This blog is a place to share my passion for cooking and inspire people to cook more from scratch. With six people in the family, cooking is something that is always on my mind. I want to share some of my favorite foods and recipes and share more about traditional diets (like the kind of food our great, great, great grandmothers would have made). Right now I am fascinated with fermented vegetables, coconuts, seafood with a cerviche twist and organ meats... although maybe not all in the same meal!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fancy Fare for Preschoolers!

Cherry/Choco/Coco Balls with organic strawberries
It's been my turn this week to bring in snack for my daughter's preschool class.  I've been having a blast concocting new recipes and presenting the preschoolers with new foods this week.  And guess what, for the most part these preschoolers enjoyed trying new foods like cut up yellow and orange organic peppers, salsa and pepito seeds.  

I think we shouldn't be so afraid to serve our young children "real food."  They rise to challenge when presented with real food options.  Several of the kids in my daughter's class really enjoyed the KALE chips, yes, that's right some of the kids ate KALE for snack yesterday and LOVED IT!  Even my own daughter who probably would not have tried the kale chips at home if I had offered them decided to give the Kale a try at school when she saw that some of her classmates liked them.  The younger we let kids try real food, the less pre-conceived notions they have about what food is supposed to be.  Why not have Kale chips instead of goldfish as the gold standard of preschoolers!! 

Today I got my inspiration from Jessica Prentice's Coconut-Date energy balls from her book Full Moon Feast (which by the way is a fabulous book that I highly recommend you buy if you don't have it...and no I don't get anything for saying that.  I just think it is a great book...)and used it as a springboard to make a brand new recipe for the preschool set.  I'm not sure what to call them but for the moment I'm going with Cherry/Choco/Coco Balls!  I thought the preschoolers would like the addition of dried cherries, cocoa powder and walnuts and I tweaked some of the other ingredients to make a darn tasty little snack, if I do say so myself!  Here's how I did it:

Cherry/Choco/Coco Balls

2 cups pitted Medjool dates
1 cup Tropical Traditions Coconut Cream Concentrate  
1 cup dried cherries
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
3/4 to one cup coconut flakes
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
(a few tbs cocoa powder and coconut flakes to roll balls forming an outer cover)

  1. Put the pitted dates and cherries in a food processor and mix into a paste.  
  2. Remove this mixture for a moment and process the walnuts before adding everything back in.
  3. Add 2 tbs coconut oil (should be on the melted, soft side), coconut cream, coconut flakes, cocoa powder and vanilla extract.
  4. Process all until everything forms a nice paste.
  5. Roll the paste into small balls and place on a cookie sheet or flat surface.  
  6. Take a little extra coconut flakes and cocoa powder and process for a moment in food processor.  
  7. The balls should be oily enough that some of this powdery mix will stick to the balls as you roll them for a final dipping before letting set in the fridge.
Also posted at Real Food Wednesday by Kelly the Kitchen Kop


  1. These look fabu! I am going to try this one. Thanks for the recipe, I have bookmarked it for later. Yumbo. BTW, I saw you at Real Food Weds.

  2. Thanks for the comment! I hope you do try it... they were all gone except for 2 balls when I went to pick up my daughter. I wish I had made more... will have to make another batch. Tried to find your blog but could not see it...send a link and I'll check it out.