Tag Archives: glutenfree

Udi’s – Sample Package…put to good use

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Blurry - sorry!

So now that school is out – I have a bit more time to catch up on my posts.  Honestly, I’m so far behind it’s ridiculous.  I’m sorry to fall behind and lose touch with a few people via the blog.  That’s life with two working parents and little people.  :D  

Last month, Udi’s sent a sample box of incredible proportions to me.  Honestly, I was super surprised and wondering what the best way to taste-test and share out would be.  I decided to bring the goodies to work (high school) to share them with my newly diagnosed students and a few old-timers.  No, not any adults.  Just “old timers” as in now my  15+ year old students who have been gluten intolerant or have had their diagnosis for several years if not since they were babes.  I don’t have any pictures because I did not want to compromise the privacy of my students.  Instead, i have used the images from either my cell phone (of the box…and it’s blurry- SORRY!) or from the Udi’s website.  The reviews are from my students.

I don’t buy so much pre-packaged foods.  Not that there are not good choices in the gluten-free world any more but more because my budget does not allow for the expense.  However there are a few things that I do enjoy when money allows:

  1. Pasta (Jovial or Schar’s)
  2. Rudi’s tortillas (o.m.gosh good when torched a bit over an open flame…LOL),
  3. Glutino Yogurt Pretzels (also in my Udi’s box)
  4. and now FRESH Udi’s burger buns.  They were a hit!

Included in the sample box were the following:

  • Udi’s breads:  cinnamon-raisin, sandwich, hamburger buns and hot dog buns
  • Udi’s bagels:  Mighty Bagels and Everything Inside
  • Udi’s granola:  Blueberry Cashew & Cranberry Granola
  • Udi’s  sweets:  Brownie Bites & Snickerdoodles
  • Udi’s muffins:  Vanilla & Blueberry
  • Udi’s granola Bars:  Ancient Grain
  • Udi’s pizza crusts
  • Glutino:  Strawberry Toaster Pastry
  • Glutino:  Original Bagel Chips
  • Glutino:  yogurt-covered pretzels & regular pretzels

I gave items to the students to take home and try, eat for lunch (I have a gluten-free designated toaster in my classroom) or have at break.  Kids tended to just eat the items at their desk (unless it was sandwich/bun related).  I tasted several of the items myself (Mighty Bagel, Brownie Bites, Ancient Grain granola bars, toaster pastry, bagel chips and pretzels (both kinds, of course).  Yes, I took one for the team.  :D  Here’s our collective review of the items:  (NOTE:  all images (but the blurry one) belong to the company Udi’s or Glutino and are used with permission.)

 

  • Udi’s breads:  cinnamon-raisin, sandwich, hamburger buns and hot dog buns
    • REVIEW:  Students loved the FRESH quality (and I agree!) of the breads.  Maybe because we tend to get Udi’s breads here out of the freezer at the markets, this was a different experience.  The breads were soft and moist and much to the surprise of most – they didn’t need to be toasted!  Some felt the sandwich bread was just “meh” (I’m quoting here…lol).  But the hamburger and hot dog buns were big hits.  Once student even marched herself  down to the cafeteria to see if they would sell her a plain (no bun) burger with cheese.  (No luck for her there as all the burgers are already on buns in the cafeteria.)  I brought a hot dog bun and burger bun home for a family taste-test.  I didn’t think my kids would like it (they peel their buns off just to eat the cheese off the burgers or just the hot dog/brat).  However my girls LOVED the buns too.    GRADE:  A (if fresh); B- (if frozen)

  • Udi’s bagels:  Mighty Bagels and Everything Inside
    • REVIEW:  These were good.  (I liked my Mighty Bagel toasted and slathered with peanut butter.)  Students thought they were HUGE and more like reshaped bread than the bagels she used to eat (ahhhh…the newbie with only 6 months under her belt of gluten-free has no idea how she has been spared the dense gluten-free chews of years gone by….LOL0.  One student checked the calorie count on the side of the bag and freaked out.  She ate half a bagel (Everything Inside) and declared it delicious but that it has better flavor when toasted.  Another student (not gluten-free) overheard us talking about toasted bagels and informed us that you are not supposed to eat bagels toasted (ha!).  We offered taste tests.  He caved and agreed.  Better toasted.  OVERALL GRADE:  A- 

