Saturday, June 09, 2007

Yum Balls

Disclaimer: I typed this at midnight, without my glasses on. I will check for spelling errors tomorrow.

Hey there!
First of all, I just wanted to thank you three for commenting on the bus ride post. I know that my son is 15, and there are lots of 15 year olds out there doing things with a lot more responsiblity than just aking the bus into town, but for him, it is a huge deal, and I wanted him to be successful at it. Thanks for your support!

The hike was great- I did 6 miles, the kids' did 11 miles!!!!! We ate lots and lots of yum balls.

Yum balls.
First of all, let me start with the disclaimer that this is one of THOSE recipes- it is more of a concept, an idea, and it is easy to run with it. THe quantities of ingredients, and even the type of ingredient is a very rough estimate here, ok? They will taste different depending on the type of nuts and fruits you use- I just use what I have, and what works for our particular dietary needs and allergies. If you have a question about the "why" of any ingredients, let me know.

Yum Balls-the ones I made yesterday were made of the following:

I use my big food processor for this recipe, and it works best to do it in stages, so you don't burn out the motor.

I filled the bowl of the processor about halfway with almonds and cashews (3/4 to 1 lb. of nuts total I am guessing). More almonds that cashews. Grind till chopped very fine but not into nut butter. Put them in a large bowl and set aside.

Next, put in your processor about 1/2 lb. pitted dates, and 1/4 lb. unsulphered apricots. Puree' till they clump up in a large mass and are galumphing around the processor bowl. You may have to stop it and mush them around the bottom again a few times- you want them really smushed into a thick paste with no super big chunks. Leave them in the processor.

Next, I added about 3/4 cup white sesame seeds (for calcium), 1/2 cup rice protein powder, about 1/4 cup raw honey, 1 to 2 TBSP vanilla (Covers any telltale taste of the protein powder- cinnamon works, too.) and about 1/4 cup (probably a little less) oil*. Blend this for a bit to mix it up, and then add some ( 1 cup?) of the nuts, and a generous 1/2 cup coconut**.

Here is the tricky bit- You just kinda play with how much of each thing to add- if it is oily, you need more nuts, cocnut, or sesame seeds. If it is dry and flakey, you may need more oil. What you want is a pliable, stiff, sticky but not too sticky dough. Most of the time, my processor wimps out, and it isn't mixing all the way, so I end of dumping it in the big bowl the nuts were in and kneading it by hand to finish the mixing process. Yesterday it seemed stickier than usual, so I kneaded in more protein powder. It will stick to your hands a bit, don't sweat it, you can lick it all off when you are all done!

Then, in a tupperware, dump about 1 cup of coconut, and/or some more of your chopped nuts, and/or sesame seeds (my kids like a mix of the three.). Take a walnut sized bunch of the delicious sticky dough, roll it into a ball, and drop it into the coconut mix. After rolling 15 - 20 balls, put the lid on the tupperware, and shake and roll them around so they are coated in the coconut mix. Keep going till it is all in balls. This makes a generous amount of yum balls(think I got about 5 to 6 dozen yesterday). You want to leave the extra coconut mix in the tupperware with the yum balls- it doesn't always stick to the balls so this way, they are always covered, and you get lots of coconut in each bite.

After the yum balls are done, you can reuse the coconut mix by either just making a new batch, and rolling them in it, or what I usually do is use that coconut to put IN the next batch, and grind fresh nuts to add to it, and to roll in. Sometimes the kids just scoop it up and eat it right there!

Variations. You can use dried cherries, raisins, or any other fruit of your choice. You can add ground flax seed ( I grind a bunch of it at a time and keep it in the fridge, so I can just add some to this without having to overthink it) , sunflowers, and use any nuts at all. We avoid peanuts, but have used all the other nuts I can think of. Sometimes I make them very cinnamon-y and skip the vanilla. Sometimes I add a tiny bit ( a teaspoon at most) of Torani's caramel flavored coffee syrup. A little goes a long way with that stuff, but it goes well with the vanilla.

*I like to use a lot of nut oils here- sunflower, almond, walnut, etc. Flax seed oil or safflower work well, too. Olive oil is not a good choice for this recipe. Ask me how I know!

** I buy Bob's Red Mill's unsulphered, unsweetened coconut. It is already finely grated, so works well for rolling in.

Do ask any specific questions, hopefully I got it all down accurately.

Let me know what you think- and did no one else think the momsense video was funny?!?


Bridget said...

We are definitely going to have to try the "Yum Balls", they sound wonderful.

melissa said...

THANKS! I will gather ingredients tomorrow. These look great! And they seem loaded with protein. I am always on the lookout for a way to add more lean protein!!

Thanks so much for taking the time to type it all up. I'll let you know as soon as we make 'em!

Pamela said...

So why not olive oil? Heavy oil and flavor versus lightness of the others?

Did your Prince return home safely? How are the gardens? Pictures??? Oo, pictures of the hike?!

:) P