Wholesome R.D. Mom

Making Nutrition a Way of Life

Gingersnap Cookie Balls

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My kids love ginger! It’s not typically a flavor of choice for many young ones, but my kids truly love it! As we walked down the grocery aisle at Trader Joes the other day, my daughter began to ask (or should I be more accurate and say, “whine”) about purchasing some Ginger Kitty Cookies. I got down to her level, looked her in the eye and asked her if she would like to make or bake some sort of gingerbread cookies at home with me instead? Her answer was, “YES! YES! YES!” (while jumping up and down ecstatically)……..and the subject of buying those Kitty cookies was long long gone 🙂

When we arrived home and got settled in, I gave my daughter some options as to which recipe she would like to make. I gave her a brief description of how each recipe might turn out (soft and chewy, thin and crispy…etc) and what each process entailed. She quickly chose the Gingersnap Cookie Ball recipe below (I’m guessing because the dough was edible and it didn’t require baking). We had a great time rolling the balls together, tasting the dough, and grooving to the latest Vacation Bible School CD. I certainly hope that she will carry on the cooking tradition and make many more precious memories in the kitchen with her children.

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These Gingersnap Cookie Balls are both grain and nut free, so they can be consumed by most everyone and even be included in nut-free school lunches!

So lets take a quick look at some of these powerhouse ingredients:

Pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds): contain a good amount of vitamin E (found in various forms), an antioxidant, which scavenges harmful radicals in the body to help you stay healthy.

Flaxseeds: these little seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fiber,  having both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Organic raisins and dried apricots: these fiber-rich fruits are dense sources of energy, vitamins, minerals, and phytohemicals. Raisins are rich in resveratrol, a phytochemical which has a protective effect against cancers and cardiovascular disease. Additionally, raisins and apricots are a good source of potassium……..even more so than that good ol’ banana that you think of when someone mentions “potassium.”

This Gingersnap Cookie Ball recipe is so simple to make and your kids will love to help you!

Thank you to Healthful Pursuit http://bit.ly/1kXxkzD for this recipe base. Please see my “NOTE” below for recipe variations.

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Gingersnap Cookie Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. raw pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
  • ⅓ c. ground flaxseed or flax meal
  • 2 c. organic raisins
  • 12 dried apricots (I buy the organic, unsulphured Turkish variety from Trader Joes)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground all spice

Directions: 

  • Process the pumpkin seeds in a food processor or blender until they are about the size of a sesame seed (for about 1 minute on high).
  • Add the remaining ingredients to the food processor/blender and place it on high for 2-3 minutes or until all of the dried fruit has broken down into a paste and the mixture sticks together forming a ball.
  • Line a dish or cookie sheet with parchment paper (preferably something that will fit in your freezer).
  • Rub a little butter or coconut oil onto your hands so that the mixture does not stick to them.
  • Scoop a scant (try saying that 5 times fast) tablespoon at a time and roll it into a ball between your palms (this is usually the kids’ favorite part, aside from the eating of the batter)
  • Place the rolled balls onto the parchment paper and continue until you have rolled all of the mixture.
  • Place the dish/cookie sheet with the Gingersnap Cookie Balls into the freezer to harden (about 20 minutes).
  • Store the remainders in a sealed container in the fridge (they should last a couple of weeks) or store them in the freezer for longer keeping (about 3 months)

NOTE: If you are not sure how the ginger will go over with your kids I would recommend halving the amounts of nutmeg, ginger and allspice until you have tasted the batter. You may want to boost the cinnamon by 1/2 tsp as well.

This recipe is super adaptable. I’m already thinking about how I can replace half of the raisins with dried cherries, add only 3/4 tsp of vanilla, while adding 1/4 tsp almond extract and replacing the spices with cacao powder to create a Chocolate Almond Cherry Bomb 😉 You can also replace the raisins with dates…..so use what you have in your pantry. The possibilities are endless!

What are your favorite flavor combinations?

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