Halloween signals that the sugary season is upon us again, that willpower-testing time of year when bowls of candy and plates of baked goods seem to appear at every turn. If indulging at some point is inevitable, make it something that doesn’t divert too far from the Primal foods that will keep you feeling healthy during the holiday season. Enter Primal desserts.
You know what some of our typical dessert choices are; usually, the simpler the better. A square of (very) dark chocolate (dipped into almond butter, perhaps) or berries with whole cream don’t require a recipe and aren’t accompanied by a load of guilt. When holiday season is full swing, we’ve also been known to enjoy a mug of Primal Eggnog and a slice or two of Primal Pie.
This holiday season, we’re adding three more desserts to our rotation of holiday goodies: Coconut Macadamia Bark, Primal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Holiday Spice Balls. Just remember, the holidays are all about spreading the good cheer around, not hogging it for yourself. Whip up a batch of these desserts, then bring a goodie bag to the neighbors or your co-workers. It’s an easy way to get your fix without going overboard.
Coconut Macadamia Bark
Servings: 12 squares of bark or more
A simple recipe, and a few bites will both satisfy a sweet tooth and give you a hit of healthy fats. We’ve made a very simple version, leaving plenty of room for embellishment. Add dried fruit or dark chocolate chips. Swirl in some melted dark chocolate. What’s your favorite version of coconut bark?
- 1 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 2/3 cup roughly chopped macadamia nuts
Mix together oil, coconut flakes and nuts. Line a pan or plate with parchment paper. Pour the oil mixture onto the parchment paper. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Break apart into pieces of bark. Store in the freezer.
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Servings: 1 dozen cookies
Who doesn’t love chocolate chip cookies? If you’re in the minority who doesn’t, add fresh blueberries or dried cranberries instead of dark chocolate chips. These cookies are softer and moister than some, but will hold their shape well after baking.
- 4 dates, pits removed
- 1 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/2 cup pecans
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Grind dates in the food processor until a paste forms, about 40 seconds. Add walnuts and pecans and blend until very finely chopped, about 35 seconds. Add baking soda and salt and pulse a few more times.
Warm the coconut oil so it is in liquid form. With the food processor running, drizzle it into the batter with the egg and vanilla. Stop mixing as soon as the egg and oil are blended in.
Scrape the batter into a bowl and stir in coconut and chocolate chips by hand. The dough will be sticky and wet. Drop 12 portions of the dough onto a cookie sheet, then flatten slightly with your fingers.
Bake 15 minutes, or until nicely browned.
Holiday Spice Balls
Servings: 12 balls
These Holiday Spice Balls are similar to Cocoa and Coconut Snacks, but the addition of cinnamon and cardamom are perfect for autumn. Using pumpkin pie spice, if you have it on hand, would be very autumnal as well.
- 2 cups walnuts
- 4-6 dates
- 1/2 cup dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Process everything in the food process until it comes together in a sticky paste-like consistency.
Form into balls and refrigerate.