Apricot Balls, Objects of Beauty & Desire and Simple As

ImageThere are some things I cannot resist. I guess we all have a our achilles heel and mine just happens to be dark, slightly sour dried apricots. I have to hide them in obscure places, in dark corners, behind less delicious foods. Trouble is I usually know where they are. My late mother loved making apricot balls with sweetened condensed milk which naturally she had to give up after she became diabetic. So, I have designed a new version using coconut oil to bind the mixture, some agave (or honey!) to sweeten and I think they are pretty yummy. Of course, you must have some liking for dried apricots, otherwise these will not appeal at all. I find they are great for lunch boxes. I keep them in tupperware containers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks (if they last that long!).

Apricot Balls

200-400 grams of dried apricots (my absolute favourite are from the farmer’s market on Wednesdays -ask the dry goods ladies for their secret stash of ‘zuur’ apricots.

1 small cup of dried coconut

half a cup of blanched almonds

2-3 tablespoons of runny honey (I like the ones with added lemon) or agave (from the health food shops)

half a cup of melted of very soft coconut oil (this is great stuff for cooking and used in many a raw foods dessert, keep it in the fridge and use for frying hotcakes, etc)

quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla syrup or some fresh vanilla seeds from the vanilla pod

and you can add some zest of lemon or orange if you like

Place everything in a mixer and mix until you have a consistency which sticks together. You may need to add in some more apricots(what a shame, not) or some more nuts. Try the mixture for sweetness – you may wish to add some more honey or agave if you are using that.

Mould apricot mixture into balls by hand using about a tablespoon of mixture. Roll in dried coconut and store in air-tight container.

Easy as pie, but possibly better for your iron levels!

The last weeks have been very busy and I have been buying some frozen spinach and feta pies from LekkerBrood on Piet Heinstraat and cooking them up for lunches in the morning. These are great for emergency lunches.They are too addictive. I made a tofu mince tomato sauce with mini mozzarella balls with wholewheat pasta today because it was grey and chilly. Suddenly it seems like time for melted cheese on toast or souffles. I keep thinking of Nigel Slater’s Toast so here’s a recipe to celebrate that great combo of melty cheese and bread. 

Cheesy Toasts for a glum autumn day

Beat together grated cheese and egg with any favourite green herb or grated onion.  Put the grill on high. Place rounds of bread with sun dried tomatoes shredded on top, dollop the egg mixture on and grill until golden. Eat right away or cool for later use in lunch boxes. 

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