Last weekend before our hike on The Elwha River I had tried making a fruit "bonbon" but just wasn't happy with the results. While good, they were just fruit and spices. Too sweet and sticky for trail eating. I talked with my friend Catzia and she gave me some ideas. She was right, it needed nuts and maybe some coconut added. On our way back from hiking we stopped and loaded up on the items needed.
I used a mixed bag of dried berries in the recipe. The bag contained strawberries, cranberries, cherries and blueberries. I came across Stoneridge Orchards brand recently. They are sold at clubs such as Costco and Sams Club in the US.
Any dried fruit would work though, just make sure you use as fresh as you can get. One note on dried fruit: some of the commercial processed fruit is designed to be super soft. This type will leave you with a stickier end product, you may need to add a bit more ground nuts.
For the almond meal you can find it in the nut aisle at Trader Joe's and other stores with a big nut section. You can also run roasted almonds through your food processor as well.
For the coconut? Try to get organic if you can. The coconut you find in main stream grocery stores is designed to stay "moist" and how do they get that? By adding Propylene Glycol. Yum! (Not) While organic coconut is dry feeling, this actually is what you want. The "moist" coconut will be sticky and not coat your balls.
Fruity Nutty Balls:
1 cup ground almonds (almond meal)
1/4 cup coconut
6 ounces mixed dried fruit
1 1/2 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 Tbsp orange juice
1/2 cup shredded coconut
In a food processor or blender add fruit, almonds, coconut, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Process to make a rough paste. It will have texture but not be overly sticky. Expect to process it for a good minute or so.
Shape into teaspoon sized balls, rolling between palm of hands.
Roll in shredded coconut. (Put the coconut in a bowl)
Store on parchment paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You will get about 12-24 balls, depending on how small or big you roll them!