Orange Walnut Cardamom Balls

orange walnut cardamom balls

Despite the abundance of walnut trees in Slovakia, both feral and domestic, walnuts are still a precious commodity. Cracking the shells by hand is tedious and difficult work. Once I cleaned a couple kgs of walnuts to sell; by the end the tips of my fingers were reduced to shreds. At least, that’s what it felt like.

A word of warning on buying walnuts – most walnuts in a regular grocery store will be rancid. In fact, I’ve never bought a package of walnuts that were actually fresh. The oil in walnuts quickly goes old once the walnut has been broken, resulting in nuts that taste bad and are bad for you. Some places can order bulk nuts from this year’s harvest or you can take the time to crack them yourself (or bride a child). Store walnuts in the freezer or in a very cool dark place.

Raw walnuts can have a bitter aftertaste, which is neutralized by soaking and/or lightly roasting them. Soaking also renders walnuts more digestible, though it can change the texture of the walnuts. The no bake balls are rather sticky at first, so I rolled some in carob or flax meal. Any nut flour, cocoa powder, or coconut would also work. By the second day the balls are not so sticky, if they last that long.

orange walnut cardamom balls

Orange Walnut Cardamom Balls

200g (2 cups) walnuts, preferably soaked
70 g (3 Tbsp) honey
10 ml (2 tsp) orange zest
5 ml (1 tsp) ground cardamom

Preheat oven to 180C (350F), spread walnuts on baking sheet and bake for a few minutes until fragrant with a slightly sweet smell. If the walnuts have been soaked, they will take a little longer.

When cooled, pulse walnuts a few times in a food processor (those mini processors that come with a stick blender work too). You’ll want the walnuts chunkier than they will be in the final product, otherwise you’ll end up with walnut butter and cookies oozing oil.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix in processor until the dough starts to stick together. Scoop out dough and roll into balls with your hands. If desired, roll in optional nut meal or tasty powder. Enjoy!

Do you like walnuts?

Shared at Fight Back Friday, Simple Meals Friday, Whole Foods Friday, Pennywise Platter Thursday, Real Food Wednesday


8 thoughts on “Orange Walnut Cardamom Balls

  1. Pingback: Simple Meals Friday #72 - Nourishing Simplicity

  2. Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! 🙂

    Hope your week is great! Can’t wait to see what you link up this week!

    Cindy from

  3. Pingback: Healthy Dessert - Fruit & Nut Cake Bars

  4. Hi Naomi,
    I just want to compliment you on your WONDERFUL site. Being so busy myself, it is not often that a blog captures me enough to keep me for long, unless it’s on health and healing issues, since that is one my major learning focusses. I recently saw your comment on my blog and delightedly headed over here to like and follow yours, but was pleased even more than anticipated with your content. It is so similar to some of what I make and also to what I love to eat and read about. The old world setting is true to my heart too! I am working steadily on finishing my grain-free sugar-free cookbook and would love you to consider being a contributor, either for the book or for my blog. I have just started the blog and it is still very humble. But I hope, with some professional help, to get it more polished about the time I launch the book, in 6 months or so. Please feel free to email me at so maybe we can connect more. 🙂 Thanks again for your lovely writing, photos, and recipes!!

    • Wow, Megan, I am so touched by your kind words! When I saw your organ post, I thought, “Yes! Another crazily adventurous eater!” I’ll send you an email in the a.m. 🙂

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