• Sarah Rainey

Fruit and nut bites


I love fruit and nut chocolate almost as much as I used to love the ads for Cadbury's Fruit and Nut. The ones with the man canoeing down the river with a giant bar in the back of his boat, singing: 'Everyone's a fruit and nut case... it's nutritious and delicious to judiciously be chewing...' Please, please YouTube them if you've no idea what I'm on about...

Anyway, these tasty little bites combine all three ingredients from fruit and nut chocolate - fruit, nuts and chocolate, in case you were wondering - into a handy little bite that you can munch on the go.

Not only are they very delicious (and nutritious, according to canoe man), but they're packed full of protein: toasted almonds, chewy dates and plenty of good quality dark chocolate. So, as long as you don't eat the whole lot in one go, they're actually pretty good for you.

Makes 20 balls

Ingredients:

200g pitted dates

200g almonds

200g dark chocolate

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C (or fan 180C). Tip the almonds on to a baking tray and roast them until golden brown. It should only take around 5-6 mins but keep an eye on them as they can turn quickly.

While they cook, roughly chop the dates and chocolate.

Let the nuts cool slightly before tipping them, together with the chopped nuts and dates, into a food processor. Pulse several times until the mixture starts coming together into a ball. It helps if the nuts are still slightly warm as this will start to melt the chocolate and help it to combine.

Tip the mixture out into a bowl and, using damp hands (this stops the mixture from sticking to your palms!), pick up handfuls and roll them into balls, around the size of ping pong balls.

Place the balls on a plate covered in greaseproof paper and put them in the fridge for around an hour to harden.

Keep them in an airtight container in the fridge or a cool place so they don't melt! They should keep for around a week.

TIP:

You can vary the ingredients if you prefer a different type of nuts (pecans, walnuts and hazelnuts work well, as do peanuts) or even try using dried figs or raisins instead of dates. You'll need to soak the latter in boiling water for around 10 minutes to soften them up before draining them and putting them in the food processor.

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Content © Sarah Rainey

Photos © Clare Winfield, Alex Luck & Al Richardson

Styling © Emma Lahaye, Octavia Squire, Laurie Perry & Sarah Rainey

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