|For the peanut butter|
|3 tbsp, whole||(1.3 oz)|
|For the caramel|
|7 ⅓ oz|
|1 dash||(0.01 oz)|
|For the chocolate coating|
|3 ½ oz|
|½ tsp||(0.08 oz)|
Make the peanut butter
Roast the peanuts in the oven at 180 °C for 5–10 minutes (in the meantime, you can continue with the next step). Then grind the peanuts in a blender until you have achieved a homogenous cream. This usually takes about 10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can also use a store-bought peanut butter, as the original recipe does.
Make the caramel
Process the dates in a food processor until a sticky paste forms. Add the peanut butter and salt and process until combined.
The mixture will be very sticky, but this is normal.
Scoop the sticky mixture into a bowl and freeze, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. Prepare everything for the chocolate coating and then continue with the other steps.
Chilling makes the caramel easier to shape into balls.
Line a plate with parchment paper. Lightly wet your fingers and shape the chilled caramel into small balls, making about 20 balls total. Set the balls on the parchment paper as you roll them. Place the finished balls in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up.
The recipe for six servings will make about 20 balls.
Make the chocolate coating
In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil over very low heat. When two-thirds of the chips have melted, remove the pan from the heat and stir until smooth.
The original recipe that makes 20 yolos calls for 6 tablespoons of chocolate chips.
Remove the caramel balls from the freezer and dunk each ball into the melted chocolate, one at a time. Stick them with a fork and roll them around to coat. Tap off any excess chocolate coating and use the fork to set the balls back on the lined plate.
If desired, stick a toothpick in the top of each ball and sprinkle them with a tiny amount of flaked sea salt or chia seeds.
Final steps before serving
Freeze the balls for at least 20 minutes, or until the chocolate is set. Yolos taste best straight from the freezer and will soften at room temperature.
These yolos (caramel pralines) with medjool dates taste so amazingly creamy and caramel-like, even without sugar, that you’ll just have to try them.
Medjool dates: Compared to other types of dates, the Medjool variety (Madjhool or Madjool in the US) is known for its large size, soft texture, and unique fruity flavor. Dates are quite sweet and are classified as a fruit. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and B as well as the minerals potassium, calcium, and magnesium. In addition, they contain more fiber than whole grain bread. Dried dates can be stored for up to a year. If they are stored longer, then they dry out and begin to crystalize; they also become sweeter and develop a “brittle-soft” texture.
Consuming large quantities of dates: Dates are high on the glycemic index (GI), an index that measures how foods containing carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels (a higher GI causes a sharper increase in blood sugar). The GI value is determined in relation to the effect of glucose (= reference value) on the blood sugar. Other factors that influence the GI include the method used to process the food and its botanical origin, as well as the intestinal flora. Unlike previously thought, the carbohydrate structure does not affect the GI value.
With a GI value of almost 100, dried dates are high on the glycemic index and should be consumed in moderation. However, in contrast to other sugary sweets they are certainly the more healthy choice.
Dark chocolate: In contrast to other types of chocolate, dark chocolate contains a higher percentage of cacao. Some products contain up to 70–85 %, and it is even possible to find dark chocolate that contains almost 100 % cacao. Very few dark chocolates contain milk, and dark chocolate is therefore normally vegan and lactose-free. If you want to avoid soy, look for soy-free, vegan chocolate varieties.
Tips from the author:
- Soaking the dates: If your dates are chewy or dry, simply soak them for 30–60 minutes in water before using. After soaking, let them drain well and squeeze out any excess water before transferring them to the blender.
- Reusing leftover chocolate: If you have any leftover melted chocolate, pour onto a plate lined with baking paper and then place in the freezer. This way, the chocolate will firm again, and you can use it for another purpose.
Almond butter: Compared to other foods, peanuts are a common allergen. However, you can replace the peanuts with almonds and use them to make almond butter.
Quicker version: You can also use store-bought peanut butter as the author does in the original recipe. But if you do so, make sure that you choose a 100 % natural peanut butter as many products contain oil, salt, and other added ingredients.