|Honey sage pistachio balls. Sweet, nutty energy bites.|
Christmas is coming, and while I'm not a traditionalist, I do inevitably get caught up in the excitement that comes with the abundance of edible treats, this time of the year.
This is also the time of the year when I try to challenge myself with making treats that evoke Christmas (see here for last year's achievement). If you think you've been seeing a lot of green in my posts this month, well, it's not a coincidence.
Let's talk about energy balls today. I pop over to Hannah's blog at Wayfaring Chocolate quite frequently, and I am often envious of the variety of balls in her queenly repertoire. However, not having a food processor, I've never made my own.
Recently, I finally thought, to hell with that - I am doing this, even if I have to use a mortar and pestle!
So that's what I did.
Yes, you may call me Superwoman.
|Making energy balls without a food processor, the old-fashioned way - with a mortar and pestle.|
Thanks to my medieval methods, I made only a small portion, so feel free to multiply the recipe as you see fit. Feel free, too, to adapt the recipe to suit your needs. For example, you can make it a vegan recipe by using maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar instead of honey. You can make it a raw recipe, too, by not baking the sage, using raw pistachios - no toasting, and using raw honey or agave. Oh, and if you have a food processor, you can just whiz everything together and cut down on the manual labour.
All that aside, let me just say I am now totally a homemade energy ball convert. Even with the extra work I had to do - which wasn't that difficult, really - I felt it was worth it. So wholesome. So delicious. And in the end, even with all the energy I exerted into making my energy balls, I think they lived up to their namesake and replenished me right back, with more to spare.
Plus, they're festive enough for a Christmas connection, all glistening green with speckles of red!
|Honey sage pistachio energy bites.|
honey sage pistachio energy balls with a mortar and pestle
(makes about 2 dozen marble-sized balls)
(I made this in 2 batches, as my mortar is modestly-sized.)
20 large fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
pinch of salt (not required if using pistachios that have already been lightly salted)
1 tablespoon honey (approximate, to be added in gradually and with care)
Preheat oven to 100ºC or 210ºF fan-forced (120ºC or 250ºF conventional).
Lay out sage leaves on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes or until dry and crispy.
While the sage is roasting in the oven, toast the pistachios in a pan, stirring frequently, until they release a pleasant nutty aroma.
Crumble dried sage leaves with a mortar and pestle, picking out any tough stems that did not break down.
Add the toasted pistachios and continue pounding, crushing and grinding into fine, loose grains.
Sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Skip this step if the pistachios are already salted.
Add in honey, a little at a time, stirring and pressing the mixture with the pestle to check if the consistency might be ready for rolling. If in doubt, stop adding the honey and attempt the rolling earlier - you can always add more honey later, if you need to. Anyway, you can see that mine turned out quite shiny and moist - I could probably have used less honey, but it's all good!
So when you break off a small chunk and it rolls quite smoothly without giving you any trouble (e.g. cracking, falling apart), go forth and merrily roll those balls.
I shared these honey sage pistachio energy balls with Simon and we finished it within the day, but I would hazard a guess that they could keep quite nicely for a few days, covered, at room temperature, or a bit longer if you store them in the fridge.
Have fun, and enjoy!