By Sairah Zubair Khan
After opening the fast in Ramadan, my mind would wander to sweet treats! How can I treat myself and my family but be healthy at the same time?
I think I found the answer I was searching for!
My friend had gifted me a box of date balls. Hand-rolled little jewels of deliciousness, presented in a box and made with such love. I have ended up making these for gifts, as an after-school snack for the children, teacher’s gifts, a small treat to be consumed after a gym work out session. They provide instant energy and can be as sweet as you would like.
I would like to share three recipes; I adapt these to levels of sweetness that I require, or if I am serving to anybody with nut/food allergies.
Chocolate and Orange Date Balls
Ingredients (30-35 balls)
2tbsp berry, freeze-dried
2tbsp cacao nibs
2tbsp goji berry (reserve some for decoration)
15 Medjool dates (pitted)
2 cups orange juice
2 tsp orange zest
2tbsp tbsp cocoa powder (reserve some for decoration)
100g dark chocolate
2tbsp coconut oil
1 ½ cup almonds crushed
2 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
3 tbsp crushed hazelnuts
3 tbsp pistachio nuts, finely crushed
2 tbsp dried rose petals
Take the stone out of the dates and soak them in the orange juice for half an hour.
Then in a food processor, mix the drained dates, berries, cacao nibs, goji berry, orange zest and cocoa powder.
Mix until smooth, then add the coconut oil, almonds, hazelnuts and chia seeds.
The chocolate should be melted to pouring consistency.
Shape the balls and place in the fridge for 1 hour. Then take them out and coat in the melted chocolate. Place them on wax paper.
Prepare the decoration ingredients on separate trays. Some balls can be dusted with cocoa powder.
Use the desiccated coconut, pistachio nuts, rose petals or goji berries to sprinkle on top of the balls.
Leave for 1 hour on wax paper in the fridge and enjoy. The remainder can be boxed in an air-tight container and stored in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Dark Chocolate Raspberry Truffles
Ingredients (25 truffles)
1 cup of chopped, dark chocolate
1/3 cup of cream cheese, room temperature
½ tsp raspberry extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp raspberry jam (seedless)
100g milk chocolate
100g white chocolate
Melt the dark chocolate, place in a heatproof bowl. Mix the cream cheese, raspberry extract, sugar and raspberry jam into the chocolate.
Blend until smooth and place in the fridge for 3 hours.
Take out of the fridge and pinch off some of the mixtures, form a round ball (1 inch in size).
Place on wax paper and put in the fridge for half an hour. Melt the milk and white chocolate, in separate bowls.
Coat the truffles in the milk chocolate and place back in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Then drizzle with white chocolate.
Leave in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1 week.
You can also experiment with adding cocoa powder, using raw cacao nibs ground down or 1 tbsp instant coffee granules, mixed to a paste.
Frozen raspberries 5 oz would work well, thawed and blended into a paste
Apricot and Coconut Bliss Balls
Ingredients (20 balls)
1 ½ cups dried apricots
¼ cup almond meal
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup macadamia nuts
Add the macadamia nuts and the apricots to a food processor. Blend until smooth. Add the coconut and almond meal. Combine well.
I f you cannot obtain almond meal, grind 25g peeled almonds until smooth, like a flour consistency.
Place mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Take out of the fridge and roll into 1” sized round balls. Add coconut to a tray and cover the balls.
Store the balls in the fridge for up to 1 week, in an air-tight container.
You can also freeze for up to 3 months.