In winter is there anything better than drinking a hot coffee on a cold morning? I don’t think there is, except for a flavoured hot coffee or a hot chocolate. The only problem is, that when flavour starts getting added to the coffee, the sugar content goes up, up, up. This means that a flavoured coffee is really only something I would have occasionally. However, I created these gingerbread vanilla latte balls after eating some gingerbread with my coffee on the weekend, and deciding that I needed something like this in my life every day. The gingerbread combined with the coffee has a really wintery feel to it, and it is definitely winter at the moment.
Apart from tasting awesome, these balls contain some ingredients that can have some positive effects on your health (unlike the sugar syrup used in coffee flavourings):
Coconut flour is gluten free, making it a great choice for people who are avoiding gluten. It is high in fiber (61%), protein and healthy fats, while remaining low in sugar, kilojoules/calories, and having a low GI score. The coconut flour that you choose to use should be made from 100% coconut, with no additives or fillers. I find the cheapest way to buy coconut flour is from bulk stores, or from the health food shop in their bulk food section.
Oat flour is made from ground up oats. This can be done by putting whole rolled oats into the food processor and blending until it is the consistency of flour. Oats have such good health benefits, their main one being that they contain beta-glucan. Beta-glucan is type of fiber that has been proven to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure, both of which are risk factors for heart disease. It has also been said that eating oats can improve your immune systems response to infections, as well as helping to stabilize blood sugar levels.
Peanut butter is delicious (obviously), and filling, being due to its mix of fiber and protein. Peanut butter contains vitamin E, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B6, which is great for the immune system. Although peanut butter does have some health benefits, it is important to watch your serve size, as it is just too easy to over eat it. A good way to buy peanut butter is from the health food shop as they usually have freshly ground peanut butter in large containers that work out a lot cheaper than the supermarkets sell it. Always look for 100% peanut butter, with no added salt or oils.
Almond butter or another nut or seed butter would also work in this recipe, but I chose peanut butter as it’s my absolute favorite food, so I use it when I can.
Rice malt syrup is made from 100% brown rice, and is 100% fructose free. The fact that this sweetener is fructose free means that it takes longer to digest and won’t cause a sugar crash like other sweeteners do (think cane sugar, honey, agave and maple syrup). Rice malt syrup is not an expensive product, and can be found in the health food section of the supermarket (it’s cheaper than honey). It is often on special, so I buy a couple of jars of it then and store it for later on.
Xylitol is sugar alcohol, which may sound a bit scary, however, as far as these types of sweeteners go, xylitol is pretty good, and can be found naturally occurring in some fruits. It doesn’t have the artificial sweetener taste that stevia does, and is actually pretty similar to the taste and texture of cane sugar, with 40% less kilojoules/calories. Xylitol if very low GI (cane sugar is 60-70, while xylitol is only 7 on the GI scale), and won’t cause a spike in blood sugar. It has the really random benefit of being able to starve the bacteria in your mouth, creating big benefits for dental health and helps to prevent tooth decay. Xylitol can also increase the absorption of calcium from the digestive system, helping to prevent osteoporosis, as well as having many more positive health benefits that I won’t list here. The big downfall is that xylitol is toxic to animals, so don’t feed any of your xylitol containing foods to your pets.
So, as you can see, these balls can help you to stay nice and healthy through the winter months, or anytime really. The spice mix and the amount of coffee used can be increased for a more intense taste, or less can be used for a more subtle flavour. Also, I don’t like things to be over powered by ginger, so I didn’t use a massive amount, but if you like it stronger definitely add more.
Gingerbread Vanilla Latte Balls (13 balls)
0.25 Cup/ 30g coconut flour
0.75 Cup/ 70g oat flour
1 Tbsp./ 10g, instant coffee
0.25 Cup/65g peanut butter
0.25 Cup/ 90g rice malt syrup
1 tsp/5g vanilla extract
1 Tbsp./10g mixed spice powder
0.5 Tbsp./ 5g ginger powder
3 Tbsp./45g milk of choice/ milk alternative/water
2 Tbsp./ 30g xylitol (for rolling the balls in)
1 Tbsp./15g ground cinnamon (for rolling the balls in)
0.5 Tbsp./ 5-10g mixed spice powder (for rolling the balls in)
Heat the peanut butter and the rice malt syrup until it is melted together. Make sure you stir it while its heating so it doesn’t burn. Either add the melted mixture to the food processor, or put it in a mixing bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the melted peanut butter mixture. Either mix by hand or in the food processor.
Add the xylitol, extra cinnamon and extra mixed spice to a small bowl and mix together. In a second bowl add some water.
Once the mixture is completely blended, it should be a bit crumbly, but wet enough to stick together when squished together.
Make into 13 balls. Once the balls are formed, wet the balls a bit in the bowl of water (so the coating will stick) and roll in the xylitol and spices. Refrigerate or freeze.
- If you are making the oat flour, put the oats in the Thermomix and mill for 30 sec, speed 9. Put it aside.
- 2. Heat the peanut butter and the rice malt syrup in the mixing bowl, speed 1, 3 mins, aroma temp, until it is melted together.
- 3. Add the dry ingredients to the melted peanut butter mixture in the mixing bowl. Mix, speed 4, reverse, 1 min.
- Add the xylitol, extra cinnamon and extra mixed spice to a small bowl and mix together. In a second bowl add some water.
- Once the mixture is completely blended, it should be a bit crumbly, but wet enough to stick together when squished together.
- Make into 13 balls. Once the balls are formed, wet the balls a bit in the water bowl (so the coating will stick) and roll in the xylitol and spices. Refrigerate or freeze.
Protein – 36.2g
Fat – 47.1g
Carbs – 96.1g
Energy – 3929 Kj/941 Cals
Protein – 2.8g
Fat – 3.6g
Carbs – 7.3g
Energy – 302 Kj/72 Cals
-I like to freeze all of the balls I make because it stops me from eating the whole lot in one day. If you have to defrost them first, it slows down the eating.