The other morning, I felt a whisper of fall in the air. Mind you, I am likely the very only person in New York City who would think this, as it was sunny and warm in the very high 70’s. But with no humidity and a breeze, I felt summer’s end coming. So, I switched from my savory greens topped oatmeal to one topped with raisins, walnuts, and cinnamon.
As I was about to put the jar of walnuts back into my refrigerator and the container of raisins on into the pantry, I thought, cookies could happen. I didn’t have time to bake. Instead, I added these ingredients plus a teaspoon of coconut butter into a food processor, and in 2-3 minutes I had ‘dough’ to shape. As I flattened the tablespoon size balls of dough, I thought– I’ve made an accidently raw cookie since the walnuts were untoasted. (Of course you could roast and cool them for more flavor.)
The so-called cookies were delicious and a nice change, in my opinion, from date and coconut based mixtures. But, I decided after eating a few that while others may name recipes like this one “cookies” I’m telling it like it more like it is, a raw bite. or balls. With repect to the healthy ingredients, I’ve named these Raw Raisin-Walnut-Hemp Energy Bites, but you can call them whatever you want, as long as you make them. Mine are stored in the freezer, and I’ve been carrying them with me when I go out. It’s a lot less expensive than buying prepackaged snacks. No sweeteners were added, and the teaspoon of nut or coocnut butter is really optional. The mixture will come together with or without it.
A raisin is a dried grape or currant. They are rich in concentrated sources of energy, vitamins, electrolytes, and minerals. On weight per weight comparison basis, dried grapes contain many more calories, fiber, vitamins, minerals and polyphenol antioxidants than fresh grapes . They do contain fewer amounts of vitamin C, folic acid, carotenes, lutein and xanthins than fresh grapes. All to say, vary your food. Do buy sulfite-free raisins, all dried fruit in fact, and store in a tightly covered container in a pantry.
Walnuts are part of the tree nut family that includes Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts (filberts), macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, and pistachios. I read recently that around 90% of the healthy phenols in walnuts are found in the skin. There is a slight bitterness to this skin, which is the reason many people remove it by rubbing it in a fine mesh strainer, but I don’t bother. They are a very health supportive nut, but as they are calorie dense, as are all nuts, don’t overdo your daily ration. Store walnuts, and all nuts in the freezer or refrigerator, depending on the size of your stash, to protect against rancidity.
Hemp seeds are loaded with omega-3 and amino acids. In fact, some nutrition experts say that hemp contains most balanced and complete source of protein and essential fats found anywhere in nature. Hemp seeds are also high in magnesium, a mineral that helps with relaxation, blood sugar control, blood pressure, and possibly even osteoporosis. They also contain high amounts of fiber, iron, and vitamin E.
Raw Raisin-Walnut-Hemp Energy Bites
Makes 1 2/3 cup dough for 16 tablespoon size bites (Note that the process photos show half recipe, as that is how I do tests.)
- 1 cup walnut halves
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, plus about 1/4 cup more for coating
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons cashew or any nut butter or coconut butter
Put the walnuts, raisins, 2 tablespoons hemp seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg into food processor. Grind until the mixture is fine and sticks together when pressed in your fingers.
Add the nut or coconut butter and vanilla and process a minute of 2 longer, until the mixtures is smooth. Process a shorter time if you want more texture in your bites. Taste and adjust spices.
Press into 1 tablespoon size balls. Flatten into bars if you prefer.
Roll each ball or bar in hemp seeds (Or cacao nibs, toasted coconut, chocolate.)
Store in refrigerator or freezer until ready to eat.