cookie dough oat balls
2 cups old fashioned oats
3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
10 pitted medjool dates (large and very moist) *see note below
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons water
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips or ¼ cup cacao nibs
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees (or 350 degrees convection).
Put your oats on a sheet tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes, turning your tray from front to back when you are halfway through.
When the oats have cooled, put them into your food processor with the coconut and run the machine for 30 seconds or until they have been processed into a fine flour or powder. Then add your dates and vanilla and process for another 15 seconds. With the machine running add your water. When the dough has come together in a ball you know you have added enough water. Open the cover, and transfer the dough to a mixing bowl. Add your chocolate chips or nibs and using a gloved hand or spoon mix the chips into the dough thoroughly. Using your smallest cookie scooper or a spoon scoop round balls (the size of a large teaspoon) into a container and store on the counter,in the fridge or in the freezer.
These can be made whenever you have time and stored in the freezer for up to 6 weeks.
If you are using the smaller drier dates, like the Tunisian ones, you may have to use up to 30 pieces to create the equivalent of 10 medjool dates.
To plump up dry dates soak them in hot water for a few minutes.
Always check the inside of pitted dates for pit fragments.