Monday, February 11, 2013

Paleo Granola Balls

The kids are off school today, and we all made breakfast together. Well, correction: they helped dictate what went into their breakfast treat, but when it came time to get messy hands they balked.

These grain-free granola balls are super easy to make, and much like my popular breakfast cookies are very customizable. They *do* however, require you to get seriously sticky hands to mix and shape them. I formed mine next to the sink and simply wet my hands as necessary.

I used the juice-sweetened dried cranberries I got on today, so the only added sweetener in today's batch was the raw honey.

Both kids remarked that these would be extra tasty with their beloved Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips, which is obviously quite true! Shredded coconut and hemp hearts are a couple of my other favorite potential ingredients.

These will be quite soft when they come out of the oven, so I definitely recommend letting them cool thoroughly before digging in. I freezed the leftovers to have on hand the rest of the week, but these should keep well in an airtight container for a couple of days (if they last that long!)
Paleo Granola Balls

1 cup total raw seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, hemp hearts etc)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or almond meal
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup raw chopped nuts (I used pecans)
1/2 cup total chopped dried fruit, mini dairy-free chocolate chips, shredded coconut etc.
1/4 cup plus 1 tbs. raw honey or maple syrup
2 tbs. raw nut butter (or sunflower seed)
1 tbs. unsweetened non-dairy milk or water
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.

Combine seeds, almond meal or flax, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Pulse until you have a coarse meal (leave some chunks of seeds). Pour mixture into a large bowl and add nuts and dried fruit or other mix-ins.

Add liquid sweetener, nut butter, milk and vanilla. Stir as much as possible with a wooden spoon.
Moisten hands and work batter a little more to ensure it's mixed.

Keeping hands wet, form into tightly-packed balls that are about 1.5 inches across. Place on baking sheet (these won't really spread while baking).

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool completely before serving.