My name is Ashley McLaughlin and this is my blog, Edible Perspective. To learn more about my journey head on over to my about + FAQ pages. I'm thrilled that you stopped by. Enjoy!


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Baked Doughnuts For Everyone: From Sweet to Savory to Everything in Between, 101 Delicious Recipes, All Gluten-Free


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Coconut Pie Bites

Are you currently living somewhere that’s colder than your freezer?  Are you drowning yourself in a huge pot of soup under 15 blankets? 

I sure would be.

Coconut Pie Bites |

Somehow, Colorado [at least in the Denver area] has dodged the extreme cold snap that half of the country seems to be experiencing right now. 

But enough about the weather.  I’m sure you’re either sick of experiencing it, hearing about it, or both.

Coconut Pie Bites |

Let’s talk life for a few minutes.

While I’ve told you that I don’t partake in the whole resolution thing, I am currently working on a get my life in order 2014 plan.  It took ringing in the new year to realize I need to have more control of my life [mostly speaking about career related things].  It’s something I’ve known for awhile but has left me feeling paralyzed in where + how to start.  I always felt like I didn’t have time to work on a larger plan because I’m just trying to survive the day-to-day. 

So much to do, all of the time.  How can I pause everything to work on life?

I feel that I’m an organized, hard-working individual, but I’ve also realized that I fly by the seat of my pants.  I have running to-do lists but no larger plan.  I know exactly how + why that happened, but I’ll save the explanation for another day.

Coconut Pie Bites |

The paralyzed feeling has just got to go.  I need to start taking action.  If that means I blog a little less for a month while I work on painting a loose picture of my life/plan/goals then so be it.  I’ve come to realize it will only make things better.

Coconut Pie Bites |

I want to keep talking about this topic throughout the next weeks and months.  That is, if you’re up for listening.  I want to share more of what I’m going through to make this career work.  I want to share more about what I haven’t done, what I need to do, what I’m currently doing, and where I want end up.

And we’ll of course keep talking about food.

Coconut Pie Bites |

Print this!

Coconut Pie Bites gluten-free, vegan // yields ~24 1 1/2-inch bites

  • 1 cup raw nuts, walnuts/cashews/pecans or a mixture of all three
  • 16-20 large medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
  • scant 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • melted dark chocolate, optional

Place nuts in a large food processor and turn on until well chopped.  Pour into a bowl.  Next, process 16 pitted dates until they’re fully chopped and sticking together.  Break apart with your hands if a large ball formed.

Place nuts back in the food processor along with the coconut, vanilla, and sea salt.  Pulse to combine with the dates and then turn on for about 5 seconds.  Squeeze the mixture between your hands to see if it holds together.  If not, turn on for another 3-5 seconds and test again.  If it’s still not holding well empty the mixture into a bowl.  Add 2-4 more dates to your food processor and process until fully chopped.  Add the mixture back in, pulse to combine, then turn on for about 5 seconds.  Test the mixture again to see if it holds together.  Repeat until mixture holds together easily. 

I used 18 dates that were on the sticky side.  If your mixture is too gooey/sticky, pulse in more coconut 1/4 cup at a time until a bit more firm.

Pack the dough into ~1 1/2-inch balls by passing back and forth between your hands.  You don’t actually roll these.  Place on a baking sheet, drizzle with chocolate if desired, and refrigerate for about an hour [to firm]before storing in a sealed container or bag.  Best kept in the fridge for about 2-3 weeks.

notes: It’s important to use medjool dates for this as they’re much more plump and sticky than some of the other date varieties.  You can typically find them in bulk bins or with packaged dried fruit.  Costco, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, etc. all typically carry them.  I also highly recommend using the unsweetened shredded coconut.  Not a sweetened version and not a low-fat version.  If you only have large flaked coconut you could try first grinding that in your food processor until shredded. 

Coconut Pie Bites |

If you’re a coconut lover this recipe is for you.

More on life soon.



