If my kids grow up anything like me (and statistics show that when it comes to eating…they will), they will thoroughly enjoy a satisfying, delicious meal and still crave a little something sweet when the dishes have cleared. Instead of indulging regularly on something full of sugar and empty calories that will only send me crashing, I often try to grab something tasty with a superfood or two to boost my overall health while still satisfying my sweet tooth. Imagine my delight in stumbling across this Coconut Cranberry Pecan Ball recipe in my new Clean Food cookbook. Not only does it take mere minutes to make, it has two of my favorite superfoods inside, coconut and cranberries.
Coconut is having a popular resurgence lately with it’s foray in the water world. I literally trip over gigantic boxes of coconut water in my neighborhood Whole Foods on a regular basis. But the “meat” of the coconut is where my love remains. Good news for me, since lauric acid, the major fatty acid, and capric acid, another fatty acid in the meat, have been recognized for their antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal functions. Recent research also shows that a diet including natural coconut fat leads to a normalization of body lipids and improves the immune system’s anti-inflammatory response. (source: http://www.life-enthusiast.com/index/Articles/Enig/Coconuts_and_Oil:_Benefits)
While I can rarely drink a glass of cranberry juice without someone commenting on urinary tract infection prevention, cranberries have recently been found to “inhibit the growth and proliferation of breast, colon, prostate, lung, and other tumors.” Additionally, the antioxidant properties of cranberries have a full range of other health benefits, including the support of cardiovascular health. (source: http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/Volume14/vol14.2/fullArticles/Vattem.pdf)
Why wouldn’t I want all of those benefits for myself and my kids? Especially in a yummy treat. So, here’s the recipe. Enjoy!
1/4 C shredded dried unsweeted coconut Place coconut in a small bowl and set aside. In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients and process to form a stiff paste or meal. Form into tablespoon-size balls and roll in coconut to coat. Serve immediately or store in airtight container for up to 4 days.
Coconut Cranberry Pecan Balls
1 1/2C toasted pecans
1 C dried cranberries
1/2 C almond butter
1/2 C maple syrup
MAKES 12-15 balls.
1/4 C shredded dried unsweeted coconut
Place coconut in a small bowl and set aside.
In a food processor, combine remaining ingredients and process to form a stiff paste or meal. Form into tablespoon-size balls and roll in coconut to coat. Serve immediately or store in airtight container for up to 4 days.
Source: Clean Food by Terry Walters