This post was created in partnership with Bob's Red Mill.
FAUXNUTS! Because I knew if I called them doughnuts my inbox would receive a steady stream of hate mail for the rest of the week. I was planning on using a nearly identical recipe (plus Bob's Red Mill egg replacer, a splash of oil, and some almond buttermilk) to make a baked gluten-free doughnut but when I couldn't find my doughnut pan (there's a chance it may have accidentally gotten placed in the Goodwill donation pile before we moved) (WHOOPS!) I decided to go a different route. And now I'm here with fauxnuts (AKA wannabe doughnuts). Which, admittedly, aren't nearly as delicious as a glazed doughnut from Voodoo but the trade-off is that these things won't leave you with the post-Voodoo bloat and.. that counts for something, right?
So this is where I tell you that I was pretty terrible to my body this spring. There was a really weird/untimely chain of events (one of which included a home break-in at 5AM.. while I was still in bed and Thom was out like a light) (I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO TERRIFIED IN MY ENTIRE LIFE) that made it impossible for me to get in the right mental space to train. Funny enough, my little training hiatus began around the same time I started regularly consuming handfuls of chocolate chunks and trays of French fries.. at 10PM. So you can imagine what happened to my body after two months of not training and over-indulging. My muscles atrophied. I lost a good chunk of the 20 pounds I spent the previous year gaining ('cause muscle > than fat). And, for lack of better words, I felt like shit.
While the days off from strength training and the diet of mostly-comfort food were glorious, I knew what needed to be done to feel good again. So summer came and eventually I found my way back to the gym. And once I realized how difficult it is to make it through a workout when you're not eating right, I up and changed my diet back to what it was before I started devouring comfort food willy-nilly. And now I only eat trays of French fries a few times a month. At 8PM. ;)
In all seriousness, it's a lot easier to make healthier food choices when you have recipes like this (or this or this) on hand. And although they might be a stretch, these little wannabe doughnuts are something I'm happy to have around because they're comprised of ingredients (whole grains, healthy fats, and natural sugars) (THANKS BOB AND CHARLEE!) that satisfy both my mouth and my belly. They're delicious. They're filling. And when I have a batch just chillin' in my freezer, I'm a lot less likely to reach for that bag of chocolate chunks. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about treating myself and indulging from time to time, but I also know that there's a fine line between indulging and over-indulging. And when the going gets tough, it's easy for me to get sucked into the latter (there's a chance it's probably pretty easy for you to get sucked in, too).
So here's to good health. Strong bodies. Knowing when to step back and take it easy. And - just as importantly - knowing when to wake up, look in the mirror, and tell yourself IT'S TIME TO GET IT TOGETHER, GIRLFRIEND.
Notes: Unless you have a 14+ cup food processor, I wouldn't recommend doubling this recipe. In order for the dough to achieve a super smooth texture, you need to keep the load light. If you're not into pecans, feel free to replace them with your favorite nut (cashews or almonds would be great). To replace the oats, simply increase the shredded coconut to 1 3/4 cup. If you don't have coconut sugar, you can use maple sugar to make powered (maple) sugar.. or any other sugar, really. When I first started playing around with glazes, I attempted to use my white chocolate magic shell recipe but it looked a little.. off putting. If you don't mind yellow fauxnut holes (you could even color the glaze with beet powder!), the magic shell will be much more stable at room temperature than the coconut oil-based glaze.
This post is sponsored by Bob's Red Mill, the employee-owned grain company that's committed to providing good food for all. All opinions are my own (and I think Bob's Red Mill rules).
1/2 cup (45g) Bob's Red Mill old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup (76g) Bob's Red Mill unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (55g) raw pecans
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, optional
Pinch of fine sea salt
8-10 (125g) medjool dates, pitted and soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
CINNAMON DATE SUGAR
1/4 cup (50g) Bob's Red Mill date sugar
2 teaspoons (4g) ground cinnamon
1/4 cup (45g) unrefined coconut oil, melted (but not hot)
2 tablespoons (28g) pure maple syrup
In a food processor fitted with the S-blade, blend the oats and coconut into a fine meal. Add the pecans, vanilla bean powder, nutmeg (if using), and sea salt, and blend until the pecans turn into a fine meal, too. Add the dates and process for 45-60 seconds, until a smooth dough is achieved. Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon scoop, drop the fauxnuts onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roll into balls then transfer to the freezer to chill for 20 minutes.
While the fauxnuts are chilling, prepare your desired topping. My favorite is the cinnamon-date sugar followed closely by the maple glaze and then the coconut powdered sugar. Each of the recipes above will make enough to coat the entire batch. If you make all three, like I did, you'll have leftovers. Which isn't a completely terrible thing. ;)
To make the cinnamon date sugar, simply sift the date sugar and cinnamon into a small bowl and whisk to combine. When the fauxnuts are chilled, roll in sugar and enjoy immediately.
To make the maple glaze, vigorously whisk together the coconut oil and pure maple syrup. The mixture will separate so you'll want to whisk it just before you start coating the fauxnuts (and a few times while you're coating them). When the fauxnuts are chilled, give them two good dips in the glaze and put them back on the baking sheet (but line it with a wire rack otherwise you'll have hardened glaze puddles).
To make the powdered coconut sugar, add the coconut sugar and 2 tablespoons of the potato starch to the container of a high powered blender; blend on high speed for 45-60 seconds. Remove the lid and check the sugar; if it looks (or feels) cakey, add the remaining potato starch and blend. Sift the sugar into a small bowl then give it a good whisk. When the fauxnuts are chilled, roll in sugar and enjoy immediately.
Fauxnuts will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks (and in the freezer indefinitely).
Yield: 14 fauxnuts
Banana nut fauxnuts - Replace the pecans with walnuts, increase the oats to 1 cup, and add 1/2 a super ripe banana to the processor when you add the dates.
Double cacao fauxnuts - Replace the pecans with almonds, add 2 tablespoons of cacao powder, and an additional 2 dates (~30g). Toss in 2 tablespoons of cacao nibs during the last 10 seconds of processing.
Cacao glaze - Add 1 tablespoon of cacao powder to the maple glaze, but make sure you start off by mixing a tiny bit of the oil into the cacao and whisk until smooth (otherwise you'll have clumpy glaze).