17 June 2010

Royal Rounds

I'm always on the look-out for a healthy dessert for my children's lunch box. When we were on holiday, we bought strange looking over-sized balls of dried fruit at the market in Freiburg as a little snack. This has inspired me to create these little bento-size gob-stoppers.

I call these Royal Rounds because they are fit for a queen!

 These little darlings - like Gaul - can be divided into three parts: fruit, nuts, and liquid. No need to measure anything, the fruit to nut ratio depends on you personal preference, and the amount of liquid needed is determind by the other ingredients. This is one of those recipes where experimentation will lead to good results. The method is simple:

1. Process the ingredients

2. Roll into little balls (wet your hands) and coat with seeds

3. Eat. Enjoy. No regrets.

Put a mixture of driedfruit (I recommend organic) and nuts in your blender, and process quickly. Add enough liquid to bind, you are aiming for a sticky but not wet mass; the amount will depend on how much your other ingredients can soak up; dried fruit varies a lot in how much moisture has been removed. Season to taste with spices, shape into small balls and, if you like, roll to cover in seeds.

Today, I used dried apricots and cranberries, walnuts, hazelnuts and cashews, a pinch of powdered ginger, apple juice, cinnamon and black pepper, and covered the balls with sesame seeds. Here are some more ideas:

1. Fruit: any dried fruit you can lay your hands on! dates, figs, plums, raisins, even crystallized ginger.
2. Nuts: pine nuts, brazils, macadamia; or use breakfast grains such as oats, spelt; even ready mixed müsli should work.
3. Liquid: any kind of fruit juice, honey; even brandy, wine or beer would work (though not for the children, obviously).

spices: try cardamom, sweet paprika, aniseed, coriander, cocoa, ...
seeds: shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds etc.

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