gluten-dairy-free-Christmas-balls

I love Christmas time, but it can be annoying for people with food allergies and intolerances. All of the extra eating and visiting and snacking can become stressful when you’re having to worry about what’s in the food on offer.

It can also be stressful for people who are hosting guests who have food intolerances and allergies.

That’s why these little gems are a blessing. They’re pretty easy to make, and taste (to me anyway) much like traditional rum balls, making them good for everyone! (unless you’ve got a nut or fructose allergy… can’t please everyone!)

Dairy and gluten free Christmas balls (and vegan!)

Makes 18 balls (about the size of the small ball you get with a petanque set, you know the one?)

About 15 minutes preparation time, but allow 1-2 hours refrigeration before serving

Ingredients:

This is one of those recipes that you can substitute ingredients, but it does help to have a guide for proportions to get the consistency for rolling right. This is the combination that works best for me…

  • 1 cup nuts (I used about half brazil, half walnuts and some pistachios thrown in for good measure)
  • 8 prunes or dates (if using dates, soak them in water for at least 4 hours before making, discard water)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or omit if wanting to reduce sugar, or to make the balls vegan. You may need an extra prune or two though for the consistency)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • desiccated coconut (for rolling the balls in)

Method:

  1. Blend nuts in blender of food processor to desired consistency. I like a medium consistency, not too fine.
  2. Add all other ingredients, except coconut, and blend until combined.
  3. Test the consistency of the mix by trying to roll a ball. If it is too crumbly, add another prune or some more honey to moisten, and blend again.
  4. Once you’re happy with the mixture, roll the mixture into balls with your hands. I like to use a teaspoon to help get a consistent and snack size ball.
  5. After rolling each ball with your hands, roll them in the coconut until coated.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before serving, and enjoy!

Merry Christmas!