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A Healthier Take On Rum Balls

By Catherine Noonan on December 19, 2013 in Food

Picture: Catherine Noonan

Picture: Catherine Noonan

As the weather gets hotter and hotter, I’m sure you could think of little worse than slaving away in a hot kitchen baking short-bread or Christmas mince pies – the kind of sweet baked treats we’re obliged to offer guests over the Christmas break. Apart from being notoriously messy and subject to failure (anything requiring baking comes with a proceed-with-caution risk of burning, collapsing, etc.), they’re also packed full of sugar and are most certainly not what you need while trying to maintain that finely tuned bikini body.

You needn’t be the Christmas Grinch though, because rum balls, an equally iconic Christmas treat, require absolutely no baking. Furthermore, they’re the perfect one-bowl-wonder, creating limited kitchen mess.
For lack of a better source, Wikipedia, describes rum balls as being: “…sweet, dense balls flavoured with chocolate and rum. They are roughly the size of a golf ball and often coated in chocolate sprinkles, desiccated coconut, or cocoa.”

With this in mind, it would appear that as long as you have the core ingredients you can throw in just about anything. Hence, there is great scope to make them as decadent and calorie-explosive or as decadent and as healthy as you like. I have chosen the latter.

Albeit healthier, this nourishing recipe still includes the star ingredient: rum. I’ve used raw cacao powder in place of chocolate and have rolled my rum balls in coconut rather than chocolate sprinkles. For sweetness I’ve used sultanas and rice bran syrup. The balance comprises coconut and almond meal, a hint of vanilla for added flavour and almond butter to assist in binding.

The sultanas I use have been soaking in rum for some months now, but just a few hours is fine. That said, I highly recommend you fill an old jam jar with sultanas (or raisins) and top it up with plenty of rum, because you never know when the urge for such a recipe might strike!

¾ cup rum-soaked sultanas (drained)
1 cup desiccated or shredded coconut
1 ½ cup almond meal
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
¼ cup almond butter
2 tbsp rice bran syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
Extra desiccated or shredded coconut for rolling

1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Using your hands, combine the mixture, rolling it into 16 balls, just smaller than golf balls.
3. Roll each rum ball in the extra coconut.
4. Store in an airtight container in your fridge or freezer before serving.

There really are very few simpler recipes and even fewer quite so delicious. Merry Christmas and happy rum balls!


  1. […] Credit: Catherine Noonan  […]

    Posted by: A Healthier Take On Rum Balls | November 30, 2015, 4:42 PM |

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