Reader Comments (42)

Yes, I would be more than happy to listen:) These look yummy.
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLauren
can't wait to hear more on life updates! hope all is well down in denver :) let us know if you make it up to fort collins anytime!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
I am in the same boat with you! I always have to dos and things going on to check off a list, but I need to be looking at the bigger picture and long term goals. Also, these look amazing, per the usual : )
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAbby @ The Frosted Vegan
ALL the coconut ;)
I love that last image! And I would love to hear more about life plans. I feel like I'm feeling the same way and I want to feel better about it! I just downloaded a list app...maybe that will help :).
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHeather
yum! I need to make these for my family before I go back to school!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLivi
I know this feeling, I'm totally with you! I'm working on getting more organized and making so changes in theory it seems easy enough, but getting started feels kind of overwhelming and confusing. Here's to getting things in order and eating more than our share of coconut pie bites in 2014!
Yes, yes, yes. Please share more on life. I want to know what you're up to since you keep alluding to it! I have a job that is good pay and I am surrounded by good people but I'm not happy in it. It just isn't fulfilling. I need to figure out what I want to do and do it! Those coconut pie bites look delicious!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonya
Vent again.... I'm all ears! I absolutely LOVE your writing style & can't wait to see more of your plans for 2014!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Feeling the EXACT SAME paralyzation. Would love to hear how you're overcoming it.
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJill in Chicago
Ooooh these look like little bites of heaven!
Yes, please share about your life plan! Not only will you get tons of feedback, but it will help your readers with similar issues. Taking a different direction in life or taking action on a direction you have decided on is always scary and you need support to do it. I hope you know we all support you on this blog :-)
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
I am always here listening about life or whatever you want to share :) and yes I am a coconut lover and will happily gobble these.
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterdixya
I know the feeling all too well. Tackling life plans is overwhelming to say the least but you're right, it will be better long term if they get figured out. Would love to hear more about how it goes for you!! Oh, and of course these look delicious. Medjool dates are the bomb. Mix them with coconut and this one is no doubt a winner. xo
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Good on you!!! I totally know where you're coming from, I kind of feel the same myself at the moment!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterShel@PeachyPalate
These look delicious! They would be perfect as a treat for my kid's lunch. Or for me :)
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterWeekly Bite
Holy awesome!! I love coconut bites and these sound particularly awesome! Anything mini makes me swoon.
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatrina @ WVS
Oh my god, I completely hear you on needing to get life in order. Yesterday I actually had "free time" and I was so overwhelmed of everything that I want to do to get the aspects of my career going that I just did nothing. I stressed. I see my life flapping in the wind hanging on by threads but no solid foundation. Argh. I know what I want to do but don't know how to do it and most importantly, I am afraid of trying for fear of failure :(

I need them coconut balls. At least I know those would make me feel good. Love coconut :)
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersonia the mexigarian
Quality over quantity girl! Your readers will appreciate it and will be waiting patiently for your delicious as always recipes and photos. Sometimes you just need to take a step back. These look delicious and I love those chocolate drizzles!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKaty
You know I LOVE all things coconut!
I'd be more than happy to hear about your "life plans"! Sounds very exciting :D
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmma
I'd much rather talk to you about life and coconut pie bites than cold weather. ANYDAY. So glad I'll get to see you on Friday to do that in person!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie
Another usually silent reader saying - Yes - do share more about your life and tackling forward movements vs. paralysis. You do fantastic work in all your endeavors:> I love your free-wheeling joyful writing style that's not overly analyzed or has an agenda - just good food made and enjoyed and shared - having bits of life progress makes it all the more real and us readers can cheer you on:>
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMC
@Maggie - I definitely will. Holidays have made the past 2 months just fly by but hopefully we can make it up soon.

@Abby - Glad I am not alone! :)

@Heather - That is definitely a great place to start. I'll talk about the methods I'm using in the coming weeks. I'm just starting at all of this, so it's very much trial + error. Miss you!

@Kelli - Yes! Here's to getting things in order + more coconut!

@Sonya - Thanks so much for your support. I will definitely be talking about it more soon!

