Frozen Protein Cookie Dough-Balls. (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Have a sweet tooth but don’t want to derail your efforts at choosing healthy snacks?   If you love the taste of unbaked cookie dough, then you are in for a sweet treat.   These almond flour cookie dough balls encased in a sprinkling of rolled oats and cinnamon are kept frozen for an “any time” snack.  They taste best eaten right out of the freezer but also taste good (and more reminiscent of raw cookie dough) if they are thawed for a few minutes.  Kids love them too so they are a great after school snack.  No refined sugar or added  oils.  Just a blend of dates, almond butter, almond flour, chia seeds, unsweetened applesauce and a small amount or pure maple syrup. I like using unrefined pure maple syrup when a recipe lends itself to this instead of sugar because it contains  calcium, iron, magnesium potassium, zinc and other important minerals.   The addition of chia seeds adds a healthy boost of protein without all the added chemicals found in commercial protein bars.  Chia seeds are also a great source of omega fatty acids and calcium.  The word “chia” is actually the ancient Mayan word for “strength” so enjoy these delicious power balls and reap the benefits with every bite!

Ingredients for the cookie dough mixture:

4 and 1/2 cups of finely ground almond flour. (I use the gf Bob’s Red Mill brand) or use Oat Flour (grind rolled oats in blender for 20 seconds or so)

5 Tablespoons of unsalted crunchy Almond butter. (I use Whole Foods 365 unsalted crunchy brand) Can sub any seed butter too!

5 Tablespoons of pure maple syrup ( any brand as long as it says  “pure”) or Date syrup (I love Date Lady brand)

5 Tablespoons of unsweetened applesauce

1 cup of mashed Medjool dates (measure after they are mashed and they should be tightly packed into the measuring cup) (about 14 large dates)  It helps to have soaked the daters in hot water for a few minutes to soften them

2 Tablespoons of white (or black) chia seeds

1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt (can omit if avoiding added salt)

1 1/2 Tablespoons of pure vanilla

2 teaspoons  (plus more for rolling the balls later)  cinnamon

1/3 cup,of water

Ingredients For rolling the dough balls:

3/4 cup of gluten free rolled oats ( I use Bob’s Red Mill regular (not quick cooking) rolled oats  These can first be toasted on a cookie sheet ion the oven at 350 degrees for five minutes to bring out more flavor if desired.

1 teaspoon of cinnamon
What to do:

First lay out a cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper.

Second, in a big mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, sea salt, cinnamon and chia seeds.  Add to that the mashed dates, almond butter, maple syrup, unsweetened applesauce, vanilla, and water.

Third, time to set aside the mixing spoon and use your clean hands for blending all these ingredients together into a sticky ball of dough.   If it gets too sticky just wet your hands.

Fourth. It’s time to roll the dough into balls.   Spread the 3/4 cup of rolled oats on a big plate and toss with 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.   Shape the dough into about 12 small balls or 9 larger ones.   It will help to wet your hands periodically in between ball rolling .  Once you roll a dough ball, roll it into the cinnamon/oats  mixture on the plate .  You may have to press some of the oats onto the balls.  Again damp hands help.

Fifth: place the cookie dough balls on that prepared parchment paper cookie sheet and pop in the freezer.  After they harden in about an hour, you can store them in an airtight container or ziplock freezer bag and keep in freezer until ready to eat.