Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Apricot & Muesli Balls

I have had this recipe on my "to convert" list for such a long time.  It's really such an easy recipe I'm not sure why it took me so long, however, I got to it today.  It's a great sweetener-free recipe - no sugar, no honey, no sweetened condensed milk.  It uses partially reconstituted dried apricots for sweetness and for binding.  The original recipe is from Good Taste magazine.
 I think it could be "mixed up" in a variety of ways though by substituting various ingredients for the store bought natural muesli.  I used the muesli today because I wanted to get rid of it out of my pantry, but using rolled oats as the majority, you could add any of the following alternatives (plus many others I'm sure):
  • almonds
  • pumpkin seeds
  • sunflower seeds
  • cashews
  • walnuts
  • pecans
  • banana chips
  • shredded coconut
  • currants
  • sultanas
  • craisins
  • dried apple (mmm, imagine an apricot & apple crumble version of this)
The possibilities are endless, especially when you also think about modifying the spices.  How about all cinnamon in the apricot and apple crumble version, or mixed spice with currants and sultanas.
Place apricots in TM bowl and chop briefly.
Add water and spices and cook until softened.  Set aside to cool.
Put the muesli (or combination of muesli-like ingredients) in the TM bowl.
Process until finely chopped.
Add apricot mixture and stir until well combined.  Knead briefly.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until golden brown.
Form tablespoons of mixture into balls and roll in sesame seeds or shredded coconut.
Eat and relax knowing there's nothing bad in there!

Ingredients

  • 140 grams dried apricots
  • 125 grams cold water
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 30 grams sesame seeds, (or shredded coconut if preferred)
  • 215 grams natural muesli (or other chosen dry ingredients)

Directions

1. Place apricots in TM bowl and chop for 3 seconds on speed 5 (this is just to break them up slightly so that whole ones don't get stuck on the blades causing the TMX to work harder than it needs to). Add the water and spices and cook for 14 minutes at 80ºC, reverse soft speed. Set aside for 20 minutes to cool.
2. Meanwhile, place sesame seeds in a saucepan and toss over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until golden. Set aside.
3. Place the muesli (or other chosen dry ingredients) in the TM bowl and chop on speed 5 for 5 seconds. Add the cooled apricot mixture and stir on speed 4 for 5-8 seconds until well combined. Set the speed dial to lid closed and knead for 30 seconds.
4. Use your hands to roll tablespoons of mixture into a ball. Repeat with the remaining mixture. Toss balls in sesame seeds or coconut to lightly coat.
Notes
I prefer them coated in coconut rather than sesame seeds.
If using shredded coconut for the coating, grind it briefly to help it stick to the balls better.
These are good for kids snack time/lunch boxes etc.  They probably wouldn't cut it for a fancy high tea!  In that case I'd definitely go for a condensed milk version ;-)

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