Sunday, 22 February 2015

Coconut, Almond, Cranberry & Apricot Balls

When you have a somewhat busy lifestyle, whereby you're trying to juggle a part-time job; university lectures; and the forty million essays and presentations that come with it, snacks are very convenient!
When I'm working, my 10 minute break is usually a game of 'how much food can I shove in my mouth before time runs out?'. Snacks usually include a banana and a breakfast bar because these are things that are quick to eat and leave minimal mess. I've recently been thinking of new snacks I can pop in my bag that are ready to eat and can be eaten within such a small space of time. 

 I questioned just how 'healthy' granola breakfast bars actually are and wanted to make something from scratch, including only healthy ingredients; this way, I know everything that's been used in the process! 

In search for snack recipes, I came across 'apricot balls' and, with the addition of a few extra ingredients, have somehow managed to produce something that looks and tastes great. 

You will need:
- Desiccated coconut 
- Almonds and cashew nuts (or other nuts of your choice)
- Dried cranberries
- Dried apricot
- A drizzle of acacia honey
- 3 tbsp of water 
- A pinch of salt 

How to create:
- I finely chopped the almonds, cashews, cranberries and apricots with a knife. Note: this took longer than I thought, so a food processor is always an option. 
- Once finely cut into tiny pieces, I placed the fruit and nuts into a bowl and added 3 tbsp of water, some desiccated coconut and and a pinch of salt. 
- I began to press the mixture into small individual balls but found the ingredients weren't sticking together as much as I'd have liked, so I added some honey in the hope it would act as a glue. (This helped a lot, so I'd advise adding honey - it doesn't have to be acacia honey!)
- Roll in coconut (or sprinkle coconut over if the balls are too delicate) 
- Leave in the freezer to harden and ultimately strengthen the consistency
- Ignore the fact I've used the word 'balls' profusely...and try not to laugh

I'm coconut's biggest fan and these bite-sized pieces will be perfect for in between lectures, and for short breaks at work.  

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