These healthy rum balls are fudgy and flavorful with no cream, condensed milk, or added sugar. Plus, with just enough rum to feel like a decadent treat!
In my household, it’s practically a rule that there must ALWAYS be snacks on hand – ready to feel hungry husbands, kids… and me! I always have treats like coconut oil fudge (or avocado mint fudge) in the freezer and snacks like peanut butter protein balls, almond joy protein balls, or these slightly grown-up healthy rum balls in the fridge!
Until today, if you asked my boys what are their most vivid Christmas memories besides a psychic Santa at the mall (thanks to a Bluetooth ear piece) and going on a West Coast Express Santa train downtown to drink free hot chocolate and juice at daddy’s work, they would have said “Mom listening to Frank Sinatra non-stop”. And they would have also added immediately “She listens to him all year round!!!”.
Every July Adam asks me “Mommy, why are you listening to Christmas music in summer?”. Well, what can I do?! Frank really turns me on like nobody else when it comes to cooking. Sorry, Alex. And he is not just Christmas music. He is THE genius, Frank Sinatra!
Starting today, though, their answer would have been “Listening to Frank Sinatra and looking happy after a few rum balls”. Yep, I’m making healthy rum balls and sharing a few with parents before the hockey game, and sending Adam for a sleepover with some. For the mom, obviously. To survive two 5-year-olds’ sleepovers Katie needs about 10 rum balls. Right, Katie!? She simply needs more balls in her household because I am drowning in balls of all kinds here.
I’m appropriate and proper. I promise. That is why Alex married me. I’m his dream wife.
These healthy rum balls remind me vividly of not so healthy brandy candy. You know those half moon shape chocolates filled with brandy?! I loved them!!! Until about 5 years ago I would buy them every Christmas.
It’s the same with lots of the classic holiday treats, if I’m honest. However, slowly but surely, I’ve been finding ways to replace all my ‘bad habits’ with just as delicious healthier versions – like healthy chocolate cake, carrot cake (or even GF almond flour carrot cake), pumpkin pie, and strawberry cheesecake bars!
I told you this story before but I will again. When I used to go to university I would study the first half of December for finals and eat brandy candy all day long. I didn’t eat anything else. I would eat this candy and go for a smoke. Back then we used to live in Calgary and just bought a huge house. It was just me and Alex.
Alex was at work because obviously somebody had to pay the mortgage. And I was studying. So, one of the bedrooms was my office with a desk facing a wall and a window facing another huge house. Totally depressing situation. No wonder I never want to study ever again after doing this for 6 years haha.
So, these healthy rum balls totally remind me of my early twenties. Just without a cigarette and so much better than brandy candy, of course. Made with toasted nuts, dates, cacao powder, rum, spices, oats and chia seeds. Let’s quickly go over the best ingredients to use because I’m sure you’ve got rum balls to roll and I’ve got a hockey game to go to.
Dates: Pretty please use Medjool dates like Natural Delights. They are meaty, soft, and moist. They mash and blend well yielding tender soft healthy chocolate rum balls.
Rum: We have this amazing family in Mexico that are our friends. In summer, they gifted us with a bottle of Ron Zacapa rum. I have heard it is one of the best. Do you know this rum? Since we do not drink hard liquor often, Zacapa worked like a charm for rum balls. And it is healthy, right?!
I used to love rum and coke in my “previous life”. These Holidays I’m thinking what if I buy one of those natural cokes and try it with rum. What do you think? Have you tried that? Any dark or even spiced dark rum would work great.
Nuts: The good news is you can use either pecans, almonds or walnuts. I used a mixture of three because that is what I had. Also nuts have to be toasted. Long time ago I came to a conclusion that nuts taste much better in any recipe if toasted. Just quickly in a skillet. There is a rumour on a street that they lose some of their nutrition but I don’t care.
I love my nuts toasted. And balls with rum. The end.
That’s it. Enjoy these healthy rum balls and be careful while driving. I swear, two balls and I was a bit dizzy for a bit. Perfect for an afternoon snack at the office, if you ask me. Watch out, Alex’s bosses. I know you are reading.:)
More Healthy Grab n’ Go Desserts
- Cacao nibs brownie bites
- Healthy lemon bars
- No-bake peanut butter oatmeal bars
- Peanut butter protein cookies
- Gluten-free snickerdoodles
- Healthy pumpkin bars
- Blueberry oatmeal crumble bars
I also have all kinds of muffin and quick bread recipes too!
Healthy Rum Balls
- Cacao powder for coating
- Add nuts to a non-stick ceramic skillet and cook on medium heat for about 4 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a food processor with remaining Dry Ingredients and process until small crumbs form. Do not overprocess, especially softer nuts like pecans, otherwise nut butter will start forming.
- Add Wet Ingredients and process for a few more seconds just until well combined. Place bowl of a food processor in a freezer for about 30 minutes.
- In a large Ziplock bag or on a large dinner plate, add cacao powder. Form golf size balls and coat/roll in cacao powder.
Store: Refrigerate in a glass airtight container for up to a week or freeze for a few months.
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