Gluten Free Yumminess: Banana Bread Balls

The fascination began when my then boyfriend, now husband, told me he was celiac. At the time I knew very little about celiac disease and even less about eating gluten-free (GF). As the years have passed, and many meals have been cooked, I’ve become comfortable modifying otherwise gluten-heavy meals to suit his dietary needs. And it’s been fun and relatively easy thanks to the myriad of GF pastas, breads, and snack foods available.

After our little man arrived however, I realized there was much for me to learn about making GF sweets. When T started solids we initially kept him on a GF diet which meant that whenever we attended a friend’s birthday party or any event where sweets would be served, I’d bake something special for him to enjoy. And while there are lots of great GF recipes for cakes and other yumminess, I struggled with amount of sugar and other processed ingredients I was serving him.

And so, I started looking for healthier options and came across this delicious and healthy recipe for banana bread balls. In addition to being truly very tasty (if you like banana bread, you’ll love these!), they are super-simple to make (only five ingredients!), require absolutely no baking, and are perfect to make with a toddler. T loves donning his chef hat and apron, helping measure out the ingredients, pouring them into the food processor, rolling the mixed ingredients into balls, and of course gobbling them all up!

Banana Bread BallsBanana Bread Balls


1 cup almonds, chopped

7 pitted dates, chopped

1 ripe-ish banana, sliced

1/2 tsp. vanilla*

1/2 tsp. cinnamon*

*I’ve made these both with and without the vanilla and cinnamon; either version is delicious!

Teague making banana bread balls

Easy-peasy, toddler friendly directions:

1. Throw the almonds and dates in a food processor and blend until mixture begins to get sticky (this can take a bit depending on your food processor; I’ve let mine rest for a few minutes in order not to burn the motor out).

2. Add in the rest of the ingredients until well blended.

3. Roll into balls (this is so much fun for the little ones; it’s sticky, but T loves licking his fingers clean afterwards!)

4. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days (ours don’t usually last beyond the day!)

Makes ~10 balls.

Do you have any favorite deserts (GF or otherwise) you like to make with your little ones? 

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4 Responses to Gluten Free Yumminess: Banana Bread Balls

  1. Jenny February 19, 2014 at 8:39 am #

    Mmm!! We make peanut butter banana balls with raisins (or chocolate chips), but almonds and dates sound amazing! Thanks Francesca. And T is SO cute in his little outfit!

  2. Natalie
    Natalie February 19, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    I will definitely have to try this out! Looks delicious!

  3. Francesca February 19, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    Yum! Those sound really good too, Jenny! We’ll have to try them:-)
    Natalie, let me know what you think and if you have any other versions – I love making these with T!

  4. christie elkins February 20, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    This looks super fun! Definitely one to try!

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