Sunday, 2 March 2014

Nut-free Peanut Butter Balls

Ok, so if I was to tell you that I have come up with a yummy little snack that tastes like peanut butter but has no nuts in it, would that get you interested?!

I had some leftover pumpkin seed butter in the fridge and wanted to make something with it. I had made a big jar of it after seeing that Ceres now had it in their 'butter' range and it worked really well, but the kids were not huge fans of it. Considering I had primarily made it as an alternative to using nut based spreads in their sandwiches as I do with sunflower butter for their Montessori lunches, it was not much use having a big jar of it if they weren't going to eat it! However, I will now be making more of it because after this monumental discovery of nut free peanut butter, I am going to be using a lot of it I'm sure!!!

This snack is an ideal afternoon pick-me-up and perfect for anyone with nut allergies. It is also ideal for lunchbox snacks for kids (or grown-ups) that have restrictions on using nut-based foods.

The very best thing about this though, is that it only contains 3 ingredients, and can be made in about 3 minutes. Those are the best kind of snacks!

 The jar of pumpkin seeds butter I whipped up...

…then added dates and coconut and made no-nut peanut butter fudge...

…and also rolled it into balls and coated in coconut for no-nut peanut butter balls. 

First, you will be best to make some pumpkin seed butter. I think it will also work with just plain pumpkin seeds, but you will probably have to blend the ingredients for a lot longer to get the smooth consistency, plus the lightly roasted pumpkin seeds and the addition of a little sea salt are what creates the peanut buttery taste. 

Pumpkin Seed Butter

Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

2 cups raw whole pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a baking tray with baking paper
2. Place the pumpkin seeds on the baking paper. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until very lightly golden and just starting to release a yummy smell.
3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt.
4. In a high powered blender, place the salted pumpkin seeds and blend until they reach a smooth, buttery consistency (usually about 5 minuted). You will probably need to stop a couple of times to scrape the sides of the blender to make sure it is all evenly blended. 

Nut-free Peanut Butter Balls or Fudge

Gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, nut-free, soy-free, refined sugar-free

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds butter
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
4 medjool dates (stones removed)
Optional: 1/4 cup desiccated coconut to roll the balls in if you are choosing to make the balls.

1. In a small food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. 
2. To make the fudge, press the mixture into a small square tin, or into cake pop moulds (depending on whether you prefer round or square). Place in the fridge and chill for as long as you can stand waiting!
3. If you have gone with the option of making fudge squares, remove the piece of fudge from the square tin and cut into bite sized pieces to serve. 
4. If you would prefer to make balls, after step 1, remove tablespoon quantities of mixture and roll into balls. Place the extra coconut on a small plate. Roll each ball in the coconut, then place balls on a plate or in a container and place in the fridge to chill.