I don’t know about you, but seeing thousands of the same recipes for the same thing all across the internet can be a bit boring. Especially if they feature a piece of equipment you don’t have (Nutribullet/food processor/mincer/whatever). It can feel a bit limiting, like you can’t achieve those things without the equipment.
Anyway, last friday was my son’s daycare Christmas party, and I know that these things involve Flings, chips, sweets and other crap, so it was important to me to send something that was delicious and sweet, without being full of sugar and other refined rubbish. Something I had a reasonable certainty my son, at least, would enjoy.
He’s a fruit bat. If it’s fruit, he’ll eat it, pretty much. He loves his ‘bapoo’ (apple) and ‘narnar’ (banana), and all other na-noms!! (Food he likes but doesn’t know the name of), and dried fruit (as long as it’s soft, is also a great favourite, especially when we are driving.
After a bit of searching, I eventually came across a Bliss Balls recipe that used heat and a stick or jug blender to process the fruit, and I thought BINGO! I actually bought a food processor (at last!!) on the weekend, but last week when I made these, I didn’t have it. Come to think of it, though, I think I’d still use this method. It’s quick and easy, and there are minimal things to wash, which appeals to my incredibly lazy side.
Anyway, see what you think. These went down well with my boy, and the leftovers are living in the freezer for a sweet, healthy snack when we need one.
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 2-4 pitted dried prunes
- Water (just enough to cover the dates)
- 1/2 cup mixed seeds (I had pumpkin, sesame and linseeds, I think)
- 1 TBSP cocoa or cacao
- 1 TBSP agave syrup (or honey, but I wanted to make this accessible for the little babies too)
- Roughly 1 cup desiccated coconut (divided)
- Put the dates and prunes into a small pot, and just cover with water. Bring the pot to a boil, and turn down to a simmer. You want to soften the dried fruit so you can blend it more easily.
- Stir with a silicone spatula, and when the dried fruit starts to go mushy, turn off the heat.
- Add the seeds to the mixture in the pot and, using a stick blender, whizz it all up to an even consistency (you can do this in a jug blender too, but that means more washing up. Meh.)
- This mixture will be quite wet, thanks to the mushy dried fruit, so sprinkle in a little of the coconut and add in the cocoa and agave and stir to mix.
- Keep adding coconut, mixing in beteeen additions, until the mixture seems dry enough to handle, while being sticky enough to roll into balls.
- Sprinkle the rest of the coconut onto a plate, and set aside.
- Using a levered ice cream scoop (I use the smallest size of these for everything), scoop out balls from the mixture and place onto a baking paper covered plate. You can leave them that size, they are great for adults, but I cut them in half, as I intended them for the babies.
- Once the whole mixture is in balls, refrigerate them for an hour or so to firm up.
- Then, roll each one in the desiccated coconut, and pop them into a container.
You’re done! I’m calling this a not-recipe, because I think it’s fairly forgiving. You need dried fruit that can be rehydrated, something like coconut or cocoa (or both) that will help to absorb some of the moisture, and some seeds for added nutrition. I’d like to try this with Turkish apricots and chia seeds, or apple slices and flax, just to try.
Also, the balls can be a bit of a faff, so you can also press the mixture into a baking paper lined cookie sheet or oven dish, and just sprinkle coconut over the top. Press the coconut in, and refrigerate to set, then slice into bars or blocks. Just as tasty, and probably easier to handle. Think I’ll try that next time #lazyAF.