Miss Shobha’s Tasty Raw Fruit and Nut Balls
I believe everyone has a creative talent. For my friend Shobha, that is cooking. I love watching her work her magic. She is quick and natural, has a knack for what tastes good together, cuts in the air (you know how the real pros do it?), never measures a thing, and always, always makes the most delicious food. On top of it all she presents her dishes with artistic flair. In short, Miss Shobha is a master recipe creator. I’m very grateful she agreed to come over and teach me to make her favorite natural sweet treat made with nothing but dried fruit and nuts. I’m happy to share Shobha’s tasty raw Fruit and Nut Balls recipe with you all.
Isn’t she a cutie? The recipe works great if you have a large Cuisinart. I have the mini version so when I make this recipe on my own I cut it in half. You’ll need to round up your favorite dried fruit and raw nuts. Shobha and I both agree that a little salty/sweet combo hits the spot so we used pistachios that have been salted. Next throw in some raw cashews, blanched almonds, and chopped pecans.
Play with the combinations of nuts and fruit to your liking. Try walnuts or seeds if you prefer. Neither Shobha or I are big fans of shredded coconut. If you are, however, try adding that or rolling the balls in it at the end. For a more decadent version, add small chunks of dark chocolate. I may try it with Lily’s stevia sweetened dark chocolate chips next time. For the dried fruit we used mainly dried apricots and pitted dates. We also added some dried figs, and a bit of low-sugar dried cranberries.
That is it! The beauty of this recipe is in it’s simplicity. There are plenty of protein bars and all natural type bars on the market that you can just buy ready made. I know that because we buy them! They are not cheap however. Kind Bars and Macrobars are the two brands we often buy. I feel like we are being relatively healthy with our sweet treats buying these because both these brands have few ingredients and are closest to being just fruit and nuts. The girls like to sometimes have one thing sweet in their bag lunches for school. I get a sweet tooth sometimes in the afternoons myself. With all of us grabbing bars it can add up quickly and get a bit costly.
The store-bought bars usually have a little added sugar, honey or nut butters. Making them at home you know exactly what’s going in your treat. In addition it’s simple to customize the recipe just the way you like it. That’s the best part! The added bonus is that it can be more economical to make at home. Please note that since anything with nuts and dried fruit has high caloric density, it’s important to watch portions. The little balls make portion control easier.
Before Miss Shobha showed me how to make her Fruit and Nut balls I thought it would be hard and cumbersome. Well friends I was wrong. Making Fruit and Nut Balls is fast and easy.
- Coarsely chop the dried fruitAdd the nuts
- Blend in the Cuisinart for a few minutes (until it is well combined and starts to look sticky)
- Form the balls
- Refrigerating for an hour or two ( this will help keep them firm)
- 1 Cup pitted dates
- 1 Cup organic Turkish apricots (unsulphured)
- 1 Tablespoon low sugar dried cranberries (low sugar Craisins)
- ¼ Cup dried figs
- 1 Cup blanched raw almonds
- ½ Cup shelled and salted pistachios
- ½ Cup chopped pecans
- ½ Cup cashews
- Coarsely chop the dried fruit
- Add dried fruit and nuts to Cuisinart
- Blend for a couple minutes until mixed together
- Scrape the sides and bring nut pieces up from the bottom to combine
- Blend again for about 2 more minutes
- Mixture should start looking sticky
- Check consistency - add more dried fruit if needed
- Shape into small balls
- Place on a flat surface lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 1-2 hours
- Store in ziplock or air tight container for about a week
Book club also happened to be Miss Shobha’s birthday! …and the day after my tutorial on how to make this recipe. We had the best kind of sweet ‘cheers’ with her fruit and nut balls 🙂 Fun night!