How to Make Pistachio Date Balls

Step-by-step instructions for making Dirty Gourmet Plant Power’s no-cook three-ingredient Pistachio Date Balls.
Chloe Hansen Chloe Hansen
June 14, 2023
How to Make Pistachio Date Balls

Dirty Gourmet: Plant Power has your back anytime you need tasty and creative outdoor food ideas. One example are these no-cook three-ingredient trail snacks! They are a perfect bite-sized protein and sugar boost on the trail, and making them is as hard as owning a food processor.

Here’s how:

Dirty Gourmet Recipe Photo 1

Step one is to gather your ingredients: 1 ½ cups of roasted, shelled, and salted pistachios, 2 cups of soft pitted Medjool dates, and ½ teaspoon of ground cardamom.

All of these ingredients should be available at your local grocery store. I recommend measuring everything out in bowls ahead of time, just to expedite the process even further. 

DG Recipe Photo 2

Next step is to blend ¼ cup of your pistachios in the food processor until they reach a powdery consistency. Set aside the rest of the pistachios for later use. Blending too much in this stage will cause the pistachios to turn into a nut butter, which, while tasty, isn’t the goal.

DG Recipe Photo 3

The result should resemble the image above–you’re looking for a sandy consistency, no large chunks, but still a dry and crumbly mixture. Once blended, go ahead and set them aside in a separate bowl. Everything will be blended up together, so no need to wipe down the bowl of the food processor once this step is done.

DG Recipe Photo 4

Add your dates to the food processor and process them until they break down into a paste. This might take you a few tries of stopping and re-starting the processor, especially if yours is as old as mine. 

DG Recipe Photo 5

At this point, your dates should resemble the photo above. It’s totally normal for the paste to form a ball around the blade during this stage. If it helps to blend more smoothly, I’d suggest breaking the ball into pieces and adding it back into the processor like that.

DG recipe photo 6

Here we’re going to add in the rest of the whole pistachios and the cardamom powder until the mixture comes together during processing. 

DG Recipe Photo 7

At the end of this step, you will have a loaf of pistachio-cardamom-date mixture integral enough that it can be turned out onto a clean surface. You might need to knead it slightly to make sure all the pieces coming out of the food processor are in one cohesive ball.

DG Recipe Photo 8

To make them into their final shape, pull off little sections of the main loaf and roll (either on the table with your hand, or between your palms) the mixture into roughly 1” balls. The goal here is for them to be a small and portable trail snack, so aim for anywhere between bite-sized and two-bites sized.

DG Recipe Photo 9

Grab the sandy pistachio crumbs from the beginning of the recipe and roll each ball around in the crumbs until fully coated. This will give them a little bit of a crunch and a pretty green coating! My pistachio crumbs were a little chunky–make sure you don't have any large pieces or it won’t stick as well to the date balls.

DG Recipe Photo 10

Once all the pistachio date balls have been coated with the pistachio crumbs, they should look like truffles and are ready to eat! Take this delicious hiking snack with you wherever you go. Great for a picnic, a beach day, a long walk in the woods, or even just on your kitchen counter for all-day snacking. Enjoy!

Find this recipe and many more in Dirty Gourmet Plant Power.

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