Or as my eldest daughter calls them: Yoga Balls, refering to a very mindfull practice. A state of bliss, submerged in love is what I take in when I treat myself to a date ball. Not suprisingly I process at least once a week the raw ingredients consisting mainly of dates and seeds or nuts, into approximately thirty nutrious round little balls, in snack sized measurements of ’round and about 20 grams weight each.
The irony is that culinairy combinations of dried fruits and nuts going way back in time and location, typically are not associated with sweet love and a state of bliss. The harsh texture and not subtle flavors have even given rise to the archaïc appelation: Pan Forte. Beautifully wrapped and labelled Italian ‘Tough Bread’, being probably the most renown culinairy version of processed dried fruits and nuts, flavoured with ginger, lightly dusted with icing sugar.
So where did we deteriorate and start to associate dryness, sticky chunks and pieces, crumbly bits and a lot of protein with Love and a State of Bliss? Please contemplate when preparing a very straightforward date ball dough before meditatively taking small scoops of it in the palm of one hand, as to subtly roll it into a little ball using light pressure exerted with the other hand palm, secretely transforming the culinairy process into an act of love and health and mindfulness.
350 gram dates, preferably a combination of half medjool (sweet and sticky) and half regular dried dates (caramel flavor and more sturdy)
200 gram raw cashew nuts
Zest of 1 orange
A walnut sized or shallot sized chunk of fresh ginger (15 grams), finely grated
2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste) or any other nut/seed paste
Sprinkling of sea salt
Take pits out of the dates where applicable and dice the dates with a sharp knife into chunks no larger then sweet peas. This takes quite a bit of time and effort. But the secret of the recipe lies in cutting instead of food-processing.
Transfer into large bowl
Take a coffee bean grinder or set up the magic mix with it’s small container, and grind the cashew nuts into a paste. First the nuts will turn into meal and consecutively they will form a paste much like butter. It’s not necessary to have the emulsion transform all together into butter, somewhere half way is fine
Add to large bowl
Add the remaining ingredients, form a dough with bare hands
Set out a shallow bowl filled with water and a storage container lined with baking sheet
Wet your hands and keep them wet throughout the process (here is where the shallow water bowl comes in) to keep the dough from sticking at your hands and fingers as much as possible
Take a golf ball sized amount of dough in the palm of your hand, form a ball, start rolling it in between the palms of your hands and dispose of it in prepared baking sheet lined, storage container.
Repeat the process until all dough is finished
Place storage container in fridge
Ready to eat and to be kept in the fridge for several weeks without turning rancid or bad (the flavors actually mingle more over time)
And Love Your Balls Ever After