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A Different Kind of Cake Ball

Posted Jun 04 2011 8:04am
I almost made you wait until Monday for this. That's when I had originally planned to post the recipe for the delicious snack I teased you with yesterday . But I'm not one to resist pleas of "give us those yummy balls!"* so I am here to appease your cat-like curiosity. What are these tasty treats?
*Seriously, what kind of world are we blogging in? Well, they're cakeballs, of course! But not your typical cakeball. No no, my little chickadees....they're Rice "Cake" Balls. :)
My roommate left me this package of rice cakes to use up when she left for Canada, as well as the rest of this jar^ of peanut butter.
^Is it still a jar if it's plastic? Automatically, I was transported back to childhood visits with my grandparents in Florida, where I was introduced to the rice cake + peanut butter = yummy equation. So, naturally (in the vein of my Graham-azing Peanut Butter ) I got to thinking, "How can I make this combination a little more exciting?"
Well, the obvious answer was: mush it all together! [Duh.]
And then make balls out of them.*
*Because the thrill that the play on words that Rice CakeBall allowed was just too tempting to ignore. To make these Peanut Butter RiceCakeBalls, you'll need to crush up six unsalted brown rice cakes. You can use a food processor if you have one...
Although I also made some by just crushing the cakes with my hands, and it worked just fine.
Then, add 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1 medium-sized banana (mine was a thawed, previously frozen banana...it doesn't really matter, as long as it's ripe and mush-able).
I added in a little cinnamon (and you'd want to add a pinch of salt, but the peanut butter I used already had some) and then started to stir...
...adding in 1/4 cup of raisins (because there is just something about peanut butter, cinnamon, and raisins...) in the process. [You could totally add chocolate chips, which I thought about later, but I was going for a vegan, gluten-free treat---why, I don't know---and didn't have vegan or gluten-free chocolate.]
Very quickly I realized that this whole mushing and mixing process just needs to be done with your hands.
Getting messy makes everything so much more fun, doesn't it?
Eventually you'll get everything to stick together and incorporate pretty nicely and evenly.
All that's left to do is press the rice cake 'dough' into spherical shapes (also known as "balls").
You can't really "roll" them; it's more of a squishing and molding process. If you eat them immediately, they'll still have a slight crunch factor, but if you let them chill in the fridge (and I recommend you do), they soften up and become the tree-hugging hippie cousin to the conventional cakeball.
Alterna-balls if you will.
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RiceCakeBalls
[Makes 10-12]
6 brown rice cakes
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 medium banana
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt*
*if the rice cakes and nut butter are unsalted

1. Crush the rice cakes in a food processor, or with your hands, and put into a large mixing bowl.
2. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl.
3. Mush and mash and stir together. [You can use a spoon, but it works best with your hands.]
4. Once everything is incorporated, use your hands to press the mixture into 2" round balls.
5. Eat immediately, or chill in the refrigerator. [The longer the "cake"balls sit, the softer they get.]
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As I was making these, I realized they would be a perfect, healthy, inexpensive snack to submit as part of the Austin Food Blogger Alliance's Hunger Awareness Project , helping to increase awareness of the Capital Area Food Bank and the SNAP benefits. [You can see my previous kid-friendly snacks and read more about the project by clicking here .]
After all, in addition to being vegan, gluten-free, healthy, and fun to eat... ...you get to use your hands to make them. And what kid doesn't love to play with food?
[For that matter, what adult doesn't love to play with food?]
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