Mark Valencia & Self Sufficient Me’s Raw Vegan Tamarillo Fruit Balls6
It is DAY 25 of "Raw Food Recipes with Excalibur" and we continue our Excalibur 9-Tray Dehydrator Giveaway celebration with a fellow Aussie -- the wonderful Mark Valencia from Self Sufficient Me. I was introduced to Mark through Excalibur. They are HUGE fans of Mark's site, and I can see why! This website ROCKS! It is absolutely LOADED with tips and information for living a self sufficient lifestyle.
Although Mark's main blog is based out of Bellmere, a small suburb in South East Queensland, Australia, approximately 45kms north of Brisbane, this is a global community website. You can participate and share information about sustainable living in the global forum, Self Sufficient Culture, or the Self Sufficient You section.
After retiring from the Australian Army in 2008 after twenty-one years of service, Mark decided to share his life-long passion with sustainability by sharing his knowledge, and create a community forum where other people around the world could share their eco-living tips. Thorugh his website, Mark helps people save money, become healthier, reduce waste, recycle more, and thus help to sustain the environment and our planet.
I literally got lost on Mark's website for HOURS, reading through the wealth of information that he has to offer. What is compelling about his writing is that it comes from a place of real hands-on experience, making it more valuable. You can read about solar energy; fruit and vegetable growing tips; recipes, and more. These raw vegan coconut covered tamarillo balls are a wonderful example of Mark's simple recipes.
If you have never tried tamarillos, give them a go. Tamarillos are a cousin of tomatoes, and have leathery skins that are red or orange when ripe, much the same as mangoes. The orange/red flesh is a little tart with a mass of edible seeds in the centre. The seeds look like tomato seeds but are hard like passion-fruit. Tamarillos are packed with nutrients like: vitamins C & E; potassium and iron; and loads of antioxidants. You can read more about Mark's extensive experience with tamarillos in his article.
Now, dried tamarillos can be extremely tart and papery in texture, and the seeds quite unpalatable. However, Mark strikes a fantastic balance using sweet moist pineapple in these coconut covered balls and lets the tamarillos shine. These are really delicious, and make a fantastic snack for school or work lunches. What I love about this recipe is that it is SUPER EASY with a flavour that offers something different!
Mark -- thankyou for generously participating in this event. GO AUSSIES!
Mark Valencia & Self Sufficient Me’s Raw Vegan Tamarillo Fruit Balls
- 20 large tamarillos
- ½ a small fresh pineapple
- 1 ½ cups dried unsweetened shredded coconut
- De-seed the tamarillos, scoop out the flesh with a spoon, and discard the skins.
- Chop the tamarillo flesh finely with a knife (you could use a food processor but be careful not to puree the flesh) and place into a large bowl.
- Skin and de-core the pineapple, then finely chop with a knife. Add the pineapple to the tamarillo flesh and mix together well.
- Remove excess juice/moisture from the tamarillo/pineapple mix by placing the mix onto a single sheet of muslin. Wrap the muslin and whilst twisting into a tight ball extract the excess juice until the steady flow reduces to just a drip. Remove the juice (or drink it) and place the squeezed pulp back into the bowl. You could use a fine strainer, filtration bag, or sheer pantyhose to remove the excess liquid.
- Using about a tablespoon of pulp, make fruit balls by squeezing and tossing the pulp from one hand to the other.
- Then roll the balls in the shredded coconut, coating them all over. The coconut will help bind the fruit ball together as well.
- Place the fruit balls evenly spaced on Excalibur dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 135ºF. To make these truly raw, you could dehydrate at 115 for a longer amount of time.
- Leave to dehydrate for about 10 hours but check after 8 as it's important the fruit balls do not dry-out too much.
- These fruit balls are ready when the outer surface forms a thin dry crust but is still moist and chewy on the inside. The balls can be tested by cutting one in half or by gently squeezing the ball between thumb and forefinger – the other crust should feel dry but the ball should still have plenty of “give” when squeezed. The balls are not supposed to be firm to touch or crunchy right through.
- These fruit balls should last a week or so in the fridge. The outer crust may loose its "crunch" after a few days, but they'll still be nice to eat. YUMMO!
- Makes about 20 fruit balls.
Piggy Cooking Tips
How to prevent sticking when chopping dried fruits
Chopping dried fruits such as dates, apricots and raisins can be a sticky mess. The fruit sticks to the knife, the board and your fingers. To get yourself out of a sticky situation just rub a tiny drop of cold pressed oil onto the blade of your knife. The fruit will slide right off after cutting.