Project Body Smart | Date and Walnut Snowballs


Date and Walnut Snowballs

In this season of temptation, here is a guilt-free, gluten-free treat to get you through the holidays that’s as satisfying as a bonbon and a snap to make – no baking required! Festive enough for the dessert plate, they’re also great any other time of year as an energy-boosting pre-workout snack or mid-day pick-me-up for the lunchbox.

Medjool dates provide natural caramel-like sweetness, along with fiber and nutrients such as potassium and iron. Walnuts and coconut supply protein, healthy fats, and an array of important minerals. Simply grind them together in a food processor with a spoonful of warm spice and a pinch of salt, roll them into balls, and coat them in coconut. Invite the kids to help!

Be sure to remove the pits from the dates before using. The dates should be soft and moist. If they’re hard, soak them in warm water to soften them up.

  • Susan Puckett


  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 8 ounces (1 heaping cup) soft, pitted Medjool dates
  • 1 cup shelled walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Kosher salt


  1. Spread the coconut on a plate. Line another dish or pan with parchment or wax paper.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade, combine the dates, walnuts, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Process until finely chopped.
  3. Pinch off bits of the mixture and roll between your palms into 1-inch balls, then roll in the coconut, pressing gently to adhere. Set on the parchment-lined plate.
  4. If not serving immediately,  store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Makes about 2 dozen

Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.

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