Let freedom (and donuts) ring.

Happy Independence Day, everyone! The 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays because it marries together the simplest of traditions with the grandest of celebrations--our freedom as Americans.
Every other day it's (too) easy to forget the breadth of our liberty. Choosing our religion, political parties, career path and dinner menu are luxuries that to us seem like normalcies. But on this day our personal independence is unignorable and unforgettable. We are a blessed, free people.

What I love about the 4th is that, unlike every other hoilday of the year, almost everyone celebrates the same way. Barbeques, beach trips, s'mores, bug spray, and some variation on a red and blue fruit salad are celebratory buzzwords that most, if not all, American can agree make up a freedom party.

Nice. We can agree on party essentials and agree that corn on the cob is a VIP today and today only.

Although I'm working tomorrow, in the city, with no beach access, we will be having an urban celebration of our own. This may or may not include grilled kebabs, sangria, a trip to the East River to scope out fireworks and a killer dessert. This will certainly not include sunscreen because my pasty skin needs a tan, stat.

Anyway, back to the killer dessert. Can we talk about cinnamon-sugar donut holes? Trick question.

I'm refraining from singing their praises, because frankly, it's redundant. The word "donut" plus "hole" says all you need to know. If you have any doubts, you should also know these little darlings are also raw, vegan, and impossible to stop eating. Perfect for a picnic!

Cinnamon-Sugar Donut Holes
Makes about 20 quarter-sized treats

1/2 cup raw oat groats
1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch ground nutmeg
pinch ground cardamom
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol-free)
1/3 cup pitted dates, soaked for two hours
1 Tbs. coconut oil

2 Tbs. organic palm sugar
2 Tbs. ground cinnamon

1. Combine the first five ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the ingredients are the texture of course sand.

2. Add the vanilla, dates and coconut oil and pulse until a soft, pliable dough forms. Tranfer the dough to a mixing bowl and using a teaspoon, scoop out the dough and roll into donut holes. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

3. While the holes are setting, mix together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Once the donuts are set, roll each hole in the cinnamon-sugar mixture until evenly coated.

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