Seedy Apricot and Tahini Balls (Nut Free)
I’ve had a few requests recently from mum’s needing something nut free to pack into the lunchbox
But that also doesn’t need cooking as it’s been far too hot to turn the oven on here in Sydney
So I came up with these…
A delicious, soft, tangy ball that’s not too sweet, high in fibre and tastes just like apricots (i.e. you can hide all those other goodies in there and the kids won’t know!)
So what are all those goodies?
Well first you must start with delicious Australian dried apricots – yes, they must be the Aussie ones as the Turkish ones don’t have the same flavour – then you add the goodies, which are loads of seeds (see health info about seeds below recipe) and tahini…
Tahini is sesame seeds that have been ground into a paste. I say it is like peanut butter but is made from sesame seeds and find most people who like peanut butter like tahini and sometimes even prefer it!
Well known as one of the ingredients in hommus, it can be added to sauces and dressings or simply spread on toast (and topped with slices of fresh tomato) for a quick and nutritious breakfast (YUM!)
It is mostly used in Middle Eastern cooking, but is also popular with vegetarians and vegans due to its high nutrient content, which includes iron and calcium as well as Vitamin B1, magnesium, zinc, selenium and fibre
These apricot and tahini balls are quick to make, no heating or cooking required and you just throw everything into the food processor and let it do all the hard work!
- ½ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup linseeds (called flaxseeds in America)
- 1½ cups Australian dried apricots
- ¼ cup tahini (I used unhulled tahini)
- ¼ cup honey*
- approx ⅓ cup desiccated coconut
- Start by grinding the seeds in a food processor, this took 8 seconds on speed 8 in my thermomix
- Add the dried apricots, tahini, honey and 1 tablespoon of coconut and continue to blend until everything is finely chopped, 1 minute speed 7 in the thermomix
- Sprinkle the remaining coconut on a plate
- Using a teaspoon, scoop out mix, press together and roll into small balls, then roll in the coconut
- Store in the fridge
*For a vegan version, use maple syrup in place of honey
Why are seeds so healthy for me?
Pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds are all good sources of minerals, vitamin E, protein and fibre
And if you’ve any concerns about the fats in seeds like sunflower seeds causing an overload of omega-6 fats in your diet, remember that eating a whole seed is different to consuming its oil! When you eat a whole food, you’re getting a full package of many different nutrients as well as fibre – not just a processed oil
Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are associated with reduced breast cancer risk
Sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds can also boost serotonin levels in the brain (increased serotonin = improved mood)
Linseeds (we call them linseeds in Australia, Americans call them flaxseeds) – Are excellent source of the essential omega-3 fat ALA
Linseeds are also a concentrated source of lignans, weak plant hormones which can reduce breast cancer risk and improve breast cancer survival
In fact – Just a teaspoon of ground linseeds a day may help protect against breast cancer
Linseeds can also decrease skin sensitivity and lower blood pressure!
You can read more about seeds here