Brownie Balls and Butternut Croquettes

by Sara on July 17, 2010


I just finished breakfast and am about to head to the farmer's market downtown. 

Market Mission: BERRIES.

This weekend I have every intention of filling my belly with copious amounts of bloobs. And if there are any leftovers come Monday (IF!), they'll be made into a cobbler that looks just like this:



Drool. Someday…Someday I'll have both the camera and cooking skills to claim ownership of a tasty treat like that! :)

Until then, I'll settle for sharing two not-quite-as-beautiful-but-still-pretty-bangin' recipes with you. 

I'm not sure what hit me yesterday, but my eats certainly excited my taste buds!

Let's begin with lunch: Butternut Croquettes

This was a complete surprise meal. By that I mean I didn't really know where I was going with it until started cooking. 

You see, after my sweat-fest at the gym, I was HANGRY. And not just hungry for anything…I wanted sweet potatoes. Ideally, sweet potato falafel

However desperate rummaging through the fridge revealed the fact that there were no sweet potatoes en casa. 

I did, however, find this:


Cascadian Farms Winter Squash

Pureed butternut squash is definitely underrated. It's much creamier than pumpkin and packs quite a nutritious punch.

I defrosted the squash and spooned half into a bowl. To it I added:

one egg, whisked

1 T. coconut flour

a pinch/squirt of:

garlic powder

salt, pepper



I then heated a griddle and spooned the thick mixture into little cakes.

Actually, let's call them croquettes just for the sake of sounding
fun and fancy schmancy

I let the croquettes cook for about 3 minutes per side and then served them on top of a bed of spinach dressed with Galeo's dressing and sauteed onions. 

I sighed a big mmmmmm after taking my first bite. Heaven.

These were fantastic on their own, but since I eat Laughing Cow with just about everything, I couldn't resist the urge to spread a few bites with a Blue Cheese wedge

The croquettes were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside–a definite make-again meal!

Now on to a sweet eat: No Bake Brownie Balls 

After polishing off a kitchen sink-type dinner last night, I wanted a satisfying dessert.

As a recent Larabar convert, I'm intrigued by the fact that the simple combination of fruit and nuts can yield such delicious treats. 

I've seen plenty of homemade Larabar recipes on the internet, but decided to wing this one, using my memory to create similar ingredient ratios. 

In the Cuisinart I combined:

1 cup toasted almonds

20 pitted dates

1/2 cup cocoa powder

2 T. agave (honey would work too)

2 T. water

I used my hands to form the mixture into 1-inch balls, and then rolled them in powdered sugar.

Such an easy sweet fix! Next time, I think I''ll try substituting some of the cocoa with protein powder. 

**A little side note**

Over the years, I've become reliant on the nutritional information that accompanies recipes. In fact, there was a time, not so long ago, when I wouldn't cook something unless I knew how many calories it contained. This self-imposed rule prevented me from enjoying many foods/recipes. 

Once I figured out how to calculate the nutrition stats on my own, I extended my recipe repetoire to any healthy-sounding dish. However, this turned me into a number crunching diva who grew anxious when ingredient lists/measurements were complicated and difficult to tally.

Yesterday, however, I threw the calorie calculating in the trash and enjoyed both of the above recipes without adding numbers. Man, it felt good. And it tasted even better. :-)

**Side note ended**

I enjoyed a few brownie balls while watching The Blind Side with Nora. I'd forgotten how much I love that movie! The acting is undeniably great, but the true story is what makes the film so touching. The Tuohy family displayed LOVE and humility when they took in Michael Oher. In doing so, they provided a safe home environment that enabled him to reach his highest academic and athletic potential. Imagine what an amazing world we'd live in if everyone had compassion like the Tuohy's! 

We are called to help one another, yet we often turn our heads and think, Oh, someone else will do it

Today I challenge you to reach out to someone in a way you usually wouldn't. That may mean a gesture as simple as giving a friend a hug, smiling at a stranger on the street, or cooking a tasty treat for a relative. Even small things make a difference.

ENJOY YOUR WEEKEND! I'm heading to my cabin in the mountains tomorrow for a one-night getaway! Can't wait!