  • Udi’s granola:  Blueberry Cashew & Cranberry Granola
    • REVIEW:  Two students took these cereals home to gluten free family.  Both students said the granola was good but that they weren’t the granola-for-cereal type eaters.  However, their gluten free moms LOVED the cereals (one with hemp milk and the other just plain as a trail mix/snack).  These are definitely crunchy with some big bites, so I see why she chose to use it as a trail mix/dry snack.  Both moms like the fact that they could find whole grain goodness in a gluten free form with great flavor.  OVERALL GRADE:  A

  • Udi’s  sweets:  Brownie Bites & Snickerdoodles
    • REVIEW:  These treats were enjoyed during a break by several kids (gluten free and not).  All of the kids said they would not choose to eat another snickerdoodle.  They thought the cookies tasted odd and were a bit doughy. The Dark Chocolate Brownie Bites were a hit with some and another miss with others.  The semi-doughy and dense brownies were a hit with kids who like their brownies most and dense (and “barely cooked” were the words of one student).  Other students felt the brownies were far too undercooked and “pasty” for them.  They debated the grade a lot for this one.  Since they felt there were other treats out that they fit their “sweet tooth” better, this grade suffered.  OVERALL GRADE:  C+

  • Udi’s muffins:  Vanilla & Blueberry
    • REVIEW:  I think the kids (mine and the students) would have liked to have eaten just the tops off all the vanilla muffins.  The sweet topping just about sent them sailing.  The muffins were good – moist (moreso than the frozen variety we can get here) and delicious/flavorful.  High school kids said they wish the muffins would come as mini-muffins for easier packing/snacking at school.  I think I have to agree. The muffins were huge and we (my girls and I) didn’t finish ours.  GRADE:  B+

  • Udi’s granola Bars:  Ancient Grain
    • REVIEW:  Okay…. these are good.  I like semi-soft, slightly sweet granola bars.  The students liked these too but reminded me that they were “healthy”.  They are sweet though – 10grams of sugar per bar/serving.  Honestly, I could have eaten more than one.  I put two of these in my desk drawer for those days when I lose my mind and forget lunch or under plan.  Honestly, these might make the purchase on a rotation list for me.  I will stash a couple in the car for days when I’m out running around with the kids.  (Seems I always plan their meals but forget my own.)  GRADE:  A

  • Udi’s pizza crusts
    • REVIEW:  I used these to make cheese pizza for the kids one night.  They loved the crust (and hated my choice of cheese:  straight mozzarella).  I did brush the bottom of the crust with a bit of olive oil and put it on a preheated HOT HOT pan to make the bottom crunch up a bit (like a pizza stone would…. but alas, mine broke ages ago).  They are labeled “thin and crispy”.  They are thin.  But they will need your help to make them crispy.  Overall, they were decent, but not sure they would make our precious purchase list.  However, if our kids were gluten free and the rest of us were not?  It just might.  Since I am gluten free – our house is gluten free (minus the stash of kid crackers/one loaf of bread) for all things baked/cooking if from scratch.  Since I would end up making one pizza for the whole family, it would be a bit larger than these crusts are.  The crusts are perfect for 2-3 little people (with an adult helping….thanks, Dad, for cleaning up the errant cheese pizza slices that were eschewed).  GRADE:  B+

  • Glutino:  Strawberry Toaster Pastry
    • REVIEW:  Personally, it’s been way more than my years of gluten free living since I’ve eaten a toaster pastry.  Even then I think I ate a different brand of breakfast toaster thingy – but the ones I like were filled with egg/sausage and were also slightly sweet.  (How does that work?  Sweet sausage?  Ah, how little the pre-gluten free me really knew about the things in my food!)  A couple of students pocketed these toaster goodies for later – and did not toast them to eat them.  They said they wish the pastry had more filling as in “I wish it were EXPLODING with strawberry goodness…but it really wasn’t”.  Both the “ate them toasted” and “ate them raw” camps thought they were a bit chewy and wanted me to be sure to mention that one should definitely have a beverage on hand.  Another student said that she liked “feeling normal” in class when she pulled this out of her bag for a snack.  She said often kids ask her what she is eating when it “looks obviously different”.  Not a single question when cracking out the toaster pastry = inconspicuousness.  This is a golden attribute sometimes – but especially when you are simply eating because you are hungry.  And you’re a teenager (or me….LOL).  And you really are eating just to eat, not to engage is conversations about digestive ailments.  :D  GRADE:  B+

  • Glutino:  Original Bagel Chips
    • REVIEW:  ”These things are ….. hard!  Well…not like ‘hard-hard’ but like “Wow.  Crunchy, dried toastette hard!”      And yes.  My student was right.  These little toasted crackers are crunchy and hard.  They reminded me a bit of seriously oversized croutons from the salads of my youth.  You know, the ones that could float on your pea soup for quite a while before becoming soggy?  Yes, these are those.  Just bigger.  Since I didn’t really bring a bunch of extra goodies to school to have the taste-test, the kids and I thought these might be nice with a tomato-basil bruchetta.  Personally, I’m going to try some for an appetizer for a party we are having soon with goat cheese and Thai sweet chili sauce, another topped with a cream cheese and salmon, etc.  You get the idea.  Nice little crudité bases.  They have other flavors – garlic parmesan and cinnamon-sugar.  The garlic-parmesan interests me the most.   The cinnamon-sugar one reminds me of some vague memory of eating crunchy toast-like things that were dry as a kid.  I cannot remember what they were…but I remember the dry crunch with the slightly sweet cinnamon-sugar flavor. (Anyone know what I’m talking about?)  KID GRADE:  D (Because they would just never imagine themselves cracking these out for snack time.)  ADULT GRADE:  B+ (Because of the potential there to build on!)

  • Glutino:  yogurt-covered pretzels & regular pretzels
  • REVIEW:  Look out.  These guys (the yogurt covered ones) are dangerous for your waistline.  I don’t know why – but I love them.  Too much, actually.  I think I ate a half a bag before I realized it.  I went out about bought two bags for students to try.  And they didn’t like them as much as I did.  I think I had a sugar-high overload and crashed after eating these…but that is what happens when you convince yourself that it is REALLY YOGURT and PRETZEL.  Ha!  Overall, these guys are a super sweet treat and they will make the list of possibly purchase for us.  Especially if I am on the road or packing a lunch.  That way I can pack a FEW in my lunchbox.  Honest to goodness, if I pack the bag, I *will* eat it.   :D   Students with a sweet tooth (self-professed) thought these were great but they also thought they were a bit too sweet.  To make up for it, everyone was munching on a combo bite:  one yogurt-covered pretzel + one regular pretzel = perfection.  I sent the rest of the pretzels in little baggies off with several kids for the day.  We mixed them half and half.  One student even added his raisin and peanut mix.  Another snack-on-the-run.  GRADE:  B+

 

One thing was clear, Udi’s and Glutino have truly heard the gluten free market demands:  soft breads, versatile treats, nutritious ingredients (those granola bars and cereals!) and good.  Simply good food.  May might be Celiac awareness month, but the truth is, those of us who live this life are educators about our life and gluten free living everyday.  Just this week a friend called telling me that she/her husband/son are going to “go gluten free for a week” to help alleviate his intestinal/digestive trouble.  (A week to clear up digestive/intestinal stuff???!!?  Don’t worry – she’s hip, she’s reading, she’s asking questions, and we are talking.)

Her first question was “Do you have any brand of Gluten Free Bread that you love?”  

Love?  Ummm…no.  Not really.  At least not one that you buy in a store.  I told her that she should most likely start by not just trying to replace their gluten-filled menus with gluten-free filled “same” because it (1) won’t be “the same” and (2) it will bust her budget.  And then it hit me… you know… the Udi’s bread we ate?  That was pretty good and if I were starting out on the gluten free diet again?  That’s a great place to start.  

THANK YOU Udi’s and Glutino for the sample package.  My students and I had fun eating “special food” with other students in the mix.  It is great fun to have something special to share with the kids who watch dozens of cookies, bagels, and other snacks be passed about on campus everyday.  The rest of the class began asking great questions about the diet and several more talked about parents, uncles/aunts, cousins, friends, etc who are gluten intolerant or have Celiac Disease.   Sharing in such a public forum certainly brought about a lot of dialogue and awareness.  

Thank you for sharing with us!  I am very grateful for the chance to share and gift your goodies to students/families who are starting out, in need of  help/advice/food, etc.  You (Udi’s and Glutino) have helped some families more than you know with your timely donations.

Happy Gluten Free Life, all - 
Kate

 

 

Diary of a Celiac… and it ends with an apple tart/pie…thing

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I don’t think people realize what it means to have Celiac disease.

First and foremost, it is not obsessive once you get the hang of things.  There is no need for panic.

Second, it does make one much more likely to think about food ahead of time far more than your typical person.

