Bite-size, full of high-quality ingredients, and 15 minutes to make. Tops! They’re Vegan, Paleo and Keto all wrapped into one. They’re even kid proof! How, can you go wrong?
And this time of year they make for a great alternative to the traditional sickly sweet Christmas Apricot Balls or Rum Balls.
Added Health Benefits?
Cherries are high in Melatonin which is a hormone that our brain produces that helps coordinate sleep. Cherries seem to provide tremendous natural anti-inflammatory properties to the gut and to joints. These positive effects seem to be attributable to Anthocyanins; plant pigments that have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Anthocyanins are found in red and purple fruits, including raspberries and blueberries. Seeing as this recipe contains both cherries and raspberries it’s a winner health wise.
You could use glazed cherries but seriously, does anyone really liked glazed cherries? Plus you’ll inevitably end up with a hit of sulphur dioxide.
Additionally dark chocolate is a mood elevator, increasing levels of certain neurotransmitters that promote a sense of well-being. Interestingly it’s the same brain chemical that is released when we experience deep feelings of love: phenylethylamine. Of course, we are referring to high quality, high cocoa chocolate that has properties closer to raw cacao, not your average store-bought chocolate bar. Dark chocolate and cacao are also high in antioxidants, magnesium and iron.
For The Cherry
3 cups desiccated coconut
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons coconut sugar* (melt into your coconut oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup pitted cherries (frozen is better)
1/3 cup frozen raspberries
For The Chocolate Coating
250 g 85% dark chocolate and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil melted for covering your balls.
1. Line a square 20cm tin with baking paper over-hanging the sides for easy removal.
2. Place all the ingredients into to your food processor (or in batches if need be) and blend at high speed until the mixture is well combined.
3. Roll mixture into heaped teaspoon-sized balls and place onto a baking tray.
4. Place the tray into the freezer for at least 30 minutes to harden.
5. Remove your balls from the freezer and use two forks to dip and coat them in the melted chocolate. Once coated sit them on a tray lined with baking paper. Decorate them with ample dripping chocolate (I use a fork and swing gently across the tray) and return to the fridge or freezer to set and store.
6. Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Eat and enjoy!
OTHER OPTIONS: *You can use 3 tablespoons of honey or rice malt syrup if you prefer.
NOTE: You can store these in either the fridge or freezer depending on personal preference.
I adapted two recipes to make this one above, original from Bianca (August 10, 2013). “Not Quite A Cherry Ripe”. Wholefood Simply (we love her treats) and No-Bake Cherry Ripe Balls (15 MINUTE EASY RECIPE) but replacing the condensed milk and food colouring.