If you’re scrambling for a token of affection to share with your loved one that won’t knock them off with their healthy-eating regimen, consider blending up a batch of these no-bake, power-packed treats. The recipe, adapted from “A Return to Ireland: A Culinary Journey from America to Ireland” by Judith McLoughlin (Hatherleigh Press, $30), is a wholesome, gluten-free option. Makes about three dozen. – Susan Puckett
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
2 ½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes, divided
¾ cup mini gluten-free dark chocolate chips
1 cup natural nut butter (almond, cashew, peanut)
¼ cup raw honey (plus a little more as needed)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread out the oats on a large baking sheet and place in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the oats are lightly toasted and fragrant. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Place ½ cup of the coconut flakes in a small bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a chopping blade, combine the remaining 2 cups of coconut flakes with the cooled oats, chocolate chips, nut butter, ¼ cup of the honey, vanilla, and salt.
Pulse until the mixture is well-blended. Pinch off some of the mixture and squeeze it into a ball with your hands. If it’s too dry to hold together, add a little more honey and give it a few more pulses.
Roll the mixture into 1 ½-inch balls, the roll each in reserved coconut to coat. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or in the freezer for several months.
Susan Puckett is an Atlanta-based food writer and cookbook author.