Vegan Prune Balls

Regularly, I have railed against the fact that so many vegan dessert recipes, particularly those aimed at omnivores, focus around the energy ball theme and form. And then I go and post a recipe like this… The stereotype does come from somewhere it seems.

So I give in. Like it are not, balls of yummy are fast to make, portable, and pack lots of nutritional punch. They also bypass the use of the oven (usually) which makes them a good activity for the kiddos.

This version is super-high fiber being largely made of prunes. The only other sweetener is some lucuma powder. Given there’s only natural sugars, that also makes these balls subtly rather than tooth-hurtingly sweet; with enough depth to carry some pretty bold spice.

At room temperature they’ll be soft and chewy, if you like them a little harder, then keep and eat them out of the fridge. Like most ball recipes, they freeze pretty well too.

Yield: 18 prune balls

What you need:

  • a 225g package of (organic) prunes, halved
  • 1/4 cup lucuma powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet (shiro) miso
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 1/8 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 1 drop pure lime zest oil (about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon if using lime flavouring – or the finely chopped zest of about 1/2 of an organic lime)
  • 1 cup puffed millet or quinoa
  • hemp seeds, toasted finely grated coconut, cacao powder, coarsely ground or whole toasted sesame seeds – whichever you like – to roll the balls in so they can be handled without sticking to everything

What you do

  1. Put the halved prunes and all the ingredients in the work bowl of a food processor; except for the water, puffed millet (or quinoa) and coating to roll the balls in.
  2. Process until a coarse meal results. Add the water, 1 tablespoon at a time (you may not need it all, it depends on the moisture level of the prunes), until the meal forms a sticky paste that rolls around in a ball when you’re running the food processor.
  3. Add the puffed millet (or quinoa) and pulse to combine. Some of it can break apart a bit, that’s fine, but try and keep most of the cereal whole.
  4. Remove the work bowl from the machine.
  5. Place the hemp seeds (or coconut, or cacao, or sesame seeds) in a shallow bowl or plate.
  6. Roll/press/mash the prune paste together into rough balls. Your hands will likely get super sticky. It’s okay. They can be washed after. At least that’s what I tell my small person until they abandon making balls in favour of just rolling them around in the coating…
  7. Roll each ball in the coating. This will stop the edges from being sticky and let them take on a more convincing ball shape.
  8. Transfer to a plate and either eat right away, or refrigerate before eating and transfering to an air-tight container for storage.

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