A few days ago, my friend had a birthday. I thought and thought about what I could get her. She loves iced lemon pound cake from Starbucks. If you like lemon and you like cake, you would adore it, too. So, I went to Starbucks and bought her some cake.
I then wondered if I could make something to rival this pound cake, perhaps more healthy, for my friend. She also delights in nuts, so I whipped up the following recipe for her.
Lemon Nut Balls
3 cups various raw nuts (I used 2 ½ cups pecans, ¼ cup walnuts and ¼ cup almonds. Cashews would probably work, too.)
1 cup pitted medjool dates
3 Tbsp raw honey
½ tsp salt
Zest and juice from 1 large lemon
Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until mixture holds together. (Don’t get too creamy or you’ll make nut butter.) Roll into balls. Keep in refrigerator or freezer.
Note: If mixture gets warm while processing, place in the freezer until it hardens a bit before rolling into balls. I’m sure I’m not the first person in America to make this recipe. In the raw food world, people make an array of nuts balls all the time.
Nut balls, or as I call them “Freezer Balls”, are a perfect snack, dessert, or breakfast.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, in his book Super Immunity, notes that even though nuts, seeds, and avocados are high-fat foods, they are packed with minerals, antioxidants, and other cancer-preventative properties.
They are little disease fighters. Consistent nut consumption has been associated with an average risk reduction of coronary artery disease by 30-50 percent .They raise the good HDL cholesterol and normalize the damaging LDL particles.*
And get this, studies have shown that those who eat nuts frequently could increase their life span by 2 years!* Best benefits come when partaking in 1-2 oz. per day.* My kitchen scale says a good 1/3 cup pecans is one ounce.
I don’t know about you, but I’m eating my daily quota of nuts to support my heart, immune system, bones, muscles AND longevity!
My friend absolutely loved the balls. She is one of the most generous people I know and she told me she wasn’t sharing a one. She is keeping all the deliciousness and age-defying benefits to herself.Sources: *Becoming Raw by Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, MS, RD with Ryan Berry,Book Publishing Company,2010, p.135 Super Immunity, The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free, by Joel Fuhrman , Harper Collins, 2011, p.117-118