Molassas Fruit & Nut Balls

So we have been talking about developing a recipe to get our kiddos their daily molasses (and maybe even fish oil) dose using a “raw” or non-baked cookie ball.  And I want to talk ingredients as they relate to taste, price & fiber content.

Camilla, you mentioned the importance of finding the perfect balance of fiber, no more, no less.

Can we use this post to discuss our options?

Which nut?
I think cashew would have the best texture, but it’s also expensive.  Almonds?

Which fruit?
Do we do prunes?  I love the idea of dates, but again they are very expensive.  Raisins?  Craisins?

Can we use fish oil or will that give them a bad taste?  Tracy said the orange flavor tastes like orangesicle.  That sounds promising.

Lastly I was thinking about rolling them in something to make them less sticky?
Coconut?  Ground nuts?

I’m ready to start prototyping.  I just need some feedback first.  I’m going to make them “cheerio” size and see if Pooka will eat them on her own.

Here are a few sample recipes I found online.  I can use these to gauge proportions.

http://www.choosingraw.com/raisin-almond-balls-with-blackstrap-molasses-high-raw-vegan-snacking-with-an-iron-boost/

http://naturalvitalityliving.com/raw-ginger-date-energy-balls/

http://www.thisrawsomeveganlife.com/2012/12/raw-gingersnaps.html

http://www.bitesizedthoughts.com/2013/03/carrot-hazelnut-molasses-truffle-balls.html

15 comments

  • As far as fiber, if the balls are pretty small, it may not really matter. I would never give Claire a bowl of oatmeal but the amount of oatmeal in a cookie is not enough to matter. I would just make sure there isn’t so much fiber in that one snack, that you have to limit or cut it out of other areas of their diet. Caveat: Claire is fairly sensitive to food so maybe other kids could handle a lot more fiber than her but I would still look up the recommended amount for the child’s age and start with that assumption and then individual children may be able to have more and it not effect them.

  • I think crasins and orange (the fish oil) compliment nicely. I vote for almonds, just as a precaution for allergies. You could roll them in almost anything. Crushed Cheerios or even smashed pumpkin seeds. I think coconut might present a texture issue…

  • Hello,

    Please consider walnuts 🙂 Here’s why:

    Source: Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide
    http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update1004d.shtml

    “Which nut comes out on top? Almonds, peanuts, walnuts — each has its own association or board, primarily composed of growers and related companies. Of course health claims are a major selling point. So the associations sponsor studies of their particular nut’s boon effects on cholesterol levels, blood vessels, and other cardiovascular factors. Competing studies are difficult to compare. But the United States Department of Agriculture has a database of the nutrient content of individual foods that sheds a little light on the subject. Almonds have slightly more vitamin E than walnuts, and much more magnesium. Walnuts, stand out as the only nut with an appreciable amount of alpha-linolenic acid, the only type of omega-3 fat you’ll find in a plant-based food. Peanuts (which technically are legumes) lead in the folate category. Cashews have even more magnesium than almonds (83 milligrams per ounce vs. 73) but they lag behind in vitamin E. If it’s selenium you’re after — as many men are, because the mineral might protect against prostate cancer — then look to Brazil nuts: One ounce has almost 10 times the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of 55 micrograms. When it comes to taste, macadamia nuts are hard to beat. But they’re also high in saturated fat (3.4 grams per ounce) compared with other nuts”

    They are synergystic and combine well with prunes…… 🙂

    In Canada I purchase in bulk – cost effective.

    Kelly

  • Thanks Kelly, that’s good to know. Unfortunately, we are avoiding nuts over here due to allergy concerns. Not that everyone else couldn’t use them, but that is a perpetual factor over here. We haven’t demonstrated an nut allergy, but are anaphalactic to other foods and have a cousin who is equally allergic to nuts. Just seems like tempting fate. 😉

    AND… I realized this morning what would make a good coating. Yogurt!

    • Hi MrsK,
      Sorry about that – from the earlier post above I thought nuts were being considered – ‘cashews/almonds’ for this potential recipe… my apologies 🙂

      Powdered/ground flax seeds could be an option to roll these ‘fibre balls’ in…. practically tasteless but packed with colon benefits – aids/speeds up bowel transit time gently…

      Kelly

      • You weren’t wrong. There was some conversation. (And, walnuts are my personal favorite, btw!) I just was thinking out loud and trying to steer clear.

        I love the flax seed idea! Far easier than yogurt..

      • So I’m still confused. Are almonds ok, but NOT walnuts? Is there some sort of potential allergy index when it comes to nuts, making almonds safer than walnuts? I’m just trying to understand. I could make a batch without nuts too and compare.

        Our ND recommended ground flax seeds in Pooka’s first baby baby food. She had me make a beet, kale, flax seed mixture. I thought it was mild and nice tasting, but Pooka strongly disagreed! She prefers sweet potato.

        • My fault. I was thinking down the line of “almonds are seeds not nuts”. But, I went back and re-read something and it seems that while that is true, they still fall in the tree nut category for allergy purposes. So… I am going to say, since it is tree nuts that the cousin had such a bad reaction to, we are going to put those on the “wait” list.

          Man. This allergy thing is a bummer.

