Vegan Cranberry Coconut Energy Truffles

I can’t believe that Christmas is only five days away! It seems like every year the holiday season flies exponentially faster than the previous year. This means that each year, my Christmas shopping gets pushed further back and my to-do list grows longer. In fact, I just started Christmas shopping yesterday – oops! While this December time-warp has had it’s disadvantages (um, that baking list? Yeah, totally didn’t get through it), there has been one advantage – the six weeks of boot wearing flew by and now, I am boot free! I am the proud owner a new pair of both left AND right shoes and I can finally start to resume some semi-normal activities. I’m still on a lengthy list of restrictions (no walking, running, jumping, or high-impact cardio) and I have to wear some sort of supportive and confining clog/shoe, but it’s definitely better than the boot. There is a still a long road ahead before I can start running again, but for the moment, I’m focusing on what I can do and trying to make progress in other areas. Being boot-less is definitely a nice little Christmas gift - thanks doc.

Who knew wearing two shoes would be so exciting?!

Speaking of gifts, I had grand plans to make all of these adorable and tasty DIY gifts for everyone this year. What happened? Between the after-wedding insanity, work, and my foot injury, time got away from me and my plan to make tons of DIY gifts didn’t happen. I will probably whip up a few DIY treats for some family members but other than that, I don’t foresee too much gift-making happening. This may be a good thing because I’m really starting to feel baked and sugared-out. Based on some recent posts in the blog world, I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of others share the feeling.

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While I love sweet things, I'm not too crazy about refined sugar. For me, I find that consuming too much refined sugar makes me feel bloated, my skin breaks out, and I’m left in a perpetual cycle of heart-beating-out-of-chest racy and face-plant-on-nearest-semisoft-object exhausted. Instead of sugar, I prefer to use natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Also, I recently discovered that I love Medjool dates. They may sound strange, but give them a try before you write them off. Dates are naturally sweet, really good for you, and make the perfect base for energy-revving truffles (no, not boozy chocolate ones). I whipped up these cranberry coconut energy truffles during a fit of weekend productivity and I’m so glad I did! They’re packed full of good for you things like dates, walnuts, and coconut, which make them a perfect 100-calorie pre-workout or mid-day energizing snack (you can calculate the calorie count based on your ingredients using this website). Now, I’m going to grab one of these truffles and start ticking off my Christmas shopping list, wish me luck!

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Vegan Cranberry Coconut Energy Truffles

Inspired by the Edible Perspective

Yield: about 20 truffles

These energy truffles will help you power through a tough workout, an equally tough marathon of last-minute Christmas shopping, and make a nice gift for a health and fitness focused friend (just make sure you tell them to refrigerate or freeze!).

10-12 medjool dates, pitted

½ cup naturally sweetened, dried cranberries

1 cup raw walnuts

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1 Tbsp. creamy vegan peanut butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ tsp. fine sea salt

1. Remove pits from dates by carefully slicing down the center with a small knife and nudging out the pit. Set pitted dates aside.

2. Put walnuts in food processor and pulse a few times until you have small walnut crumbs. Don’t let it run too long or you will have walnut butter, which is tasty, but not what we’re after.

3. Remove walnuts to a small bowl.

4. Put dates in food processor and process until they are in very small, sticky pieces.

5. Add the walnuts back to the food processor. Process walnut-date mixture until incorporated.

6. Add in remaining ingredients and process until completely blended and firm enough to form a ball. I started with 10 dates and ended up adding 2 more (just remove mix, process dates, and add back to mixture) to firm them up a bit.

7. Make small, ping pong sized balls by rolling the mixture between your hands.

8. You can roll the finished truffles in shredded coconut if you would like. Store energy truffles in the fridge or the freezer in an airtight container for a grab-and-go snack.