A classic snowball cookie (also known as: Russian tea cake, Mexican wedding cookie, Italian wedding cookie, snowdrops, or butterballs) is usually made out of butter, icing sugar, flour and ground nuts (typically almonds, hazelnuts, pecans or walnuts). I wanted to make a gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free version with minimal sugar so I created Snowballs a la Bella. I added lemon zest and crystallized ginger for an extra kick and some added nutritional benefits. To kick it up a notch, I added Purica Vanilla Chaga Protein Powder and Omega Nutrition’s MCT Oil. So this recipe isn’t a typical snowball cookie but the fat from cashews and MCT oil are sure to mimic the buttery texture of a snowball cookie. Plus, it looks like a snowball! This is the perfect healthy alternative on-the-go snack or potluck party favours during the holiday season!
- 1 cup organic raw cashew pieces
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 scoop Purica Vanilla Chaga Protein Powder
- 1 lemon, zested (approx. 1tsp zest), use zest only
- 4 pieces crystallized ginger
- 2 Tbsp unpasteurized honey
- 6 Tbsp MCT Oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- In a food processor place cashews, coconut, protein powder, lemon zest and crystallized ginger. Pulse in food processor until crumbly. The cashews should resemble the size of buckwheat kernels.
- Add honey and MCT Oil. Pulse further until well incorporated. Check to see the consistency by placing a tablespoon of the mixture in the palm of your hand and squeezing it. If it holds up in your hands when squeezed then it is ready to go. If not, then add 1 tablespoon more MCT oil at a time until it holds up in your hand without falling apart in 5 seconds.
- Put the mixture into a mixing bowl and place in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. This will help make it easier to roll the balls as they will slightly harden in the fridge and hold together better.
- Take out of the fridge and roll into 1-inch balls.
- Dunk and roll the balls into more shredded coconut and place in an airtight container. Store in the fridge. It will keep fresh for 5-7 days.
- If using whole raw cashews, pulse the cashews first prior to adding the rest of the dry ingredients. I use cashew pieces because it is usually $1 cheaper per 100g. Since we are blending it anyways, we don't need to buy it whole!
- 6 Tablespoons MCT oil usually works well for this recipe but depending on the cashews and the atmosphere, sometimes this amount changes so it's best to use your kitchen common sense! 🙂 Don't be afraid to add a little more MCT oil than what the recipe states; however, do not overdo it as well. You don't want super oily snowballs as there is also extra fat coming from the cashews.
- Melted coconut oil can replace MCT oil.
- If you find that the shredded coconut isn't sticking so well to the balls, simply put some MCT oil in a small bowl, dunk the balls into the MCT oil before rolling them into the shredded coconut. This will help make it stick better!
- For a more authentic looking Snowball cookie, roll the snowballs into icing sugar. I suggest the Wholesome brand, they are organic, non-gmo and fair-trade so it is a much cleaner product overall!
Cashews are a rich source of vitamin B6, E and K, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium and zinc. They are high in plant-based protein, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Health benefits include: lower risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, reduce blood pressure, help prevent cancer (colon, liver and prostate), and support brain function. It also helps maintain a healthy skin and bone health.
Shredded Coconut are a good source of fiber, protein, healthy fats, iron and zinc. It can help make you feel full longer, help lower cholesterol and improve blood sugar control.
MCT Oil stands for Medium-Chain Triglycerides, meaning they have 6-12 carbons in their chemical structure. Triglycerides are transported into cells and are either used by the body for energy or stored as body fat. MCTs are easier to digest and be absorbed into the body. They go straight to the liver which causes the body to use these triglycerides as fuel for energy instead of storing as fat. Therefore, it is well known to help aid in weight loss. It also has some antioxidant properties which is always a plus as it helps lower inflammation in the body.
Purica Power Vegan Protein comes in three flavours: Chocolate, Vanilla & Natural. It is gluten-free, vegan and non-gmo, featuring fermented pea, organic sprouted brown rice, ProHydrolase enzyme blend and chaga mushrooms.
The fermentation and sprouting process makes it easier for the body to absorb the pea and brown rice. By adding in the ProHydrolase, it enhances digestion and absorption even further as it helps break down the amino acids. It also helps decrease gas and bloating, which is always a bonus!
Chaga is an adaptogen, antioxidant, and immunomodulator. It helps the body fight off inflammation, support the adrenals in times of stress and help regulate the immune system.
Happy Rolling! 🙂
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