Seasonal eating part II
Dutch schools are on their autumn break this week. It’s the week of stores showing the first signs of Christmas and the time of pumpkin spiced Dutch specialties like ‘speculaas’ and ‘kruidnoten’, very popular throughout the Sinterklaas season. Which season..? Well three weeks prior to Christmas, we commemorate the death of Saint Nicholas, you know the historical person behind Santa Claus. But because kids are made believe he’s real and alive, we tell them that we celebrate his birthday instead. Either way, it is an exciting time for both kids and adults filled with presents and very yummy season-appropriate treats, but unfortunately most of those treats are highly processed and have low to no nutritional value.
So with the current Autumn break, the approaching Sinterklaas season and with Halloween in less then 2 weeks, I wanted to create a season appropriate guilt-free treat you and your kids can indulge in. My Chocolate covered Pumpkin Spice Bliss Balls have that seasonal taste, are fun to make (engage your kids, they’ll love it) and are a nutritious source of energy.
Serves: makes about 10 balls
Allergens/diet: refined sugar free, no added oils, dairy-free, vegan // contains gluten & nuts
Ingredients for step 1
¼ small size pumpkin cut into cubes
1 tbsp of water
1 tbsp Pumkin Spice (Speculaaskruiden)
Ingredients for step 2
½ cup dried mulberries
¾ – 1 cup rolled oats
1 tbsp natural nut butter
Pinch of salt
Optional: a teaspoon of curcuma to boost color.
Ingredients for step 3
High quality vegan dark chocolate
– Preheat oven at 180C (350F).
– Cut pumpkin into cubes and place in an oven dish.
– Mix 1 tbsp of water with pumpkin spice and pour over pumpkin.
– Roast pumpkin for 1:15 min until soft and caramelized.
– Let cool down before proceeding.
Tip: You can prepare the roasted pumpkin ahead of time, it can be kept in the fridge safely for 3 days.
– Place oatmeal in food processor and pulse into a fine meal.
– Add roasted pumpkin (about 1 cup after roasting) and all the other ingredients listed in step 2 in food processor.
– Process until a dough-like ball forms. If the dough is too hard or too soft, you can always add a bit of water or some extra oatmeal.
– Take the dough out and roll into walnut sized balls.
– Melt chocolate au bain marie.
– Place balls on a plate or tray with baking sheet and drizzle with melted chocolate and/or cover completely.
– Pop them in the fridge for a couple of hours for the chocolate to harden and the dough to set.
If you don’t want to get into the hassle of melting chocolate you can also roll the balls in finely chopped almonds, but trust me, the chocolate really makes the difference here and will be worth the hassle.
With Love from The Happy Earth Kitchen