Ginger balls, ginger balls, ginger all the way…
Don’t you hate it when you get a song stuck in your head, and then you start making up your own lyrics? … What? That doesn’t happen to you? Okay, never mind. But this recipe is really good, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself making up songs about ginger balls, too.
Following the success of my mint chocolate balls, I decided to get creative. Having just purchased some uncrystallized candied ginger from Trader Joe’s with no actual plan for how to use it, I decided that it might taste good in Larabar-style date and nut balls. These balls come together with only five ingredients! And they remind me of gingerbread, which is always a plus.
- 1 cup nuts (I typically use a mixture of unsalted roasted almonds and raw cashews, but you can experiment. Go nuts!)
- 3/4 cup Medjool dates, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup uncrystallized candied ginger (or less if you’re ginger-curious but not sure if you’ll like the stuff)
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Grind up the nuts coarsely in the food processor. (Just a few pulses will do. Don’t go nuts, or else you’ll end up with nut butter.)
- Add the dates and ginger to the food processor and process with the nuts until it forms a loose, crumbly, sticky mixture. You should be able to take a little sample and pinch it together into a solid mass.
- Add the salt and vanilla extract, and process just long enough to get them into the mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium-sized bowl and knead it together into one big blob.
- Find a diversion that does not require using your hands (music, TV, podcasts, etc.) and laboriously roll small balls between your palms. Your hands will become very sticky by the end. You can lick them when nobody is looking.
- Store the balls in the refrigerator in a closed container. They keep for several weeks but are best in the first few days, as they dry out over time.
Note: I took these pictures of the ball-making process when I made chocolate mint balls, but they apply to this recipe as well.
I really like these ginger balls! They have a strong, gingery flavor, which I enjoy, and they benefit from that endlessly appealing sweet/salty combination. They are a bit sweeter than my other ball recipes due to the additional sugar in the candied ginger, but I think they’re a nice seasonal variation. I awarded them a very high edibility score of 4.6, only slightly lower than the 4.75 I gave to the chocolate and mint balls. I didn’t think that Bill would like these balls, and I was right. He grudgingly agreed to taste half of one, though, which he did after bisecting a ball with surgeon-like precision. Although he decided that these balls were not for him, he did acknowledge that tasting them helped him identify the flavor that he doesn’t like in sushi – namely, ginger. So, ginger balls aren’t for everyone, but if you like the strong ginger flavor (and/or if you bought uncrystallized candied ginger and you’re not sure what to do with it), then you might want to make a batch of these ginger balls.