Treats are an essential part of eating. I tend to classify treats into two categories. The first is treats that are made with “real food” ingredients (see below). The second group have ingredients that are sometimes hard to pronounce and most people have no idea what they are or where they came from (think sodium stearoyl lactylate- a food additive found in foods like commercial baked goods, pet food, chewing gum and cereals).
Alas living in a sodium stearoyl lactylate-free bubble has proven to be a difficult, if not harmful task. Harmful because strict prohibition can fuel resentment. The “never” rule might just make my kids push back with the “always” rule. So instead we stick with the once a week rule for treats in category 2.
As for real food treats? These are more of a twice- (sometimes thrice) weekly occurrence. They are not eaten every day because the novelty soon wears off. Wholesome sweets (like honey or dark chocolate) should still be regarded as something special. Does this idea sound completely outlandish? Read: Is It Too Late?
The no-bake fruit & nut bonbons featured below are meant to be a dessert, not a snack food. If you find that, after reading the ingredients, you scoff and think “no way this will pass as dessert in my house”, I urge you to try it anyway. There will be no change if you don’t make a change.
I recommend using excellent quality ingredients and organic if possible. The taste will be richer. It is highly advised to conceal these dainty little balls in an airtight container somewhere far from sight. Otherwise they will be devoured in minutes.
Fruit & Nut Bonbons:
1/4 cup natural almond butter
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped unsulphured dried apricots
1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon creamed honey
1 tablespoon cacao powder (or coco powder)
Pinch of salt
Dried, shredded unsweetened coconut
Mix everything except coating, obviosly, in a food processor for about 2 minutes, until crumbly and mixed well. Scoop out and form small uniform balls. Try one. Just to make sure that it tastes right, of course. Pour cacao powder and coconut into 2 different bowls. Roll the bonbons into either the powder or the coconut. For the coconut coating, press firmly so that it sticks. Place, alternating coatings, on a pretty serving plate (or in an airtight container). Makes about 32 bonbons.