When my best friend Tsiliana, who I first met in summer camp at the age of 7, sent me pictures of the spread she had made for Passover, I was seriously wishing I was spending the holiday with her and her family. Like me, she loves healthy food and loves creating fabulous meals. Some of it comes from her mom, whose feasts I always looked forward to joining when we were growing up. The rest comes from the creative and foodie in her. In any case, food has always been one of the gazillion things we have always bonded over. Fitness is another biggie as we took (and passed) our NASM personal trainer certification exams together last year.
Sufganiyot, or donuts, are big treat around the Hanukkah. You can’t eat them for Passover, however, because they are leavened (a big no no). Apples and honey are similarly a big treat at Rosh Hashanah as they are symbolic of a sweet New Year. So I loved the idea of making something yummy and healthy that combines the two traditions in a new way.
I got home late tonight from a dance(ish) workout and have to be up early for my favorite Mind Body Bootcamp class, so I’m going to keep this short and sweet (no pun intended) and get straight to the recipe.
Tsil got her recipe for Mini Healthy Apple Pie Donuts from I Accidentally Ate the Whole Thing. I took the recipe and adapted it a bit because I had a very ripe pear I wanted to use up. The pear added an extra bit of sweetness, so it was a good balance to use unsweetened sunflower seed butter, which was also unsalted so I added a pinch myself. I also swapped the honey with Yacón syrup, extracted from the tuberous roots of the Yacón plant indigenous to South America. This lower-glycemic sweetener option tastes similar to molasses with a hint of apple (perfect for this recipe).
Feel free (as with most of my recipes) to take some creative license and play around a bit with the ingredients (e.g. different nut butters). Next time, I’m thinking I want to roll mine in some hemp seeds. No matter how you go, they are sure to end up tasty and make great snacks, desserts, pre- or post-workout treat, or even a smoothie topper like I did this morning.
- 1/2 apple, finely chopped
- 1 ripe pear, finely chopped
- 1 1/4 cup almond meal (plus some extra for dusting)
- 6 dates
- 1/2 cup unsweetened dried coconut
- 1 tsp Yacon syrup, honey, coconut nectar or sweetener of choice
- 1 tbsp sunflower seed butter
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch or two of salt if use an unsalted nut butter
- Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and mix until comes together like dough, about 1 minute. Note that if you use a blender, you may need to use a spatula or tamper to help bring the mixture into the center along the way.
- Once the mixture has come together, form it into balls. Wetting your hands can help to prevent sticking. Roll each of the balls in some extra almond meal (you can sprinkle a bit at a time onto a piece of parchment paper, wax paper or a plate). Tap each bite to ensure a dusting rather than a thick layer of meal.
- Refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours to allow the bites to harden a bit -- or eat some immediately if you can't resist because they are just as tasty :)