Chocolate balls, bliss balls and protein balls are great on-the-go snacks. Simply blended up dried fruit and nuts rolled into balls. They are high in fibre, natural sugars and good fats and make for a nutritious treat. They last well out of the fridge so are a great easy treat. Unfortunately, they don’t make a great lunchbox food as many schools and daycare centres don’t allow nuts to make it safer kids with allergies.
So I’ve developed a recipe for delicious nut free chocolate balls! They’re perfect for the lunchbox or as a 3pm pick me up. Unlike many recipes, mine don’t need any added fats (like coconut oil) or sugar syrups.
Even though these are nutritious and made from wholefood ingredients, they’re not an everyday food. Dried fruit is high in sugar and very sticky, which means it’s not great for teeth. Small amounts a few times a week is fine in addition to plenty of fresh fruit.
Nut Free Chocolate Balls
A magic bullet, thermomix or high powdered food procsessor will make the mix effortlessly in a few seconds. It will clump together when it’s ready. A food processor will take a few minutes, so be patient. If you’re like me and have an older sluggish food processor, simply adding a tablespoon of water to the mix will help get things going. Try without first, so it doesn’t get too sticky.
Once rolled, keep them naked or roll them in shredded coconut, chia seeds or even more cocoa!
Makes 15 balls
3/4 cup dates (or sultanas or even dried figs)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tbspn cacao or cocoa powder
3/4 tspn cinnamon (1 tspn if you really like cinnamon!)
1. Put the dates, sunflower seeds, cacao and cinnamon into a food processor.
2. Blitz for 2-3 minutes or until everything is finely chopped, and the mixture suddenly comes together in a ball. If using a bullet mixer or blender, it will clump but not form a ball.
3. Scoop a heaped teaspoon of mixture at a time and press it firmly into the palm of your hand to stick it together.
4. Roll between the palms of your hands into balls until smooth and even.
These nut free chocolate balls are so easy to make, so get the kids involved in measuring the ingredients and rolling the balls!
For more lunchbox snack ideas, check out my healthy packaged lunchbox snacks suggestions.
Sarah Moore is a mum, and university qualified Registered Nutritionist with a decade of experience working with families to improve their health and well-being. Sarah has a simplistic and practical approach to family nutrition and can help the overwhelm of eating and living well with private consultations, email Q&A and her school lunchbox ebook. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram for more healthy tips and tricks.