Guest Post from Simone from www.playwithfood.com.au
Christmas Pudding Balls (A recipe to do with kids & it tastes too good to be true!)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! I am certainly seeing all the retail tell-tale signs too. The Christmas season brings with it more than just one day of festive eating, sometimes it feels like it lasts a month! Here is a recipe to engage your children in (okay it’s reasonably quick so don’t plan a whole day around it) but it is at least a task that provides motor planning opportunities and gives them a sense of pride at the finished results.
The good news is these Christmas Pudding Balls are relatively healthy and ticks some boxes for those seeking allergen friendly Christmas recipes. The recipe is dairy, egg and gluten free but NOT nut free.
A helpful hint for involving the children is to have them at a level they can comfortably see and perform tasks like measuring ingredients into cups, rolling ball shapes and coating the balls in coconut. Also, if you have more than one child helping, consider setting up a rolling and coating stations; a production line is a great way to include everyone. We put the mixture between 2 children and then they each had their own coconut bowl and plate to place their finished products on.
1 cup dates (pitted)
1/3 cup of coconut oil (melted – a quick 15-20 sec zap in the microwave will do)
½ cup pecans
½ cup mixed dried fruit
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup desiccated coconut (plus extra to roll the balls in at the end)
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp all spice
(Where you see an A – it is an adult step and K – is a kids step)
A – Soak the 1 cup of dates in hot water for 15 minutes and melt the coconut oil.
K – Measure out the pecans, mixed dried fruit, cocoa powder and desiccated coconut into the food processor bowl.
A – Add the soaked dates and coconut oil to the food processor bowl with the vanilla extract and all spice. Whizz until all really well blended.
A – Set up the rolling and coating station. If leaving the mixture in the food processor, remove the blades before letting the kids at it OR use a new bowl. Show an example of rolling the mixture into a ball and coating it with coconut.
K – Your turn to be santa’s little helpers! When you have rolled out your balls put them into the fridge to set for 2 hours.
This mix should make between 30 and 40 balls (depending how much of the mix the kids eat!) The set pudding balls can then be moved to an airtight container for storage for up to 5 days.
Remember – the motor planning for rolling the balls and coating them will improve with practice and dexterity. Even if the balls aren’t consistent shapes, they are made with love!
About the Writer
Simone is a regular columnist at Mum’s Lounge – a leading website for Australian mums
Simone Emery is a mum and owner of Sydney based, Play with Food. Play with Food run fun-filled classes and workshops about fruit and vegetables. We use seasonal produce and give parents lots of ideas for encouraging happy and healthy eating in the home environment. Check out our website for more information on singing, playing and laughing your way to happier family eating experiences www.playwithfood.com.au.