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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bonbons, Basil, & New Year's Promises!

DateSunflowerSeedBonbons 2re

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Oh, my lovelies, we have all entered into another 365 mystical days here on middle earth. In the realm of men, this usually involves some promises to ourselves. Many call these promises resolutions. They are often naughty habits we are certainly not going to do anymore or enchanting actions we will begin to take for the betterment of ourselves and maybe even the ones we love.

I have quite a few of these resolutions. Some are quite serious. For example, I have promised myself that I will no longer underestimate myself and, for that matter, others. You know, I'm just not going to allow myself to act like a naughty witch and be disappointed in myself later. I think you all know what I'm talking about here:-)

Most of my promises are culinary and health related though. I'll spare you all of them, but, as you may know, I have a little issue with sweets. I love them-any kind, anywhere. So I really need to make sure that we concentrate on having mostly wholesome sweets around the house and ready for work lunches. Hence regularly making healthful, wholesome sweets is one of my culinary resolutions for 2011.


One sweet that has really helped me are these bonbons I found on one of my favorite blogs. I'm reposting them due to how much they have aided me in controlling myself and also because I tweaked the recipe to include a less expensive, super healthful protein as well as high fiber, starchy oatmeal. The flavors have also been adjusted a bit to include chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange juice. They are just delicious, and I can't eat anything for at least 3-4 hours when I've had about two of them. They are just satisfying and really amazing!

Here's the recipe:
1 Packed Cup of Dates (Deglet Nour)
3/4 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds (Toasted)
1/4 Cup Rolled Oats
2 Tbsp. Cocoa
1 Tbsp. Raw Agave Nectar or Maple Syrup*
1 Tbsp. Orange Juice
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp. Real Vanilla Extract
For Rolling: Cocoa, Coconut, Sesame Seeds, Powdered Sugar, Crushed Pistachio, Etc...
*Honey substituted for either of the sweeteners above will cause for a somewhat greasy ball, so beware...

Place sunflower seeds in a dry pan and toast on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

In a food processor, place the oatmeal and whirl for about 8-10 seconds. Add cooled sunflower seeds and whirl till the seeds and oatmeal become a fine meal. Then add the dates, cocoa, cinnamon, agave, and vanilla. Whirl till the dates are broken down and everything is very well mixed-this was about 20 seconds for me. You will notice the mixture is dry and not quite coming together. Measure out 1 Tbsp. of orange juice and whirl about half of it into the mix. See if the mixture comes together. If not, add the other half tbsp.

Wet your hands slightly with water before rolling (orange blossom or rose water are really nice, but regular water is fine too). Take a piece of the sticky dough and roll into balls that are about the size of a quarter or a bit larger if you like. After being rolled, immediately toss each ball in cocoa or your desired coating.
p.s. If you are tossing in cocoa or powdered sugar, be sure to tap off the excess powder! One can inhale it...

On a gardening note, Dearies, I want to show off that I am successfully achieving one of my goals, which is to eat more local and out of my own yard. Which brings me to the Cluckfrey's Vegan Chicken sandwich we ate today. It was delicious. Most importantly though was that the lettuce, basil, and even the avocado came out of my own front yard. Aren't you proud of me, my lovelies?!



















I hope so, and I hope that all of my best elves and even trolls are able to achieve their goals/resolutions for this year of 2011!

43 comments:

  1. Sandwich looks delicious! It must be wonderful to eat something you've grown yourself...

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  2. both those yummy pictures are making me hungry, they look amazing :)
    I love it when you have grown something and get to make food with it, it so satisfying!

    Zoe x

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  3. Stella, once again you amaze! I wish I was your neighbor so I could taste test everything that you make. I think you mentioned to me once that your husband is like mine and doesn't really like to eat healthy. well I do! So please pass anything he doesn't want along my way! :) hope you have a beautiful weekend, Stella!

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  4. Bombons and sandwich looks very delicious.
    Happy New Year, Stela!
    Health, Peace, Prosperity and Love in the first place, much love.

