That’s an attractive recipe name, isn’t it?! But I struggled with naming this one. I could have called them seed & nut bombs, but knowing my luck that would have sparked some unwanted and unwarranted interest from the great all-seeing eyes that monitor, yet supposedly don’t monitor, our every communication.
Just to clarify – these are edible bombs containing 100% natural ingredients. No nails and pieces of shrapnel in sight.
Besides – anything with the word ‘balls’ in the title appeals to my inner sniggering 10-year-old. Yep, I know, I should be past that by now, but please, some of us have to get our entertainment from somewhere. And right now, this is mine.
The idea for these little snacks came from Kate. She posted something similar in bar form and because I can hardly ever leave a recipe alone, I wanted to put my own stamp on it. And form them into balls. Yep, there’s the b word again. Can’t help it.
Anyway, they have proved to be valuable things to have stored in the fridge at all times as they are perfect for those moments when the munchies strike and manage to satisfy both a sweet and savoury craving – sweetness from the dates and honey and savoury saltiness from the almond butter. I have also been throwing – not literally – a few in my bag for those days when lunch should be at 1pm but I know it is actually going to be nearer 3pm and I need something to stop the hunger pangs and myself from chewing the desk and / or a patient’s arm. They tend to look at you a bit funny when you do that.
An additional bonus is that they are surprisingly filling. I have only been able to eat 3 in one sitting, and trust me, I have tried to eat more, but I just can’t do it. Most of the time I am already feeling fairly full after 2 but I squeeze the third one in, especially if I know more food is still a couple of hours away. Three of these and a cup of tea and I’m good to go.
And another bonus – or bonuses in actual fact – bar a little toasting of the seeds, there is no cooking involved and they are grain free! Which is great because the internet frequently torments me with similar looking delights that upon closer inspection contain oats (in case you were wondering oats and I don’t get on in the same way that gluten and I don’t get on, much to my disgruntlement, because I’m weird and I love porridge. Well, I used to).
And finally – please read the notes at the bottom of the recipe. They are important. They will help you greatly.
Seed & Nut Balls
- 100g pumpkin seeds
- 100g sunflower seeds
- 250g dates, stones removed
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder, or 4 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
- 60ml runny honey
- 45g ground almonds
- 310ml almond butter – the natural runny kind (I use Meridian)
- 75g desiccated coconut, for rolling
- Place the pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds in a large frying pan and toast over a medium heat until lightly brown. Set aside.
- While the seeds are cooling slightly place the dates, cacao powder (or cocoa powder if using), honey, ground almonds, chia seeds and 125ml of the almond butter into a food processor. Then add the toasted seeds and blitz until everything is broken down and starting to form a paste.
- Tip the mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining almond butter, stirring well.
- Place the coconut onto a tray or plate and taking heaped teaspoons of the mixture form into a ball before rolling in the coconut. Continue until you have used all the mixture.
- Store the balls in an air-tight container in the fridge. Nibble as required.
I found it worked best when I pulsed the food processor. Having the blade constantly running made my processor jump around the work-top like a crazed beast and I was worried it I was going to kill it. That said, I do have one of the world’s weakest food processors, so it really wouldn’t take much.
When forming the balls, it is much better to squeeze the mixture than try to roll it between your hands. Rolling it may cause it to break up and you will stand there and curse my name very loudly because what kind of lousy recipe have I given you that doesn’t work. Squeeze, don’t roll. They will stick together this way. I have photographic proof.
© The Pink Rose Bakery 2015