It all started with a random leftover packet of dried figs sitting in my cupboard. I knew they were getting close to their use by date, and I wanted to make something quick and healthy with them. With the sounds of ‘We all want some figgy pudding’ ringing in my head, I thought a Christmas-inspired snack ball was in order.
I actually don’t make these types of things very often, but I might start to. They’re a good option when mid-afternoon nibble cravings takes hold. Of course dried fruit is still full of lots of natural sugar so you don’t want to go crazy with them, but it’s definitely better than reaching for a packet of cheap supermarket biscuits.
These little balls are so easy to make and also make a nice little treat to have in fridge to put out with a cup of tea or coffee over Christmas if you have lots of visitors. You could also put them in a little box or gift bag to give as a small present to someone.
I’ve added oats and ground almonds to give a bit more substance (and for extra tummy satisfaction). There’s also a little bit of cacao powder just because I can’t resist chocolate flavouring, especially when it goes so well with figs.
I suggest experimenting with whatever ingredients you have in your own cupboard. You could try different types of nuts (just grind them into a powder first), alternative dried fruit (apricots or pears would also work well) or using mixed spice instead of ginger. I’ve rolled the balls in coconut, but another slightly more decadent option is to melt some dark chocolate and drizzle it over the top – or dip the balls in whole to make a truffle.
I’d love to hear about any other great figgy combinations you come up with.
We also want some figgy pudding bites
(Gluten free if using gluten free oats, dairy free)
Makes approximately 15 small balls
150g dried figs
40g ground almonds
1 tbs cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
1 tbs honey
1 tspn ground ginger
Zest of ½ unwaxed lemon
½ tspn vanilla extract
10g desiccated coconut for rolling
1. Roughly chop the dried figs and remove the stems.
2. Put the oats and almonds in a food processor and grind for a couple of minutes until the oats are a fine powder.
3. Add all the other ingredients to the food processor, except for the coconut. Blend for a few minutes until everything has come together in big clumps. All the ingredients should be evenly mixed.
4. Scoop out approximately teaspoon sized bits of the mixture. Roll each scoop between your palms to make small balls and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. This can get a little sticky (which is half the fun of making them!) so you may want to give your hands a quick wash and dry part way through.
5. Spread the desiccated coconut over a plate and roll each of the balls in the coconut to coat.
6. You can either eat the balls as they are or pop them in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up a little more. The figgy balls will keep in airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Options for variations:
– swap almonds for pecans or walnuts
– used dried apricots or pears instead of figs
– add a handful of chopped cacao nibs
– used cinnamon or mixed spice instead of ginger
– dip the balls in melted dark chocolate