Do you count calories and/or calculate nutrition information for recipes? 


  • Meagan @ Mutritious Nuffins

    Hi Sara- thanks for the kind words. I so agree! Those Brownie Balls and Butternut Croquettes look AMAZING. Definitely something I would try (minus the agave syrup). I actually have some roasted butternut squash waiting to be eaten in my fridge so maybe I will do this for dinner. If I think it out a little bit more with some liquid then they could be like crepes – perfect for salad in a wrap!

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter

    I will sometimes estimate my bowls of oatmeal, just cause I know I can go crazy with the calories on those babies and they’re pretty easy to calculate. They usually end up being around 400-550 calories.

  • Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen_

    I love that movie too! What a great story! I do count calories, but it is more for a general idea. I lost a lot of weight when I was sick quite a few years ago and now that I eat mostly raw, I like to know that I am maintaining and not losing. I works for me.


    brownie balls and butternut pancakes!! wow im so glad we found eachothers blogs haha. your food is fabulous!! and thank you for sharing ur story about ur little bear Hickory! aweee it was adorable to hear <3 <3

  • Sally

    I’m pretty sure counting calories would take away the joy of eating for me! I eat anything and everything…in moderation. The Blindside is SO moving…glad you got to share it with Nora!

  • Danielle

    I’m glad you got to throw the calorie-crunching numbers in the trash :) I used to to do that too and it drove me *insane*
    I love that you made butternut pancakes on a whimb! (I mean butternut croquettes haha much fancier). And the brownie bites look amazingggg. Especially rolled in powdered sugar :)

  • Run Sarah

    Can’t wait to try the croquettes, they look awesome! I do calculate nutritional info for my recipes as I think some readers may be interested. I find it interesting to see the macro breakdown, too! I love the Blind Side…best movie I have seen in a long time.

  • katie

    whoo for NOT COUNTING CALORIES!! girl- it wouldnt hurt if you UPPED yours! seriously :) all it does is give you more energy, makes you more of a woman, and speeds your metabolism :) ANYWAY calorie counting can be so obsessive. im not a fan! i just like to make sure i eat A LOT and enough of each food group!! I get so upset with the blog world and ppl eat barely anything for how much they workout, making it look normal!! ACTIVE girls like us have to EAT A LOT!! :) happy weekend lovely

  • Sara

    Thanks girl! I’m working on eating more! Gaining muscle requires a lot more food, which is sometimes easier said than done! But I WILL get it done! :-)

  • christina

    i try not to count calories, but i end up doing it on most days, just to keep myself in check. on the weekends i try not worry about it bc i don’t want to get obsessive. LOVE your brownie balls…mmmmm


    btw yes clif builder bars are MUCH MUCH MUCH better than regular clif bars!!! but i will say that anyone who loves the regular ones might not fully enjoy the builder bars.. it seems to be that way for some reason. but i dont mind the regular ones, its just that the builder bars taste like chocolate chewy heaven and the 20g of protein fills you up, where the regular clifs dont. if u get a chance u should totally try them. the peanut flavor is the best (so far) hehe.

  • Alycia @ Fit n Fresh

    WOW those butternut croquettes look fab! I’ve never had them before but it’s going on my growing list! (:
    And I do count calories occassionally. Probably like a week once a month just to make sure I’m not getting too crazy with it (:

  • Nora

    I absolutely love the no-bake-brownie-balls AND the blind side!
    I’m looking forward to all the other good movies and sweets we get to share while I’m here!
    love you <3

  • Christina @ Food.Fun.Fabulous

    I just found your blog, love the name and banner! Those butternut croquettes look yummy too!

  • Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife

    I don’t calculate calories/nutritional information for recipes, but purely because I have a past that gets me WAY to concerned about that kind of stuff. It’s just more mind easing for me not to worry about it and simply make good choices :-)

  • sophia

    I hate counting calories. I think it sets us back from real intuitive and healthy eating, and makes food so….numerical and mechanical. Like it’s just abt the numbers, when it’s so much more.
    I love your croquettes! Mostly because it’s butternut squash, and love that little crispy exterior!

Previous post:

Next post: