Carrot Cake Balls
These carrot cake balls have received universal approval — husband, kids (one of whom has very discerning taste!), friends, grandparents, and readers. Made with wholesome ingredients and packed with flavor, it’s the perfect little midday treat. The spices give them an Indian flavor and make them reminiscent of gajar ka halwa, a carrot-based Indian sweet. The cardamom is a distinctive flavor, so if you are not a fan, simply omit it from the recipe. I hope you enjoy them as much we do.
2 large or 3 small carrots
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped*
1 cup dried, shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
pinch of sea salt
1 cup pitted dates (about 7-10 dates)**
1/4 cup almond butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 tablespoons optional maple syrup
1/2 cup golden raisins
Peel and chop the carrots into large chunks. Pulse them in a food processer until finely shredded. Empty into a small bowl and set aside.
Add the rolled oats to the food processor and pulse a few times. Next, add the toasted almonds, pulse a few times, and finally the coconut. Pulse until it forms a rough, sandy texture (you don’t want large pieces of almonds or a powder — somewhere in between!). Add the spices and salt and pulse one more time.
Add the softened dates and pulse until the dates are incorporated. Next, add the almond butter and vanilla and pulse until combined. Test out the dough. If it needs a little sweetness (keeping in mind the raisins are still coming) or stickiness for the dough to hold, add the optional maple syrup. Continue to pulse until combined and the dough holds together when pressed.
Pour the dough into a bowl. Add the shredded carrots and golden raisins. Mix to combine (clean hands work well!). Using a mini ice cream scoop or spoon, lay out the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use your hands to roll them into 1-inch balls. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Store them in an air-tight container for several days.
*I used raw, unsalted almonds. I roughly chopped them and toasted them in the oven at 350 for 5 minutes (keep a close eye on them so they don’t burn!). You could also toast them in a pan on the stove or use roasted almonds. If your almonds are salted, consider omitting the salt in the recipe.
**If your dates are a bit on the dry side, soak them in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to soften.