@Jill - Girl. I feel for you. Such a terrible feeling. I'm trying to work out of letting myself get to that point but it's tough. I don't have an exact method but have felt extra motivated to get the things making me feel that way off my to-do list. I can't tell you how amazing it has felt. More soon! <3

@Brooke - Goodness. Thank you. Needed that! :)

@Michelle - I was nervous/scared for way too long but I'm finally ready to move forward with a plan!

@Sonia - I feel you on that. Sounds so lame but you just have to take hold and GO! First piece of advice: google how to start what you're trying to start -- If no one has done said thing yet, google something similar and read, read, read. Then maybe start with a brainstorm page of ideas and then work that into some sort of outline/plan. Seek help from others who are in related fields and don't be afraid to ask questions! Wishing you the best of luck!

@Katy - I actually had "quality over quantity" written in this post at one point. :) I do feel I already keep that in mind but I need to take another step back and work on the foundation.

@Katie - Thanks, girl. You are the best. See you soon!
January 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterAshley
These look so good (as usual on your blog). I would love to hear more about what is going on behind the scenes!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKatie @ 24 Carrot Life
@MC - Thank you so so much for chiming in. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your comment, especially hearing that you love my writing style. It's something I've always felt hesitant about. Big hugs to you! :)
January 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterAshley
I don't comment very often, but I love reading your blog. Your career/journey seems really organic and honest to me, and I really like that. I definitely encourage you to share more about it! Also, this recipe looks like yummmm. :)
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBridgid Gallagher
I am right there with you, so I cannot wait to here more! My goals for 2014 are very similar to yours!
January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTieghan
I definitely understand what you mean and in many ways I feel like I'm going through the same thing. I look forward to hearing more and I'm sending you lots and lots of good vibes through the internet.
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterThe Wooden Spoon
I am one of those people.. the ones, where if my power went out, I could simply dump the contents of my freezer out my back door.
I have recently jumped on the coconut band wagon.. these look fantastic.
Yummmmmm! Look at that chocolate drizzle!
I came for the recipe that I saw on Instagram. Little did I know I'd also be reading about my OWN life! I bought No Meat Athlete's 'Wake Up'! You might want to think about reading it since I feel we're in the same boat!!
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAdrienne
It sounds like you're doing some big and heavy thinking at the moment; thank goodness for sweet treats to keep you going. Excited to hear about your plan for the year and to see what 2014 has in store for you xo
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
I love reading about other peoples' career journeys, can't wait to hear more about what's going on with yours! I'm trying to start mine and figuring out how and what I want to do can be so daunting.
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLacey
I'm definitely up for listening. I feel as though i am going through a very similar patch. I quit my job 1 year ago exactly and whilst last year was spent 'playing and finding me' this year needs to be about making all that come together in a sustainable career with an actual income... scary, overwhelming... hell yeah!!
January 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjo @ including cake
I really love your blog and cook from your recipes often. In fact I often make your dishes and bring them to the ER that I work at to offer staff a healthier alternative to the Krispie Kremes and other unhealthy food always lying around. (You would think we would be more enlightened about food choices working in healthcare huh?) Anyway thanks so much and keep up the good work.

January 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHillary
Hi Ashley. Thanks for sharing some insight into what's going on in your life right now - it's not always an easy thing to do; but I think the more of us that share about this stuff more openly, the more we can support each other going forward which is awesome. I think blogging and the Internet has provided a unique kind of community in that way. I'm on my own winding career path toward becoming an RD, but I'm only on my second year of pre-reqs and have two years of grad school + an internship to go and sometimes it all feels so overwhelming that I want to put on my onesie (I have one!) and just sit on the couch eating coconut pie bites and watching Parenthood. For me, it's been a learning process on when to cut myself some slack and when to push myself forward to get my sh*t together. So thank you so much for sharing, and I can't wait to hear more.
January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
Thank you for being so candid and open! You are fabulous and I'm sure your journey will continue to be amazing. I can definitely sympathize with your feelings, and please know that you are such an inspiration!
January 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
I know the feeling! Every 6 months or so, I devote a whole day to thinking about my vision, mission, goals, and the tasks it will take me to get there (or so I think). I make an overall plan, with little tasks under each item in the plan. t's so refreshing and gives me a new sense of purpose until I start to feel chaotic again. Then I revisit what I wrote and do it all again. It's really helpful! Also, I'll say that with all you've accomplished in the last year (um, book?!) - it's only natural that you'd feel paralyzed by choice and in survival mode! We all have times like that, for sure :)
January 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia
@Bridgid - That truly means so much. Thank you!

