A Family Favorite
Having lived in Texas for so many years, pralines became a favorite sinful treat. They were always the finale of a wonderful Tex Mex meal. I still can't walk through the Dallas airport without being drawn to the Lammes Candy stand, a company that makes pretty awesome pralines. But knowing what's in them, it's become impossible to indulge. Most pralines are made from granulated sugar, corn syrup, butter and cream - not exactly the food groups I endorse. So I took a shot at duplicating the flavor with simple, guilt-free vegan ingredients - just good old raw Texas Pecans, medjool dates, and a little sea salt and vanilla extract. Although pecans are high in fat, it's the good kind. They are high in oleic acid which is the same fatty acid found in olive oil, one of the mainstays of the healthful Mediterranean diet. They are a bit of a challenge to "hold together" but I find refrigerating them for a few hours really does the trick.
Raw Vegan Pralines
1 cup raw organic pecan pieces or halves
6 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons chopped raw organic pecans
12 whole raw organic pecan halves
Place the cup of pecans, the medjool dates, salt and vanilla extract in a food processor with an S blade and process until the mixture sticks together. Place the processed pecan mixture into a bowl and mix in the 2 tablespoons of chopped pecans. Form into 12 small patties and press one whole pecan half into each patty. Place on a flat plate covered with wax paper and refrigerate for 4 hours or more. Serve chilled.
Per praline: 107.4 calories, 7.7 g fat, 0.7 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.0 g protein, 10.5 g carbohydrate and 2.1 g of fiber.