Most adults love a treat now and then – or much more frequently if you have a sweet tooth like I do – and children are, of course, no exception. It is very hard to find healthy treats as tempting as the chocolates, lollies and cakes found in the supermarket aisles. But, I am happy to say, this recipe might just be the perfect alternative – AND it’s healthy!
These chocolatey fruit and nut balls simply consist of cocoa, dried fruits and nuts, and are so quick and easy to make that you can whip up a batch at the first sign of a sugar low. Of course, dried fruits are very high in natural sugars, so you will still need to limit your child’s intake (and yours), but these are a much healthier alternative to a chocolate bar, and just as satisfying. My 8 month old daughter loves these as an afternoon snack (I only give her half a ball), and I reach for them too when all I really want is chocolate; these are the perfect alternative.
The fruits and nuts are packed with vitamins and minerals, and the coconut oil used to bind the mixture together is said to be a great immune builder. For young children, make doubly sure you blend the nuts into very small pieces to prevent choking, and, as with all allergenic foods, make sure your baby isn’t allergic to nuts before offering this treat.
My friend Trish M made these amazing cocoa, fruit and nut balls for a stall at the Seddon Festival this year, and she has graciously shared her recipe for all of us with a sweet-toothed brood.
- 2 handfuls pitted dates
- 1 handful sultanas
- 1 handful mixed raw nuts
- 4 tablespoon raw cacao powder
- 1 handful dried goji berries or dried apricots
- 1 handful sunflower seeds
- 1 handful shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Place all ingredients together in a food processor and blend. If your food processor is a small model, it might help to roughly chop the larger fruits before blending.
- Take tablespoonfuls of the mixture and roll into balls with your hands.
- Add more coconut if it feels too sticky, or a little water if too dry.