Third, when you don’t do the second thing, you will either want to (a) eat your own arm while out and about or (b) kick yourself repeatedly and then (3) eat something less than satisfactory but still within the “safe” range of “food”.

Think of it like a Hurricane Category Scale.  It works something like this:

CATEGORY 1:
Hurricane Definition:  Very dangerous winds, could cause some damage.
Celiac Definition:  Celiac knows hunger will happen and therefore attempts to plan AHEAD to meet the hunger pangs.

CATEGORY 2:
Hurricane Definition:  Extremely dangerous winds, will cause some damage.
Celiac Definition:  Hungry Celiac has insufficient food plan, crabbiness ensues and the plan is adjusted.

CATEGORY 3:
Hurricane Definition:  Devastating damage will occur.
Celiac Definition:  Hungry Celiac fails to plan and now dreams of eating own arm while driving to next appointment.

CATEGORY 4:
Hurricane Definition:  Catastrophic damage will occur.
Celiac Definition:  Hungry.  Crabby.  Can no longer communicate.

CATEGORY 5:
Hurricane Definition:  Catastrophic damage will occur.
Celiac Definition:  You so don’t even want to know….Worst of all:  I have only myself to blame if I fail to plan, *I* fail myself.

Thursday was one of the days of my life that I ended up in a Category Three hunger mode.

My diary for Thursday would read something like this:

5:40AM:  Why in God’s name am I awake?  Oh yes, because I finally fell asleep at 3:15AM (thank you, obnoxious neighbors… but that’s another story), so naturally I should wake up, right?

7:00AM:  Both girls are cuddled up with me reading a book and checking the very cool visual weather apps on the iPad.

8:00AM:  All 3 of the girls are dressed and downstairs.  Dad is off to work.  Girls are eating breakfast and pestering each other.  I am wondering where the coffee scooper is.  Guess I should eat a little Greek yogurt too (thinking the protein will sustain me a little…).

9:30AM:  And we’re off… to the bank, to the gas station, to day care and then to the airport.  (I took pictures for a couple whose newly adopted son just arrived from South Korea.)

3:30PM:  Wait, what?  It’s 3??  Holy hell!  It took forever for that little guy to make it through customs (seriously 2+ hours = unreal).  Way to go, SeaTac for planning the arrival of 8 international flights within an hour.  Oh yea.  Awesome.  But now, I thought I’d be back on the road by 2:45-3.  Attempt to call hubby to check and day care to let her know.  Cell battery is dead.  Wonderful.  Pit stop for car-charger and oh look… a Starbucks.  I contemplate the dangers of buying the “protein” plate and tossing the bread/cracker thing and eating the rest… but I can’t figure out how it is package and whether I would be able to eat anything in it after the bread is tossed?  (Is the bread packed separately or part of the mix?  There in lies the question.)  I am freakin’ hungry.

4:00PM Back on the highway for long drive home (considering traffic and that it is 44 miles to go).  Still hungry.  Seeing signs for McDonald’s, BK, blah…blah…blah… and I’m trying to hold out for dinner.  After all, if I eat now, I’m not going to want dinner but will still be cooking it… BUT if i don’t eat something, I might just have to eat my arm off before too long.

4:25PM  Reach into “secret hiding spot in car” in hopes that I have one remaining pack of nuts or jerky or SOMETHING.  Disappointed to find *nothing* remaining.  Open purse.  Eat tic-tac.  Anger at self ensues.

4:30PM  My Love calls.  Notices I’m “crabby” and responds with “just go get something”.  My “crabbiness” is somewhat restrained as I contemplate shouting “AS IF IT IS THAT EASY” into the Bluetooth.  (PS.  That would so not have been cool, I’m glad I had some reserve brain power in order to hold my tongue.)  Instead, I say… hey honey, what do you say we get pad thai or something tonight.  He responds with “good idea, I was going to suggest the same”.  See.  I do love him. :D

4:50PM  Get kids.  Chat with CH (day care wonder woman).  Stomach growls.  Apparently one tic-tac is not going to cut it.

5:30PM  Husband is home and notices defrosted chicken.  Calls to say “Hey… should we just stay in to eat the chi….”  He is cut-off my raging hunger beasts (there are now three hungry ladies in the car) who say “HEY!  I thought we could get pad thai tonight!”  (And no, I was not alone in my response.  Zoe was gladly louder than I was too.  LOL)

6:30PM  Veggie Summer Roll (rice paper, lettuce, noodles, carrots, etc) in hand with homemade sweet ginger dipping sauce.  My brain returns to normal slowly over the course of the meal.

