by Olena

Healthy Rum Balls

by Olena

5 from 2 reviews

Healthy Rum Balls

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 the Christmas music. He is THE genius Frank Sinatra!

Healthy Rum Ball ingredients in food processor

Starting today, 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’s sleepover 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.

Bottle of Rum

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.

I told you this story before but I will again. When I used to go to university I would study 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.

Container of medjool dates

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.

Toasted nuts on skillet

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.:)

Have a blessed weekend with love, wine and food. Me and Alex are going for a date! I KNOW. I’m like WOW myself from my own idea and inviting myself. Truth is Alex asked me out last weekend but I was too tired or we were too busy.

Looking for more spice treats? Try my healthy gingersnap cookies, healthy gingerbread cookies, or healthy gingerbread fudge.

Healthy Rum Balls


Healthy Rum Balls

healthy rum balls

5 from 2 reviews

Healthy rum balls recipe with toasted nuts, dates, cacao powder, rum, spices, oats and chia seeds. THE BEST healthy chocolate rum balls!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 26 rum balls 1x


Dry Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:


  • Cacao powder, for coating


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

11 comments on “Healthy Rum Balls

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  1. These are great. I made them nut-free using Nutiva’s Superseed Blend instead of the nuts and they turned out great. I just processed the oats before adding everything else. Super simple!

  2. I’m glad you found a use to that rum! hahaha i will definitely try to make this, although after my pancake catastrophe I’m not sure i can pull it off.
    P.S. you should definitely try whatever is left of that rum with some coke, and if it is too sweet add some club soda, I think it is something you might like.

    1. LOL just don’t show this recipe to your dad haha. We will sip on it with ice at special occasions. I think I’m past the stage when I can handle coke. I bought zevia to drink with this rum, which is natural one, and couldn’t just stomach it. We will offer it to guests and drink on Christmas remembering your family, my dear! xoxo

    1. Totally healthy. Not all calories are not created equal. 106 calories in pop are empty and unhealthy, 106 calories in a ball full of fiber, healthy fats and complex carbs, not to mention vitamins is absolutely healthy. It is not calories you should be afraid of but rather added sugar, refined food ingredients. We shouldn’t count calories if we eat healthy. Just eat real food of good quality and you will be full before you know it.

  3. Medjool Dates! This is why I need you in my life, Olena! I can cook anything that comes to me already in a recipe, but I have no imagination at all! I am making your version, gratefully, this year for Christmas! Out with my old Vanilla wafer recipe, and in your much better version!

    I get that you are a Frank Sinatra fan, year round. Personally, I go for Bing Crosby! Another old time crooner. While he has great Christmas music, I am in love with everything!

    Most importantly, thanks for getting me out of the rut my years old rum ball recipe held over me. I am so excited for a much better option!

    1. 🙂 You are very welcome. Well, everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. If I could only create and write every day for half a day in a quiet and peace, I would call it a dream life. Reality is I get way creative time because of reality haha. I have so many ideas but they all need testing which means time. But that’s OK.:) Enjoy this Holiday season!

      1. You are Mom! Just that that is exhausting, especially with the demands of your boys hockey schedules. And no matter what others might think, being at home and working is actually MORE complicated than everyone (including mom) leaving for the day, when the house stays the way it is left all day. Your job is physical! Cooking, cleaning, tasting, photographing, and somehow, because you are there all day, it’s naturally expected that the normal household duties will be kept up too. I am just afraid that eventually something is going to have to give. Most working people take a full vacation from their job and you really didn’t even do that when you hit the sandy beaches! I feel concern. You are no longer a blog That I read, I feel I know you through your family stories and the history that you shared. So please, consider taking a vacation for the busiest, most stressful time of year. Your followers are loyal! They will be right here when you return!

        1. I will be fine. Now I’m concerned about you being concerned haha. I had a few deadlines for projects I couldn’t ignore but I’m gonna slow down with work as of Friday and with kids duties as of next week. It is just crazy because of the holidays activities.
          I actually had a very relaxing sandy beach vacation with Alex. I didn’t work at all. Didn’t even post anything on social media.
          You nailed my job description working from home is tough. In a way. I’m slowly training everyone to do more. But I can’t imagine going to work for someone else in an office. Yuk. Plus I love my home. I love my blog and all of you girls for being so loyal and generous and healthy. Don’t worry about me. I needed to complain haha. Big hug!!!

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