As I’ve mentioned before, my mum was more of a processed-food cook than a from-scratch cook–to this day she swears that instant mashed potatoes are better than scratch ones. She was always, however, an amazing baker of sweet things.
Alas, I am NOT.
In fact, I made a vegan cobbler a couple of days ago and ended up pitching it in the bin. However, I woke up this morning with a desire to make something sweet and festive and vaguely Christmasy. My mum always started her Christmas baking in early December: mince tarts, almond cookies, shortbread cookies, rum balls, and something she called “frying-pan balls.” All of these, of course, involve copious amounts of butter and white sugar, which I’m trying to avoid. And, let’s face it, if I had anything that delicious in the house, I’d be nibbling away all month.
As I thought about my mum’s Christmas baking, I recalled that I do have a couple of recipes for healthy vegan balls. And, though they are nothing like my mum’s Christmas balls, they are actually delicious! Instead of sugar, they contain dates and/or date syrup; instead of butter they contain nut butter; instead of white flour, they contain millet or oats or sprouted spelt flour. They might not be my mum’s balls, but they are still sweet and crunchy and satisfying.
Now…as you can imagine, James hates my healthy treats; in fact, the poor man always looks vaguely betrayed when he tastes my approximation of cookies or squares or balls.
In any event, to address my selfish hankering, I decided to make my Chocolate-Peanut-Butter Balls, Dr. Greger’s Almond-Chocolate Truffles, and a new one suggested by Chazz: Vegan Carrot Cake Bites. Oh, and the nice things about these balls is that they require no cooking. Sure, there is a bit of melting, but that’s the only heat applied!
The peanut-butter balls are delicious–I mean…how can you go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate?!! …even if there is a little millet thrown in there for good measure.
As for Dr. Greger’s balls, they are also surprisingly good and taste like slightly healthy rum balls. I’m not entirely sure why, but I suspect it’s that I always add extra vanilla extract, which I make myself from vodka and vanilla beans, so they have a bit of a boozy quality.
The carrot-cake balls Chazz suggested turned out to be delicious as well! 10/10…will make again!! Mine are a bit homogenous since I over-blended, so I’ll have to remember to pulse next time.
So I guess that’s it for my Christmas rawing (I can’t call it baking since no baking is actually involved)!
And I guess we can kick off the season with our favourite Christmas song–The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York”!
This song always reminds me of Ireland because I visited Em in Dublin once in early December–an absolutely lovely time to be there. She got me a deal at a lovely boutique hotel in the nightclub district, and the music from the clubs went on into the wee hours. Since it was near Christmas, all the DJs ended the night with this song….and every single person in every single club sang along at the top of their lungs.
It was rather sweet.