@The Wooden Spoon - Sending good thoughts you way as well!

@Adrienne - Thanks for saying hello and for the recommendation. I will definitely be checking that book out!

@Kathryn - You are spot on. Big + heavy! It's intense, but I'm finally ready!

@Lacey - I can definitely relate! All the best to you!

@Jo - It IS scary!!! Hope you had an amazing year and best of luck to you!

@Hillary - Aww, that is so fantastic to hear. What a great friend and coworker you are to bring in healthy treats. Thanks for saying hi!!

@Liz - Thanks for your comment, Liz! I also completely agree with sharing more and being more open. I have felt SO much support through this community and am so appreciative for it. Can I joi you eating coconut pie bites + watching Parenthood? Hehe :) I'm in the same place of learning when to give myself some chill time and when to go all out! Wishing you the best in your journey!

@Michelle - Thank you so very much!

@Amelia - Your comment was so reassuring to me. I could tell when we met that you're very organized and very on top of your schedule and plan. I was thinking in my head I need to take notes from you! :) And I can't thank you enough for the reminder that I do have a lot going on and it's kind of normal to feel like ALL the things are happening at once...which way is up?? xoxo
January 13, 2014 | Registered CommenterAshley
I'm sure by this point you know you're not alone on this whole career front. I feel exactly the same way. As some others have said before me, I have so many things I need to do to figure out what I'm doing with my life (which I don't have time for) that when free times open up, I'm paralyzed by the list or the expectation of getting my life together. Oy vey! How does one go about doing this? In the meantime, I too am running around trying to make ends meet, follow the societal model for how I'm supposed to build a career (even thought I rebel against that idea), and figure out what I actually want to do with my life (and how does this relate to what I've already been doing?). How do I differentiate from my passions and a career? Do I have to? Do I want to? What if brining my passions into a career make me dislike my passions? How do I choose JUST ONE of my interests to pour myself into? I think you get the picture of some of my inner turmoil. It's a very crazy journey, one that I wish were more simple. One thing that's helped me little by little is that I've done a lot of self-work following Sara Avant Stover's "The Way of the Happy Woman." It sounds like her 2014 themes are focused on really listening to what it is that we innately need and integrating that into career and life. I look forward to hearing more about your journey, goals, and how you see yourself moving towards those goals. I think this year will require more visioning than I've given myself time for in the past, too. Thank you for your candor! It is deeply appreciated! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for all of us seeking the way to a fulfilling career (and life!).
Bethany :0)
January 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBethany :0)
Oh my goodness. You have no idea how much reading your blog entry and all of the comments it has elicited means to me. I know it seems silly but I always feel like my friends and family have it all figured out while I'm just lost. It's so good to know that other people out there feel the same way and struggle with the same issues. Maybe this knowledge will give me the strength I need to embrace my fears and take a chance. Thank you for your unflinching honesty.
January 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana
@Bethany - You are asking yourself such great questions about your passions and career! I also completely agree with allotting much more time for setting visions + goals for the future. I've realized planning is definitely needed to propel forward. Things can always change but having goals and some steps to follow to achieve those goals is crucial. I'm rooting for you!! You will figure it out. :)

@Diana - I am so happy to hear my post and the comments have helped you. The comments have inspired and given me more motivation as well. I can definitely relate to the feeling you have about feeling kind of lost in life and that you haven't figured it out yet. I've also recently realized that's okay! Life and careers are not always straight forward. All the best to you!!
January 16, 2014 | Registered CommenterAshley

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