I’m procrastinating from packing. I don’t know why I’m so scared of packing, but I totally am, which means that instead of packing I have resorted to things like cleaning the bathroom, baking cakes (so that Andrew still feels loved while I’m away), and now, finally fulfilling a promise from months and months ago to create some bliss balls for a friend of mine who is now having to avoid fructose. Sorry about the wait, Lisa.
It’s actually a bit difficult to make bliss balls (or raw truffles, as I tend to call them) without fructose, because pretty much all the recipes use dates or other dried fruits to hold the balls together and make them sweet. Fortunately, I have a chocolate truffle recipe that doesn’t involve fruit – until I put freeze-dried raspberries into it, of course – and so I was able to modify this into a slightly healthier, less rich snack that will hopefully fit the bill.
I rather like the treacly darkness of these truffles, but I admit, my first batch was a bit low in the spice department. I suspect they will get a bit spicier if you leave them to mature for a few days as the raw ginger permeates the mixture, but I, personally, would definitely add more ginger to begin with – and in fact, the recipe below reflects the amount of ginger that *I* think these bliss balls need…
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1/2 cup rolled oats
60 g fresh ginger
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup melted cocoa butter
1/4 cup treacle
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cloves
a pinch of nutmeg
Now what will you do with it?
Blitz the oats in a food processor for a minute or two, until they have about the consistency of almond meal.
Remove from processor, then add the ginger and until finely chopped.
Return the oats to the processor along with all the other ingredients, and process until the mixture comes together and starts forming into a ball that wants to climb out of the processor. You will need to stop the machine a few times and use a spatula to push unblended items back down.
Remove the mixture from the food processor, and refrigerate for 15 minutes or so, or until the mixture is firm enough to roll into balls.
Roll the mixture into little balls. Serve!
The balls should be kept in the fridge so that they stay firm, though in this weather, they will be fine at room temperature for an hour or two, I’d think.
These balls are vegan, low-fructose, and may be OK for some people with gluten intolerance (oats are OK for a small number of people with Coeliac disease, I believe). To make a gluten-free – and higher protein – version, use rolled quinoa. I don’t think this can be made nut-free, because the nut butter is an integral part of the cement, but you could look at seed butters or other nut butters if your allergies permit.
In terms of flavours, upping the spices is good. You could add a few tablespoons of cocoa to the mix, for a delicious dark chocolate gingerbread truffle. You could also use dried ginger, of course – about three teaspoons to start with would probably work. And, if fructose isn’t a problem for you, it might be fun to add in some currants and/or mixed peel at the very end – don’t blend them, just knead them into the mixture – for a fruity sort of gingerbread. Yum.