7:45PM  I think about being able to grad whatever/whenever.  How, with a clear head, I can easily find something to eat – and even problem-solve; but when I’m hungry I totally cannot.  I wished we had the money to start a gluten free food truck with wraps, sandwiches and soups.   Because I really needed that: sandwich, wrap or soup.  Something.  Man, it can be frustrating sometimes.

But as I said, I have no one to blame but myself.  I should have packed something – anything.  A handful of almonds, a wrap sandwich, a little homemade spam musubi in a lunch tin, … etc. .. SOMETHING.  I promise myself as I go to bed that night that I will try to avoid this in the future.

And I know full well it will happen again.

And then I wish for that freakin’ food truck again.

Hmm… if only.

……

Avoid hunger meltdowns.  Make these and pack one for your next outing.  I can’t call them apple turnovers (which usually use puff pastry) because they are not.  This morning it hit me:  these babies are like Hostess Fruit Pies… only minus the chemicals and gluten.  Do you remember those?

Kitchen assistant

Really – we (the girls and I) just tossed these together because they wanted to cook… and I wanted to use the apples up.  I didn’t want another apple pie and I didn’t want to look up my recipes for pie crusts; thus this was born.

Actually, the dough is super pliable.  I really like that.  I rolls easily/nicely between two pieces of parchment paper.  However, it is NOT a flaky crust.  It totally is a Hostess Fruit Pie crust.

I think I will take this dough and play around with rolling in some bread pats or shredded butter (frozen stick = shredded in food processor) to form a flakier crust.  But for now?  This completely fits the bill.  I am holding a tartlet/pie thingy in my hand as I write.  I’m in heaven.

Tomorrow the girls and I will convert this to a savory pie.  I have visions of cheesy goodness (although Zoe is dreaming of peanut butter and jelly within hers and Rory wants laver/seaweed (???!!) in hers).  I guess we will see where this takes us.

If you give it a whirl, please come back and let us know what you did with yours!

AND PS:  Next time, I’ll take pictures of us rolling it out.  Guess I didn’t get those done as I was managing my two kitchen assistants (egad!) and their love of the stand-mixer.  :D

Untitled
Fruit Pie/Tartlets

Crust Recipe
INGREDIENTS:
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups GF Flour Mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons cold butter
1/4 cup COLD water
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg yolk PLUS 1 whole egg

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In the bowl of your food processor (with the blade attachment), mix together your dry ingredients.  Add the butter in pats (3 Tbsps. COLD butter cut into smaller pieces).  Blend again until the butter is distributed evenly into tiny peas or smaller.
  2. Add the cold water, lemon juice and egg.  Mix again until it comes together to form a ball.
  3. Scrap out and form into a disc.  Wrap in plastic (or insert into a plastic bag) and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to use:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Divide dough into 6-8 pieces (depending on the size of your tartlets/pie thingies).  We made 4 large triangles (made from 6-inch or so squares (BIG, IMHO!) and one open tart (8″ x 5″) for Dad.
  3. Roll out your dough between two pieces of parchment paper to the desired thickness (about 1/4 inch).  Fill with 2-4 Tablespoons (more/less depending on the size of you dough) of your desired filler.  (We used mostly cooked apples with cinnamon a la apple pie filling for the ones in the photos – See below for a rough guess as to our “measurements”).
  4. Bake on a piece of parchment paper for 15 minutes at 375.  Lower the temperature to 350 and bake an additional 10 minutes until the outer edges of the crust turn golden.
  5. Top with icing, if so inclined.  (I used a pat of softened butter, 2 Tablespoons of milk and well… umm.. I didn’t measure but about 1/2 – 2/3 cup of powdered sugar.  Mix to a semi-thick glaze and drizzle over the warm pie-lets).

