I wish I could say I loved dates. They are simple, portable, perfect ratio of carbs for endurance running, and have lots of potassium, an electrolyte that needs to be replaced after long runs. Unfortunately, snacking on them on their own is just not enjoyable to me. But an amazing thing happens when medjool dates (the big squishy ones) are mixed with other ingredients. Dates transform themselves into caramel, fudge, and even gingerbread when paired with the right flavors.
So when my daughter asked to make gingerbread cookies after school (even though it’s May!), we created these raw, vegan gingerbread truffles.
Adding blackstrap molasses adds iron and calcuim, two more important minerals for runners. They are the perfect trail food, pre-workout bite, and post-run snack .
- 1/2 cup almond meal or ground almonds
- 1/2 cup cashew meal or ground cashews
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter or peanut flour
- 1 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon black strap molasses
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-4 tablespoons water as needed
- cocoa or cacao powder for rolling
- If you already have almond and/or cashew meal (Trader Joe's sells them), add all ingredients except the water and cocoa to a food processor and blend until you achieve a cookie dough consistency, adding water one tablespoon at a time if needed to make dough (if you use peanut flour--I like PB Fit--you will need to add a couple tablespoons or more of water). If you are starting from whole nuts, grind those first into a fine meal before adding the other ingredients, being careful not to over-process into nut butter.
- Once you have a sticky dough, dust your clean hands and a plate with cocoa powder. Roll the dough into bite-size truffles coated with cocoa.
- These keep best in the fridge, but should be fine without refrigeration for several hours on the trail.