RAISIN & GOJI BERRY BALLS WITH PISTACHIO COATING.

My trip to Istanbul left me with some incredible experiences and, most importantly, a newfound love for Turkish Delight. I was inspired to create a healthier version of my personal favourite – the irresistible carob and pistachio ball – in order to satisfy my cravings.

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These balls reminded me of a recipe by Madeleine Shaw, which I discovered a few months ago. I previously made some alterations to these, mainly replacing the desiccated coconut with ground almonds seeing as I cannot stand coconut! I have made a few more alterations in order to create a sort of hybrid snack: western Raw Food Diet craze meets Turkish tradition.

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The natural sweetness of the raisins means that no processed sugars are required. As well as this, the almonds and pistachios provide an excellent source of vitamins, protein and fibre making this treat a fantastic energy booster.

This raw snack is incredibly easy and quick to prepare. What is more, the simple combination of ingredients – mainly nuts and raisins – mean treat is suitable for vegans. I have used pistachios as well as some bright green pistachio powder (which I had never seen before) found in Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.

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The balls last for over two weeks when kept in the fridge. PLUS, their portable size means you can take them anywhere with you. These are a perfect a midmorning pick-me-up snack!

INGREDIENTS.

FOR THE BALLS:

100g goji berries

300g raisins

100g ground almonds

50g flaked almonds (plus more for coating balls)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE COATING:

pistachio nuts (crushed)

pistachio powder

flaked or chopped almonds

METHOD.

Pour half the raisins into a blender and blend! Then add the rest. (The texture of the raisins becomes so dense that it is better to add gradually, so as not to put too much stress on the machine.)

Add the goji berries and then the ground almonds. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and stir in the flaked almonds so they do not break and the texture will retain a slight crunch. At this stage you might also want to add additional ingredients such as sunflower seeds or chia seeds – these will add to the texture as well as adding nutritional benefits!

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Finally, stir in the cinnamon and vanilla essence.

Roll the mixture into chestnut sized balls. Then roll the balls in a coating of your choice so that they are fully covered. 

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Place in the freezer for 30 minutes. Keep refrigerated and enjoy!

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