Untitled

APPLE FILLING

Ingredients:
3 Fuji apples (hard for me to measure, as my “helpers” helped themselves to lots of apple slices as we prepped)
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4-1/3 cup of sugar (depending on the sweetness desired/sweetness of the apples)
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of GF Flour mix

Directions:

  1. Peel and core your apples.  Slice into thin strips (about 1/4 inch thick).  Toss the strips with the lemon juice as you go in a bowl.
  2. Preheat a pan over medium.  Add the butter.  Dump in your apple slices, sugar, cinnamon.  Cook over medium heat until the apple slices are tender but NOT mushy (8 minutes or so).
  3. Taste and adjust your sweetness level.  (Add lemon juice, if desired too)
  4. Sprinkle the 2 Tablespoons of GF Flour mix over and stir in.  Cook an additional 2-3 minutes until the moisture/sauce begins to thicken.
  5. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.  (I had left overs, so I added them to the bottom of a oven-puffed pancake for breakfast the next day after storing in the fridge overnight.)

Enjoy!
Kate

The Gluten Free & Healthy Bon Bon

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Feast your eyes on these nutritional details:

Sugar Free.
Casein Free.
Transfat, Saturated Fat Free.
(Possibly nut-free, if you so wish.)

A fudgey, delicious bon-bon.
Oh, your taste buds will thank you.

So, my friend Ginger has been on my mind. (And a little sweet birdie named Steve reminded me that tomorrow (2/11) is her birthday!).

I was thinking of all of the dietary challenges people face and how they are (or are not) accommodated by loved ones, friends or even the service industry. I started to think about Ginger and my wishes for her success as she follows her new diet.

And then I started thinking about MY diet. No, not the gluten-free version, but the healthy-living, gluten-free lifestyle. We’ve done a lot of changing in my house since the beginning of the school year in order to get our lives more organized and healthy. We’ve given up soda, drink more water, eat more fresh, raw veggies and fruit – OH! Fruit! I eat much more fruit. I think I used to be a bit of a fruit snob. Really. If I had one bad, untasty bite of fruit, I was unmotivated to eat the rest of it. Now I let my love pick out the fruit we eat. It’s genius. He picks out the fruit. I pick out the veggies.

But for sweet things?
Well, this is where the large bowl of fruit satisfies my Love usually. Sometimes it works for me too. But there are a few occasions when I really have to have some chocolate. Like *now* when I want it, not tomorrow when I can “get” it. (Okay, not really this moment because I had a wonderful fruit/yogurt/granola parfait for lunch and I am feeling quite satisfied, thankyouverymuch. LOL)

This weekend while thinking about Ginger and my cravings for sweets, I decided to make something she and I could both enjoy. It’s easy to make – and healthy too!

Those little bonbons you see? They are fudgy, delicious and unbelievably satisfying. And what makes it even more satisfying for me? It’s 3 ingredients and together they blissfully lack (1) sugar; (2) saturated fat and (3) sodium.

Go with me, now, those of you who are ready to bail. Trust me. You have to try these treats at home. I served them to two students who had no idea what was in them (they have no food allerigies/issues). They were convinced that they were eating fudge balls. Oh yea. They were shocked when I told them that they were eating dates. :D

I hope you give these bonbons a whirl.
And if you get the chance, swing on over to wish Ginger a Happy Birthday.
Her little package of bonbons should be arriving about now too.

Gluten Free & Healthy Bon Bons
Recipe makes 36 teaspoon sized bon-bons
Ingredients:

1 pound, super moist medjool dates
3/4 cup walnut halves (optional, but they add great Omega 3s!)
1/2 cup unsweetened, dark cocoa powder (+1/3 cup for rolling)

Directions:
1. Cut the dates in half and remove the seed.
2. Put all the ingredients in the food processor and process until it comes together in a large ball. (This takes a little while (3-5 minutes), but be patient – it works.)
3. Scrap the dough ball in to a bowl. Using your hands, squish it together into one large ball (if necessary).
4. Form teaspoon size balls of dough and roll them in more dark cocoa powder (to prevent them from sticking to each other) OR roll them in pulverized dark chocolate – but NOTE: this adds sugar to your recipe!). Go easy on the cocoa powder that you roll them in – you just want a light dusting or it can taste a bit dry/bitter at first bite.
5. Store in a cool, dry, airtight container until consumed (or about a week – 10 days.)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION:  (Per bonbon with walnuts)
Calories:  46
Total Fat:  2g (from walnuts)  0 Saturated Fat; 0 Transfat
Cholesterol 0 mg
Total Carbohydrates:  9g
Dietary Fiber:  1g
Sugars:  7g
Protein:  1g

Happy Birthday, Sweet Ginger!
Happy Fudgey-bonbons, All!
-Kate

PS.  If your dates are not moist, try adding a squeeze of fresh OJ to the mix.  It might make it a tad sticky for forming the balls, but the flavor will be great!