Psst, these are really health. No need to tell the kids, or anyone else, for that matter; just eat them up knowing they are filled with almonds (nut-free option included) and oats, and sweetened only with dates and raisins!
In a food processor, process the almods until fine and crumbly. Then add remaining ingredients and (except the optional chocolate chips) pulse or process. Once the mixture starts to become crumbly, process fully for a minute or two. It will appear as if nothing is happening at first, that the mixture is just whirring around in crumbs, but soon it will start to become sticky. When you see it start to become a little sticky, add the chocolate chips and process again. Continue to process until it forms a ball on the blade. Stop the machine and remove the dough. Take small coops of the dough (1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons in size) and roll in your hand. Repeat until you have rolled all of the dough. Toss or roll the balls in the coating, if using,, and refrigerate. Eat and repeat often.
Allergy-Free or Bust!: For a nut-free version, replace the almonds with just 1/4 cup of raw pumkin seeds, and add another 1/4 cup of rolled oats.
If This Apron Could Talk: Make a double batch and freeze half. They thaw very well.
Kid-Friendly: These are excellent to pack in school lunches, with a nut-free option for you if nuts aren’t permitted in your school. For a nut-free version, replace the almonds with just 1⁄4 cup of raw pumpkin seeds, and add another 1⁄4 cup of rolled oats.
Savvy Subs and Adds: Replace vanilla with 1/2 teaspoon almond extract or orange oil.