J.D's Coconut & Sunflower Apricot Balls {Gluten, Dairy & Nut Free}



J.D loves to get in the kitchen with me most days. If it's not helping me with cooking something for the blog it's helping make lunch, dinner or putting together a snack for afternoon tea. He just loves helping me out. I think I have a junior masterchef on my hands. I made him a little apron for these occasions to keep his clothes a little bit cleaner. Mind you the floors are the ones that need a covering when he is in the kitchen. A fair bit of the ingredients end up on the floor during our cooking sessions. My OCD cleaning nature struggles with that but these are the times I get stretched as a mother. It teaches me to let things go a little and live with the mess for a short time while I enjoy these precious moments in the kitchen with my boy.






The Coconut, Sunflower & Apricot Balls are a creation from J.D. I asked him if I could share them on my blog and he gave consent with a nod of the head and a little smile as he continued rolling the balls up and eating most of the mix in the process.  They came about one morning when we went to the cupboard to retrieve something for morning tea. I hadn’t had a chance to do any baking to restock the pantry and the options were looking a little sad this particular day. There was a stale, half opened packet of cruskits, baby rice crackers or a packet of smarties. The latter needed to be kept for bribery purposes in our toilet training adventures {more on that to come in another post} so I wasn’t going to be pulling those out for snacks at morning tea time.




I asked J.D if he would like to help make something with me for morning tea. He dips his little head to the side and says in earnest “I help mum?”.  I reply “Of course” and he echoes this with his own “ O course” and walks over and pushes a chair from the dining room table up against the kitchen bench. I peered into the pantry and wondered what we should make.  I turned around and said “J.D what would you like to make? Do you know what his reply was? “Sausage mum”. He is sausage mad at the moment. It is probably one of the only meals we don’t have to battle with him to eat. I got him to come and peer in the pantry with me and to pull out some ingredients he would like to make something with. I had planned on making some sort of biscuit or cookie but J.D’s first item he pulled out was a half a packet of dried apricots (another favourite) followed by the sunflower seeds and with mummy’s suggestion the desiccated coconut. We had to add honey as that was another firm sandwich topping favourite.  With his little bundle of chosen ingredients I thought why not try and make some healthy Coconut, Sunflower & Apricot Balls. J.D helped me measure out all the ingredients into the food processor with a few spills here and there. I placed the lid on the processor and he pressed the ON button with glee. After the mixture had processed into a firm dough we removed the jug and proceeded to roll the mix into balls. Well I did most of the rolling while J.D kept sneaking handfuls of the mixture into his mouth. He would rub his tummy and say “Mmm I yike this mummy”. I had to roll quickly otherwise he would have eaten half the mix if I let him. We sat down with a Coconut, Sunflower & Apricot Ball each and nibbled on it with our respective hot chocolate and cup of tea together.


These moreish balls make the perfect morning or afternoon snack and are great for lunch boxes. They keep their shape and don't melt like some other energy balls do. They are made with minimal ingredients and only take a few minutes to whiz in a food processor. If you are just plain lazy and don't want to roll them into balls just press the mix into a lined slice tray and pop into the fridge for any hour or so to firm up. Cut into squares and you're in business. I can also say they are dairy, gluten, nut and egg free so are perfect for anyone struggling with food allergies.


Coconut & Sunflower Apricot Balls

Prep Time: 10 Min
Cook Time: Nil
Makess: approx 12 balls

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried apricots
  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • pinch salt
Instructions:
  1. Add all of the ingredients into a food processor in the order listed above.
  2. Gently pulse the mixture until it comes together to form a rough dough and holds together easily. This might take 30 seconds to a minute of pulsing the ingredients. Be careful not to over process the ingredients. You still want a bit of texture from the nuts and apricots.
  3. Once the mixture has come together to form a sticky dough. Wet your hands and start rolling tablespoonful of the mix into balls.
  4. Place into a air tight container and refrigerate. Eat straight away or wait for an hour to chill.

Cooks Notes
  • These balls will last for up to two weeks in the fridge.
  • They also can be frozen and thawed before eating.
  • You can sub the honey with rice malt syrup if you wish.
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