Vegan cashew butter balls, rolled in a thick layer of shredded coconut and boasting soft segments of dried cranberries and crunchy pistachios, enchant with their subtly sweet flavor and crumbly texture.
In general, cashews undergo significant processing prior to being packaged or used for nut butters and other food items. If purchasing the nuts raw, you’ll always find them shelled because their external layer (which is removed prior to going on the market) contains urushiol, a toxin, and the same compound found in poison ivy that causes an allergic skin reaction. It is no surprise then that cashews and poison ivy are related! In their original form, cashews are green and grow from the cashew apple. After processing, cashews are perfectly edible.
Cashews are the start of many of my recipes, from my thick and creamy cashew milk (which appears in both my sweet and savory creations) to my cashew ganache bars.
Vegan Cashew Butter Balls:
- 1 cup raw, unsweetened cashew butter (such as Artisana Organics or Once Again)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut (ground coconut chips also work): 1 cup for balls, 1/2 cup for rolling
- 2 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (ideally alcohol-free)
- 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped
- Food processor
- Baking sheet, parchment paper
- Medium bowl
Mix the cashew butter, 1 cup shredded coconut, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and salt together in a food processor. Remove the nut batter and place it in a medium bowl. Add the chopped cranberries and pistachios and work the batter with your hands, allowing the ingredients to fully incorporate.
Divide the batter into 12 uniform balls, using a cookie dough scooper if desired.
Spread the remaining 1/2 cup shredded coconut on a plate (freshening the plate with additional coconut if needed). Roll each cashew ball in the coconut to create a thick coating and place the balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Allow the balls to harden in the refrigerator on the baking sheet for at least an hour before serving. Transfer these vegan cashew butter balls to an airtight container to store, refrigerated.