    Success,
    Talita Cristina

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  5. Hi Stella,

    I remember these bonbons the last time you posted them. Love your flavor mixture of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and orange - quite the medley. I used to make "promises" to myself, but no longer do. Now I have my kiddies to remind me everyday to be a better person. It sounds a bit corny, but it's true (blush). You're off to a great healthy satisfying start with these tempting bonbons. Good luck with the rest of your promises, whatever they may be.

    You're very lucky to live in a place that has warm weather most of the year. If we had that kind of weather in Canada, I think I'd probably turn most of my backyard into a garden. Not to mention the awesome fruit trees you have also - so jealous!!! Well at least you're taking advantage of it, that eases my pain a little (wink/smile). Avocado in sandwiches definitely help kick it up a couple notches. I cannot resist a good looking sandwich such as yours with avocado. Mmm..mmm good!

    Hope work isn't too heavy for you after the holidays. Happy 2011, my dear!

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  6. Dear Stella - You are one amazing woman! For your green thumb alone I kao-tao to you :)

    Those bonbons are sinful and middle earth eh? You J.R.R. Tolkein fan, you..woo...hoo!

    Happy New Year Darling!

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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  7. These date bonbons look fantastic, but I love that basil sandwich even more!

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  8. Wow, your basil plant looks unbelievable! How did you get it so big? Definitely a downside to living in a cold climate is that I don't get to enjoy garden-fresh herbs year-round.

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  9. Congratulations on your lovely little garden! It must feel so complete to enjoy food that you literally have a hand in creating. Bravo, Stella!

    Your 'healthy' bonbons look far better than those naughty bonbons. Cocoa and orange are an irresistible duo. :-) *sigh* It's quite the burden to have a sweet tooth, I know mine is going to catch up with me sooner or later, lucky that I have your recipes to turn to!

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  10. awesome sandwich and bonbons wow...bonus!

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  11. Good luck with all your resolutions - you certainly mustn't underestimate yourself, as you are clearly amazing. xoxo

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  12. Stella, that is just what the doctor ordered. I have been eating far too much RICH food and need something like this to keep me on the straight and narrow and away from baaad sweets. Sandwich looks nummy too... lucky you to have green around you... we are all snow!!!!

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  13. Stella! Happy New Year to you too. I've set my resolution too - spend less time on a computer and more on books. I think I can handle both - by that I mean balance myself with books and blogging and computer stuff.

    These bonbons look like gem balls! If I don't have to get hungry for 3-4 hrs, that's def' tempting to me.

    Don't underestimate yourself Stella. You have a lot to share to the world!

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  14. i love anything named bonbons, they just have a cute ring, lol
    oh never underestimate yourself, dear..your too precious
    have a great weekend..sweetlife
    ps, my little sis sent me a pic last night, she had made the mini cheesecakes with your crust, she switched our walnuts for pecasn and her 4 yr old loved them (she's super picky)ya see never under estimate!

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  15. What amazing bonbons! Delightfully flavorful.

    Happy New Year!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  16. Lettuce, basil, and avocado! I am so proud of you Stella! Your garden looks fabulous and I wish I could snip off a few leaves of that basil. The bonbons look just lovely, too.

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  17. Oh I'm SO impressed & proud of you, I look at my little courtyard balcony & keep telling myself that basil & a few little kitchen herbs would be just the thing to grow myself, but alas, I'm still looking at empty pots & ambitions.
    So., must set a plan in place this year good Stellarina & take a leaf out of my favourite witches intentions for 2011.

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  18. Hi Stella, Greetings from Warrnambool and wishing you a Happy New Year!
    Everything looks good here and when I return to my kitchen I will most definitely whip up some healthy dishes inspired by your creativeness. Beautiful basil plant, would love a leaf of that right now. Best Wishes, Patty

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  19. I do appreciate this gardening talent you have. Nothing more satisfying than a dish with ingredients from your own garden. Very very nice.
    Cheers! Scott & Michelle

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  20. Look at your gorgeous basil...I grow all of my own herbs, but I would love an avocado tree too :)
    The sandwich looks delicious and oh boy with the bonbons :)
    Happy 2011!

