Can you tell based on recent posts that I love the holiday season?
I don’t mean the over-commercialized, Black Friday (and now starting to be Thursday too!), tree-up-after-Halloween holiday season, I just mean the joy and cheer of this time of year. I love that people feel more motivated to do charity around the holidays; I love that food drives get ramped up, that people volunteer to wrap donated gifts for those in need, and I love the general feelings of nostalgia for the magic of Christmas.
I used to hate holiday music, and now I have my own playlist for it on Spotify and have saved an album that my mom plays on repeat this time of year. I have tortured Loren into loving it, and we listen to it while we decorate the house each year. I love the ritual of going to get the tree; I love making and putting up decorations; I love thinking of creative holiday gifts, and I LOVE hosting a fancy holiday party. I don’t know why I love getting dressed up this time of year, but it’s just fun, and it makes me happy so I’m telling you about it!
Tradition + Healthy = Happy
This recipe is a healthy take on an old holiday favorite, at least it’s a favorite in my family. At every family party, you will find a plate with rum balls, Italian fig cookies, pignoli (a naturally gluten-free DELICIOUS cookie!), sesame cookies, and some with colorful sprinkles on them. I used to devour the rum balls as a kid, thinking I was doing something sneaky because they had rum in them. Tsk tsk…
For these little nuggets of joy, I’ve combined the taste of home with a popular vegan energy ball recipe to create a gluten-free, no-bake, flourless rum ball. And I forgot to mention, they’re absolutely decadent. This year, I’ve dressed them up in cute little packages to give to friends and coworkers, but they’re also perfect for your big holiday bash. Might as well have a few healthy things on the finger food table. (Check out my Holiday Chicken Salad-stuffed Cucumber Cups for another healthy finger food!)
- 3 cups pecans
- 3 cups dates
- 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs
- 1/3 cup rum
- 5 tsp raw cacao powder
- brown sugar
- extra raw cacao powder
- powdered sugar
- In a food processor, process pecans into small pieces before adding the dates and cacao nibs
- Add in the cacao powder and the rum
- Process until all ingredients are incorporated and you have a mostly homogenous consistency
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to firm up for rolling
- Roll into 1.5 inch balls
- Combine equal parts powdered sugar and cacao into a small bowl
- Pour a few tbs brown sugar into another bowl
- Roll 1/2 the balls through the brown sugar and the other 1/2 through the powdered sugar/cacao combo