Christmas .. my absolute favourite time of the year! This year, we are trying to do a healthy spin on some classic favourites – which means gluten free, refined sugar free & dairy free!

We LOVE rum balls and look forward to them every year.. however, not so much the sugar and nasties that are usually wrapped up in them as well. So, this year we have decided to make our own sweetened (with rice malt syrup – so fructose free) condensed coconut milk. It turned out amazing.. so amazing that I think this may be a new staple in our fridge?! So we used this sticky coconutty goodness as the binder in the balls, along with almond meal, dessicated coconut, rum soaked organic & sulfate free sultanas, cacao powder .. and more dessicated coconut! Ok, so the sultanas are not fructose free, but I used them in moderation! Recipes below…

Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
2 Cans Full Fat Coconut Milk (Organic preferred)
Seeds from 1/2 Vanilla Pod (or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla bean paste/vanilla powder)
3 Tblsp Rice Malt Syrup

Bring coconut milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Once boiled, turn heat down to a simmer, add rice malt syrup and vanilla and whisk until dissolved. Let the coconut milk simmer in the pan for roughly 45 minutes, whisking every now and again to ensure it doesn’t burn. Different coconut milk brands may take different times, so just keep an eye on the consistency, when you are happy with its thickness take it off the heat – the coconut milk should have condensed to about half or so of what was originally in the pan. Store in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week. This is also delicious in coffee as an alternative sweetener, or delicious with just about anything!

Rum Balls
1/2 Cup Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk
4 Heaped Tblsps Raw Cacao Powder
1 Cup Almond Meal
1/4 Cup Desiccated Coconut (& more for dusting)
5-6 Heaped Tblsps of Rum Soaked Sulfate Free Sultanas (you can use any type of rum, a dark rum is always yummy – soak for 24hrs or more)

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix together, if mixture is too dry add a little more condensed coconut milk until sticking together. Roll into balls and coat in more desiccated coconut. Put these little balls of scrumptiousness into the fridge to set. Just TRY to refrain yourself, the family will love these!!!