I can't believe how quickly the month of December has gone by! I thought I would have tons of time to listen to holiday tunes, come up with some festive recipes, and get all of my Christmas preparations done, but Christmas Day is already less than a week away and I feel like I haven't accomplished nearly as much as I wanted to!
At least one thing I can say I've accomplished is my shopping - as of yesterday, I'm all finished! Now all that's left to do is is wrap my gifts, which isn't exactly my forte but I actually look forward to doing it every year.
As for cooking and baking, I admit I've fallen behind this year with only two holiday themed recipes to share with you so far. First were my gingerbread rye scones, and today I have an even easier no-bake treat for you!
I love roasted chestnuts, but it's a bit of a pain to roast them and pry the shells off. So when I saw bags of pre-roasted chestnuts at the store, I thought I would give them a try and see how they compare. As it turned out, they were much tastier than I thought and couldn't be simpler - you can eat them straight out of the package or heat them up for a warm treat.
Instead of just gobbling them up, I wanted to use my chestnuts in some kind of snack and my first thought were energy balls. I took my basic formula of energy balls but replaced the nuts with chestnuts and added some flavours like cinnamon, maple and vanilla to complement them.
Since the chestnuts were so buttery, they broke down easily in the food processor to create the smoothest "energy balls" I've ever made! These were nice and sweet too, so they tasted more like a dessert even though they're still pretty healthy.
These would make a unique addition to your holiday dessert platters this year, or just to have around as a snack to fuel you through the rest of your holiday preparations!
No-Bake Chestnut Balls
1/2 cup (100g package) roasted peeled chestnuts (I used Aurora ready to eat chestnuts)
1/2 cup dates
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dash of salt
1/2 tsp artificial vanilla extract (if you only have pure vanilla, use 1/4 tsp)
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
~1/4 cup dessicated unsweetened coconut
Place the chestnuts, dates, and oats in the small bowl of a food processor and process until everything is broken down. Add cinnamon, salt, vanilla, and maple syrup and process again until the mixture forms a sticky dough.
Roll mixture into bite-sized balls. Sprinkle the coconut onto a plate and roll balls in the coconut, using your hands to help press it in.
Store in the fridge.
Makes 12-13 balls