Healthy Vegan Food & Jungle Ball Recipe

Jungle Balls up close

I have lots of pictures to share with you today, plus a new recipe for what I’m calling Jungle Balls (inside joke: I’ll explain later).

Angela from Oh She Glows shared a similar nut-free version of these easy treats yesterday that are generally a mixture of nuts or seeds plus dried fruit.

My version uses a base of almonds and hemp seeds, with currants and raisins to sweeten, cinnamon and carob for flavor, and then a punch of protein-powder. I like the Sunfood brand of Sacha Inchi Powder. I have no affiliation or financial interest in this brand, but you can support me by buying it through Vitacost using this link if you’re a new customer (we both get $10 off):

Sunfood Sacha Inchi Powder.

You can literally make this recipe in minutes using the food processor:

Ingredients in the food processor.

Then you just use your hands to make the little balls; my recipe makes a dozen. I took them along for a hike this past weekend:

Pictures from hiking.

Another hiking picture.

Okay, so I didn’t exactly eat them while hiking, but they were a welcome treat with my pre-packed, post-hike lunch:

Post-hike lunch.

Since I haven’t been eating any refined sugars for almost one month exactly(!), my taste buds go crazy when I indulge in something that has dried fruit:

Jungle Ball ready to be eaten!

Here’s my recipe:

Jungle Ball Recipe
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup currants
  • 1 tablespoon carob powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ceylon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vegan protein powder
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
Instructions
  1. Place almonds in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse for 15-20 seconds or until ground.
  2. Add hemp seeds, raisins, currants, carob, vanilla, cinnamon, and protein powder and pulse to combine. Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
  3. Turn on the food processor and pour in the water through the feeding tube. Let the processor run until the dough forms a big ball.
  4. Then, use a spatula to transfer the mixture into a medium bowl. Use your hands to form a dozen balls.
  5. Chill for at least several hours before serving.

Oh, so did you want to hear the story of how the Jungle Balls got their name? Alan and I have gone to Maui in the past for vacation. We’ve been several times and we always go to this awesome health food store called Down to Earth. They have a counter inside where you can order salads and sandwiches, plus fabulous healthy desserts. The last time we went, they had a raw cookie called Jungle Balls that we were so addicted to. Every time we went by the store, we had to stop and get some Jungle Balls. This was several years ago and I honestly can’t even remember if their recipe is anywhere similar to mine, but the name stuck. :)

Here are some more pictures of late.

I’ve been loving all of the fresh summer produce from the farmers’ markets including these radishes, tomatoes, and a lemon cucumber that got used in my green salad:

Farmers' market summer veggies.

I made these soft tacos for Alan topped with the same veggies:

Soft tacos for Alan.

Who knows what this omega-3-rich weed is that I pay good money for?

Purlsane!

The fruit is unbelievable this summer:

Fresh fruits of summer.

A favorite breakfast is some chopped fresh fruit topped with homemade soy yogurt, buckwheat groats, cinnamon, chia, flax, and a dash of almond milk:

Fruit and soy yogurt with buckwheat groats.

I’ve been making kale chips again lately and serve them with my morning green smoothie, ‘natch:

Green smoothie and kale chips.

I’m eating lots of salads with my other latest obsession: raw crackers:

Salad with raw crackers.

Ms. Gena of Choosing Raw was kind enough to contribute her fabulous cracker recipe to Vegan Delish, the healthy recipe app for your iPhone or iPad (download here!):

Almond Rosemary Crackers on Vegan Delish.

I think I’ve made three batches so far of these:

Crackers up close.

With so much good stuff, I feel like I’m overflowing with gratitude, health, and happiness:

Carrie at the beach.

This summer has been significant for me as I finish my master’s degree project in public health nutrition and begin to think about post-student life. I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about what I want to do next. At this point, I can’t tell you what that will include exactly, but I do know that as long as I’m taking care of myself by living a healthy, compassionate life and doing my best to inspire others to do the same, then I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose.

Let’s continue on this path together, shall we?

The road less traveled.

Have a wonderful rest of your week and I’ll see you back here on Friday with more delicious food.

Want more of Carrie on Vegan? Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or Google+ and don’t forget to help keep my blog going by downloading my recipe app, Vegan Delish, on the iTunes store here.

Comments

    • says

      Great question, Suzanne. I am under the impression that soaking and rinsing nuts before eating helps increase their nutritive value.

  1. Diane says

    ha! your green high in omega-3 is an edible weed called purlane! i have it growing in my garden, but haven’t tried it yet. i didn’t plant it so i’m not exactly sure that i want to try it! what do you think about it?

    • says

      Yep, you got it Diane. The vendor I buy it from says you can eat purslane raw in a salad. I tried that and ICK! did not like it. So, I always just blend it into my green smoothies. :)

  2. Ozlem says

    Ha haa!! Diane beat me to it. It is purslane and I love it!! It is very common in Turkey and two ways to prepare it:
    Garlic yoghurt mixed together with raw cleaned purslane (I suppose you can use soy or almond greek yogurt)
    Or cooked with tomatoes spices etc. and topped with some yogurt (see above)
    Either way yummy for sure!! Enjoy.

    • says

      Hmmmm, that’s a great suggestion, Ozlem, to combine purslane and yogurt. I certainly never would have thought to do that on my own. However, I don’t really like the raw taste of the purslane, it just tastes too much like grass to me. :)

  3. says

    I’m sure whatever you’ll do you’ll do it with passion! Sounds like you’re at a great point in your life.
    Love the look of your jungle balls- cinnamon and carob together sounds so tasty.

      • AImee says

        Ha. Too funny! Whenever we tell people her full name, they look at us like we have two heads. Our oldest daughter is Juniper, another favorite of ours!

  4. Elisabeth says

    Purslane tastes like sunflower seeds to me. Here in NYC you can pay a fortune for it at the farmers’ market and then observe it growing out of sidewalk cracks on your way home for your daily dose of irony.

  5. Linda says

    Google purslane; it’s a SuperGreen! More Omega-3 FAs than any other leafy veggie; high in vitamin C and A; iron, calcium, etc.

    Purslane is also high in oxalic acid, though, so be sure to drink plenty of water (or steam it to get rid of excessive oxalates.

    • says

      Hi Linda! Thank you so much for letting me know about purslane and oxalates, I didn’t realize it was one of those. I need to be careful about rotating my greens so I don’t get too much of that. I like your idea of steaming it first. Thanks again! :)

  6. says

    I’m always interested in seeing what people pack to eat when hiking. We go for long hikes where we have to eat lunch on the trail and since going plant strong it has proven to be a bit more challenging. I make something like your jungle balls but not too often since they are so high in calories!

    I love your photos. What kind of camera do you use?

  7. says

    Those crackers look utterly delicious. I need a bigger kitchen so I can justify buying a dehydrator. After buying a Vitamix, pressure cooker and a juicer I have no room left to store any more appliances! (The woes of being a healthy cook in a tiny apartment.)

  8. says

    Ooh the jungle balls sound great! I am going to try avoiding refined sweeteners for a little while too, so these will be perfect =)
    Love all the market food pictures! One of my favourite things to do is get up Saturday morning to hit the market up!
    You are most definitely inspiring Carrie =D

    • says

      Hi Toney! Yes, you could definitely add chia seeds, but it might change the texture of the balls because of the binding action of the chia. I would try adding about a teaspoon or two and see how that works.

  9. says

    I really love snacks that can be made in minutes and these Jungle Balls look amazing! Love that it’s made with ingredients I always have on hand, and that I can make them in the blender. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

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