud to say that these are a smashing success!
Finally, don’t you just hate when recipe blogs drag on and on about their personal story of how they baked the perfect cookies and you’re like “Dude come on…I just want the damn cookies!” Yeah, I don’t want to be that blog. So without further adieu, here are your Toasted Coconut Date Bites, friend.
- 1 ½ cups Walnuts
- 1 cup pitted Dates (about 10 dates)
- 1 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
- 1 Egg
- 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- Pinch of cardamom
- Pinch of salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350. Line a cookie baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- In a dry skillet, toast shredded coconut on medium heat until lightly brown, set aside.
- In a food processor: pulse and blend walnuts and dates into a rough dough (about one minute)
- Add remaining ingredients (reserving ½ cup of the toasted coconut on a plate for later)
- Blend for another minute or until sticky “paste” dough forms
- Use a spoon to scoop dough out and roll between hands to form a ball** then roll ball into the reserved coconut flakes to coat evenly.
- Place ball on cookie sheet (Note: these won’t rise or expand much, so make balls the size you want them to be when they’re done!) Continue for remaining dough.
- Place in oven and cook for approximately 12-13mins, or until the balls begin to split open a little.
Allow bites to cool on cookie sheet before consuming – I know it’s tough, but cooling allows them to fully solidify!
**Dough is incredibly sticky! If you’re finding that too much of the dough sticks to your palms, have a cup of water nearby and lightly coats your palms enough to keep dough from sticking. If dough is REALLY sticky, you could also through it into the reserved toasted coconut shreds and THEN roll it into balls, coating it a 2nd time with coconut for looks.
I hope you all love this recipe as much as we do! They can be a labor of love, but it’s so worth it to know that you’re getting yummy, natural sweetness without any of the nasty chemicals!
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for improvement in the comments below!
With love and support,