Maple Bacon Snowballs {AIP, Paleo}

What are the Christmas treat traditions in your home? Did you grow up surrounded by mountains of iced sugar cookies, or was your family more into candy or fudge making. Were there multiple types of holiday treats to choose from of just one or two specialties.
 

I know that growing up there were sugar cookies to be cut out and decorated and I remember no bake cookies, but the real Christmas treats were my grandfathers ‘potato candy’ (potatoes, powdered sugar and peanut butter) and my mom’s ‘date balls’ (dates, rice krispies, coconut & powdered sugar).
I don’t think there will ever be a way to AIP-ize the potato candy, but these ‘snowballs’ hit some of the same notes as the date balls…dates, coconut, sweet, salty and crunchy.

Funny story about my mom’s date balls. I can clearly remember more than once… being an adult and coming home for Christmas and sleeping on the living room sofa. This wasn’t the hardship that you might think because that meant that when jet lag hit at 3 am and I woke up starving I was only a few steps away from the tray of sweets on the dining room table. The date balls were perfect to munch on in the middle of the night and the only tell-tale sign of this phenomenon was trace amounts of powdered sugar on my PJs in the morning.
Maple Bacon Snowballs {AIP, Paleo}  Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time Serves: makes 1 dozen snowballs  Ingredients: 1 cup fresh shredded coconut (if fresh isn't available, use 1 cup dried coconut + 2 T coconut oil) 1 T maple syrup 2 slices crispy bacon - cooked 10 dates - pits removed 2 t coconut flour 1/4 t sea salt  1/3 cup dried shredded coconut for rolling in
 
I will warn you that these ‘snowballs’ are truly just as addictive as the date balls my mom makes, so you may need to share them with friends immediately or hide them from yourself to keep you from eating the whole batch in one setting. I’ve managed to limit myself to 1-2 a day this week, so I guess I’m doing ok. I will however admit that I did get awakened at 2 am by a wrong number phone call and when I couldn’t go right back to sleep, I went for one of these babies. YUM!
 
To make these treats you’ll mix fresh coconut with dates and bacon and maple syrup…. seriously ….is that an amazing ingredient list or what?? Anyway, mix the ingredients and then play with your food by rolling them in balls. I chose to use fresh coconut in the recipe because it has a lighter, more coconutty flavor, because it makes these snowballs light and fluffy and because it’s readily available and cheaper than dried around here. If you can’t get fresh coconut, feel free to use dried, just add some oil to soften it and make it more like the consistency of fresh coconut.
 
BACON NOTE: If you don’t eat pork, the bacon can be omitted, but switch to a coarse grind of sea salt or pink himalayan salt to provide the salty crunch.
Maple Bacon Snowballs {AIP, Paleo}  Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time Serves: makes 1 dozen snowballs  Ingredients: 1 cup fresh shredded coconut (if fresh isn't available, use 1 cup dried coconut + 2 T coconut oil) 1 T maple syrup 2 slices crispy bacon - cooked 10 dates - pits removed 2 t coconut flour 1/4 t sea salt  1/3 cup dried shredded coconut for rolling in
**A note about “AIP Treats”: While it is true that these snowballs and other treats on this blog are made with AIP friendly ingredients, it should be noted that the AIP diet is primarily about nutrient density and healing and with that in mind treats should be reserved for special occasions. This are occasional foods, not everyday food. Treat often are higher in sugar content (even fruit) and as sugar causes inflammation for many of us following AIP, we need to make treats an occasional part of our lives. 
Maple Bacon Snowballs {AIP, Paleo}

Time: 10 minutes + 30 minutes chilling time
Serves: makes 1 dozen snowballs

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh shredded coconut (if fresh isn’t available, use 1 cup dried coconut + 2 T coconut oil)

2 slices crispy bacon – cooked
10 dates – pits removed
2 t coconut flour
1/4 t sea salt 
1/3 cup dried shredded coconut for rolling in
 
 
Method:
– If dates aren’t soft, remove the pits and soak them in hot water for 5 minutes & then drain

– Place all ingredients (except dried coconut for rolling) in your food processor
– Process until date are chopped and all ingredients come together to form a loose ball
– Use a small scoop to divide the mixture into 12 balls. Especially with fresh coconut, you’ll need to use your hands to squish it together and roll into balls
– Roll the balls in dried coconut to coat the outside
– Place in the freezer for 15-30 minutes to harden

– Store in the fridge for 4-5 days (if you can make them last that long 🙂– Enjoy!
**This recipe was shared on the Phoenix Helix AIP Roundtable

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