December 07, 2014

Today’s #BakeItForward celebrity supporter is Molly Siegler. Molly is a classically-trained chef and Culinary Content Editor for Whole Foods Market. For holiday entertaining, Molly enjoys having a special treat on hand that's simple to put together and can be easily adapted based on what's in her pantry. Her vegan Spiced Almond-Date Bites are just the thing!

"The versatili

ty of this recipe easily allows for several substitutions and add-ins based on the ingredients you have on hand," Molly said. "And don’t be afraid to mix and match. I seem to always have tiny amounts of funny ingredients that I can’t bear to part with—this is the recipe in which to use the tablespoon of quinoa flakes or scoop of cashew butter you’ve been hanging on to."

The recipe can be easily doubled, making it great for cookie exchanges, holiday gifts, and donating to a charity or friend. Molly is baking a second batch for Austin Pets Alive!, an animal shelter based in Austin, Texas that saves more than 6,000 animals from euthanasia ever year and has kept the city no-kill since 2011.

If you are baking these for a friend, Molly suggests adapting the recipe to their personal tastes.

"In place of the dates, you could use currants, raisins or even rehydrated dried mangoes," she said. "Don’t have almond butter? Use peanut butter. Or choose sunflower seed butter if you’re baking for someone with a nut allergy. When it comes to spices, experiment with ground cinnamon, allspice or ground cloves. A dash of ground ginger and a handful of chopped candied ginger would be spicy warm additions."

For more tips and step-by-step instructions for these Spiced Almond-Date Bites, check out this video from Whole Foods Market’s Homemade Holiday video collection, which features recipes for cocktails and small bites.

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For recipes, tips and how-tos, visit Whole Foods Market’s holiday guide.

Inspired? Play around with pantry ingredients like Molly did and bake a second batch of treats for a local charity or someone who means something to you. Deliver the treats and show them how much you appreciate them. Snap a photo and tag it #BakeItForward for a chance to win $500. Learn more here.

Check back tomorrow to see who else is joining us to #BakeItForward.

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