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  21. Mmm, lovely little bon bons, and if they help you keep your resolutions, they have to be good! Love the basil from your garden, too. It's too cold here now for it, so I am jealous!

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  22. Oh, I am so proud of you and your beautiful garden! And the bon bons and sandwich look most delicious! Thank you for your gracious words and encouragements last year, my first year of blogging, Stella! May this year bring you many joys and blessings to you and your family!

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  23. What's wrong with sweets Stella? A little here and there never made a good witch into a bad witch. And vegan treats, there always super healthy. But I praise you for your resolutions. Personally I think growth is very important in the human condition and that we should always be striving for more. And these bon bons, I agree with Roxan, I wish we were neighbors!

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  24. These sweets sound like the perfect diet food... Well you said they keep you full for hours :) I really want to try them they sound really good. And yes I'm very proud of you and your garden! That is one gourmet looking sandwich, yum!

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  25. Happy New Year Stella! I love these bonbons and I am so going to have to try them! :)

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  26. Witchy Woman,
    Your Bonbons look absolutely delightful! And those snaps! Mama Mia! Well done!
    Happy New Year!
    Gypsy

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  27. You have all the reasons to be proud. I'd love to have my own garden.
    the bon bon look wonderful and so does the sandwich.
    thanks for sharing.
    hope you're having a wonderful day

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  28. Oh Stellita,
    I wish I had a little bit of a tiny earth square to plant something! It is so therapeutical AND I would be able to have some fresh greens for a super sandwich like yours !!!!

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  29. You still have basil during the cold season? impressive! I'm glad to hear your New Year's resolution, I think it's important to believe in yourself and other people.

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  30. Your dates bonbons look amazing, dear Stella! So does your lovely garden :-) Would love to taste a home-grown avocado!

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  31. Hey friend, I'm glad you're back to blogging. I was missing you! :)

    Great resolutions. We always make them, but try to keep them attainable. No loss-thirty-pounds-in-a-week type resolutions.

    I've never had a HEALTHY bonbon! This look very intriguing!

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  32. The bonbons look scrumptious, yum! And a terrific looking basil there, a nice sandwich with it too!

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  33. Good for you, Stella! When I had a garden, it was such fun to pick and then make something with what I grew. I felt so proud of myself.
    Love your bonbons too...so healthy for a dessert. But just about everything you post is healthy, my dear!
    Happy New Year!

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  34. That sandwich looks wonderfully healthy and your bonbons are proof that witht he right ingredients we can still feed that sweet tooth. That basil plant is making me cry; we are in a deep freeze; a long time before I see that on my deck.

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  35. These really are chock full of deliciously wholesome ingredients! A dessert you can feel good about eating - love it!

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  36. I already like the name: bonbons! :)

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  37. Dates are such a delicious substitute for sugary snacks. These bonbons look wonderful! I hope you are having a terrific week so far!

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  38. Happy New Year Stella! May 2011 be everything that you hope for and more.

    Velva

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  39. Hi there sweet Stella! I'm so glad that the recipe I provided was a source of inspiration for you. And I like the way you get inspired. I want to try your take on this one. I agree that having these around really can help curb a sweet tooth. I need to get back on track. What am I saying? It's only Jan. 11 and I'm already slipping in my resolve. [sigh]

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  40. Stella
    those bon bons sound too good to be true and definitely something I could use to curb my appetite.
    I am going to have to give them a try, before I get any larger!
    Cheers
    Dennis

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  41. Those truffles are phenomenal! I loved them. I made them with sunflower seeds, and then with some ground almonds...I love them!

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  42. I just love all your darling post, I just may have to steal you Bonbon recipe someday soon it looks great.

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  43. This dish looks amazing! Seriously, it looks like something you could get from a restaurant but I bet it tastes 100 times better. Photos are gorgeous!

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Please do comment, Dearies!