  • Hi all,

    I have had this thread on my mind since I first read it. Having a child with sb made many years of my life attuned to someone else’s colon. I laugh now looking back & my eyes well a tiny bit b/c I remember like yesterday what it was like to have to monitor & scrutinize these details of poop… how I wanted to avoid the dreaded stories of the constipation. Parents, I have to share the secret truth about what I found out through my jaunt down holistic lane with Jessie. It’s water. Jess had never had a constipation episode in any way shape or form (she’s 25 now). The docs insisted she must but she did not. From breastfeeding onward she was also offered water. In fact when switched to sippy cup, it was water always first. I watered down juice so excessively that it’s a family inside joke about how watery the juice jug is in all our fridges! (they’re 27, 25, 24 & 21 now) . It is the simplest, cost effective, most healthy thing you can teach your kids to do in my opinion for their wellbeing. It’s a habit they’ll need their whole lives. Btw, the best way to instill it is to do it yourself in front of them.. be a water drinker, make it the normal for them to choose H20 over pop, juice etc just like you do….

    Attached article is long but so very good: http://www.naturalscience.org/fileadmin/portabledocuments/report_water_en.pdf

    Cheers

    Kelly

    • Kelly,

      That was very interesting. Really. The section on cholesterol in particular to me, for no reason related to this board, but lots of personal reasons. And man, have I had the “Diet coke is not water, Mom!” argument many, many times. Sigh…

      I’m not sure it is the total answer to neurogenic bowels, though I’m certain it is a big part of the address. From my (very limited, as in one baby that is not quite 12 mos) experience some of this is about restoring health to organs that were inundated with drugs and procedures at the very vulnerable, newborn stage. Water is obviously huge, but the probiotics and the FruitEze are a part of that for us too.

      Also, I know that we went from free flowing bowls in the near extreme, to sluggish literally overnight, with the introduction of about 3 spoonfuls of yogurt. Now, we have never had true constipation, but that sluggishness began in a very well hydrated baby and took place in the course of less than 12 hours. When there is anything but water and breastmilk in this child, her bowls run on a 3 day delay. They just do. She still nurses much and often, as well as drinks water and water that has a half a splash of juice in it. (I never thought of doing the whole container. You are a genius!) So I think the water plays a big role in avoiding a problem, but without the other things it does not, for us, seem to be enough. I can move things along a good 24 hours faster (so from 3 days delay to 2) which also plays a very big role in preventing any genuinely problematic back up.

      I’m so glad you are here with us. And I am TOTALLY sending this article to my Diet-Coke-is-My-Crack Mom. 😉

      • Hi there,

        Oh yes, agree with you on all counts. Thank you for identifying what I missed conveying.. Water, healthful drinking of water is only the start for kids with sb. Everything else we do to assist by natural/dietary/herbal means are tools that work effectively when combined with a hydrated body. For instance, dehyrated herbals in capsules or powder form REQUIRE H20 in the body to become ionized or activated – or they simply have little impact. They are not able to provide the desired benefits. In fact, if fibre supplements are used without enough water consumption, they will in fact be very constipating. Water is a key ingredient to a healthy colon in any of us. Water consumption to a child with a painfully slow bowel transit time is just that much more desired. Thank you for welcoming me, it’s my pleasure. 🙂

        Kelly

  • OK, so I made two batches of cranberry orange molasses balls today. The second batch was much better than the first. Next time I would add more cinnamon and maybe more molasses. Pooka is asleep, but everyone else loves them. So it will be interesting to see her reaction. I think they have a great orange cranberry flavor. The molasses flavor is very subtle. As I sit here hands keep reaching into the bowl beside me and they are quickly disappearing. I keep warning them that they may later regret having eaten these as a snack. If they are gone before Pooka wakes up, I will make another batch with more molasses and cinnamon. Here’s the recipe I made just now. (This recipe has been revised to include the increased quantities of molasses and cinnamon. The original recipe was 2 Tbsp molasses & 1/4 tsp cinnamon.)

    1/2 cup walnuts
    1/2 cup cranberries
    3 Tbsp molasses
    1 Tbsp emulsified orange flavored fish oil
    1 Tbsp flax seeds, ground (1-1/2 Tbsp ground)
    1 tsp slippery elm powder
    1/2 tsp cinnamon
    ground coconut powder for keeping hands from sticking

    I ground them all in the food processor until they began forming a ball.

    (OK, they are already all gone and I’m not even done typing this email.)

    Then I ground unsweetened coconut in a spice grinder and used it on my hands to keep the balls from sticking. Rolling them in the coconut gave them an overpowering coconut flavor, but the light dusting from my hands was perfect and made them so they were no longer sticky.

    Well since everything is still out on the counter I will make another batch.

    By the way, MrsK I was going to make a batch with coconut instead of walnuts, but after finding out how overwhelming the flavor is, I decided that would not be a good substitute. I’m trying to think what else you could use instead of walnuts? Sunflower seeds?

    I’m so curious to see how this works. With the addition of the flax seeds and the slippery elm, this may be more effective with less molasses? At least that’s what I’m hoping. I’m so curious to know the results.

  • OK, so Pooka LOVES it. I mean LOVES, Loves, loves it. She would have eaten it until she got a belly ache if I let her. But she transitioned right into sweet potato without a fuss, which was great! My fear was that she would get a sweet tooth and not go back to her other foods, but no problem there at all.

    She wouldn’t eat the balls by herself, so I just fed it to her with a spoon instead of rolling it into balls. Way easier too!

    This batch had 3 Tbsp molasses and 1/2 tsp cinnamon and the taste and texture was pretty much the same. (I have edited the recipe above to reflect these changes.)

  • This is excellent! I have a very busy week ahead, but hope to try maybe over the weekend.

  • So we just got home from the first day of this month’s ABM intensive. Pooka was more fussy than usual, which made it exhausting. But I’m writing because my ABM therapist told me she had heard about something similar to our molasses balls. She said they are called, “Poop Balls”. Ha! I can’t find anything about them online, but I thought that was funny.

    I took a picture of my “Poop Balls” in my cute little glass baby food jars this morning. Aren’t they cute? The jars, that is. . .

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