My motivation to tweak the much loved ‘Goodie Ball’ recipe, making it nut-free, was a calling from many parents who have kids with allergies. And a plea from my daughter to pack a wholesome, sweet, childcare-friendly treat into her lunchbox.
Most childcare centres, play groups and some schools restrict nuts being bought into their centres because of the high prevalence of food and nut allergies amongst children. It’s important that these guidelines are followed, food allergy symptoms can be very dangerous and even life-threatening.
Fessing up – we love nuts, they’re a convenient natural source of protein, essential fats, minerals and other nutrients and simply taste great. I admit that prepping my daughter’s lunchbox without them can be a testing task. My hat’s well and truly off to the families who have to avoid nuts every meal of every day because their child is allergic.
Those who love goodie balls will love these balls just as much.
To find out more about food allergies in Australia, please see notes following the recipe.
~ Choc Balls. All Balls (no nuts) ~
Makes 12 – 15 balls
1C Medjool dates, seeded
1C Coconut flour
1Tbs Coconut Oil
2Tbs Raw Cacao powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 C desiccated coconut (for rolling)
Place desiccated coconut in a separate bowl & all other ingredients into food processor – pulse until combined, resembling crumble texture. Scoop spoonful’s of the mixture into your hand to form the ball, roll in coconut before placing aside. Continue this until ball mixture is used. Serve immediately or refrigerate to cool on hot days. Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week and can be frozen in a sealed bag for up to 1 month.
Big cheers to your good health !
Stats on current food allergies in Australia, thanks to ASCIA –
Food allergy occurs in around 1 in 20 children and in about 2 in 100 adults. The most common triggers are hen’s egg, cow’s milk, peanuts and tree nuts. Less common triggers include seafood, sesame, soy, fish and wheat. Some food allergies can be severe, causing life threatening reactions known as anaphylaxis.
Hospital admissions for severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) have doubled over the last decade in Australia, USA and UK. In Australia, admissions for anaphylaxis due to food allergy in children aged 0 to 4 years are even higher, having increased five fold over the same period.