For many of us, baking holiday goodies is part of a seasonal ritual that we’ve been performing since early childhood. We roll out sugary dough on a well-floured surface, gently press out our favorite holiday shapes with shiny cookies cutters, and watch them turn a golden brown in the oven. Each tasty piece of baked perfection is then topped with brightly colored icing. It’s a holiday tradition that’s been passed down from generation to generation.
But between the baked goodies and the extra caloric main courses and side dishes, the season of giving presents us with an overwhelming amount of sugar and fat—two “gifts” we’d rather not receive.
Choosing smarter snack choices for our family is critical, yet we must maintain the lighthearted holiday spirit that we all hold so dear.
Cut down on sugar and overload on fun with your little ones this season by making coconut snowmen together. This recipe’s simple and healthy ingredients ensure you’re feeding your children only the best, and it’s easy preparation means the kids can participate in the entire process.
Coconut Snowmen Cookies
Makes about eight 2-inch Snowmen heads or three full-bodied snowmen
1 ½ c. shredded coconut (reserve 1 c. for rolling the balls)
1 ½ c. raw cashews (reserve ½ c. for snowmen’s noses)
1 c. pitted dates
2 T. water
1 tsp. vanilla
½ c. chocolate chips (for eyes)
- Kids: Measure out the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and dump them all into a food processor.
- Adults: Process the ingredients until the consistency is doughy with visible chunks of the cashews.
- Adults: Remove dough from food processor and put in fresh bowl.
- Kids: Dive in with clean hands and begin forming 2-inch balls.
- Kids: Roll the balls in the reserved shredded coconut to form the snowman’s “snow” and place on waxed paper.
- Kids: Decorate each snowman by adding chocolate chips for eyes and nut pieces for a nose (see note).
- Adults: The cookies are entirely raw, so please cover and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
Note: Get creative when you decorate the snowmen, and feel free to use other ingredients such as shredded carrots for the nose (instead of nuts) and blackberries or prunes for hats. Better yet, come up with some on your own.
You can also make a typical three-tiered snowman, if you choose. However, I would recommend using a toothpick to prevent the snowmen from toppling. (Just remember it’s there before taking a bite.)