Raw energy balls and bars are all the rage in health conscious London- there are Bounce Balls, Nakd Bars, Primal Pantry Paleo Bars, Trek bars, Cliff bars... the list goes on.
And the funny thing is, they existed in South Indian cuisine long before it took off here. How you ask? In the form of the dry fruit Laddoo! This is the lesser known cousin of the popular, iconic fried, yellow doughball, the Laddoo - the sweet treat that greets you at every visit to the temple or a relative's house in India!
The dry fruit Laddoo on the other hand, has been a well kept secret (maybe because its healthy!). We want to bring it into the limelight! This Laddoo has got more texture, flavour and absolutely no oil!
Full of crunchy coconut, naturally sweet dates and raisins, buttery almonds, and festive cardamom, these little balls are truly a taste sensation. We love to roll ours in some desiccated coconut for added nuttiness and crunch.
As well as a healthier alternative to the traditional sweet treat, these Laddoos are an ideal grab and go snack for when you're on the run, before a workout or to satisfy those mid- afternoon hunger pangs.
Get creative with your choice of ingredients- sub almonds for walnuts or cashews, mix up the raisins for cranberries or even roll the balls in some cacao nibs!
Whip up a box for a festival, dinner party dessert or your daily energy boost.
N & N
Time: 20 mins
Makes: 16 balls
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup desiccated coconut
5 cardamom pods
- Toast the almonds in the microwave for 40 seconds. Blitz in a blender until a fine powder (or alternatively use ground almonds!) and transfer to a bowl.
- Puree the dates and raisins until they're smooth. You'll need to scrape down the sides often as the dates will stick to the blades!
- Add the ground almonds to the blended dates and raisins,toss in the coconut and blitz until well combined.
- Break open the cardamom pods and finely powder the seeds using a pestle and mortar (or stone and cutting board) or alternatively use ground cardamom. Add the powder to the mixture and mix well.
- Shape the mixture into ping pong ball sized spheres and roll in desiccated coconut. You can also use toasted coconut for extra nuttiness.
- The mixture is quite sticky (which is how it should be to stick to the coconut) but it will mean you'll get some mixture stuck to your hands as you roll them into balls. Fear not, it's all good stuff for you to lick off :P
Store in the fridge for a few hours to firm up and munch away.