If you've hung around these parts, virtually speaking, for any length of time now, you know that I have a thing for nutty raw balls, preferably those rolled in coconut. These cherry-blueberry power balls are definitely in that category.
One of the fun things that comes with the territory of being a food writer is that people often like to send me products to try. That's the case with Stoneridge Orchards, who sent me a whole mess of dried fruits to try. They are based in Washington, a part of the country dense with orchards and berries, and are the leading producers of whole dried Montmorency dried cherries--allegedly the onespreferred by kings and royalty. All you need to know is that they are the most moist and plump dried cherries I've ever encountered. And their dried blueberries are flavorful, too. Stoneridge makes them available in organic forms and everything they sent me was non-GMO. I like the taste and the ethics behind it: there's no hydrogenated oils, no sulfites, high fructose corn syrup or anything artificial involved in processing their fruits.
I did a riff on one of their recipes for their Cherry Almond Power Bites. I flipped this around a little bit and added some other ingredients and opted for blueberries here to up the antioxidant quotient. In the end you've got a nutrient dense snack with plant-based protein (hemp), omega-3s (flax) and linoleic acid (sunflower seeds), along with minerals and antioxidants galore from the almonds and fruits. And of course honey helps it stick together and offers a little sweetness; the maple syrup just adds another dimension. I used it to complement and distribute a bit of moisture through the mix because my raw honey was really thick.
- 1 2/3 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seed
- 1/3 cup hemp seeds
- 2/3 cup dried blueberries
- 2/3 cup dried cherries
- 1 good pinch Himalayan pink sea salt
- 2 T. honey (to taste)
- 2 T. maple syrup (to taste)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the blade, pulse the almonds several times together just to break them up a bit. Pulse the flax seeds through sea salt until the pieces are smaller. Add the honey and maple syrup to taste and pulse until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Place the shredded coconut in a small bowl. Using your hands or a 1 T cookie scoop, roll the ingredients together to the size of a golf ball. Roll the balls in the coconut and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. You can certainly eat them immediately, or refrigerate until firm. I find these keep well, covered, in the fridge, for at least a week and sometimes longer.
Cherry-Blueberry Power Bites, with Stoneridge Orchard dried cherries and blueberries.