This might just be the easiest and healthiest ladoo recipe ever.
These instant pot ladoos are made with dried fruit, toasty (nut or seed) flour, spices, and some ghee. They’re easy to make, naturally sweetened, and a great treat for those trying to make healthier choices this holiday season.
These ladoos (think: energy bites) are gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and there’s a nut-free option too.
Naturally Sweet Ladoos!
Healthy ladoo? I know… sounds like an oxymoron. Is there even such a thing?
Well, I’m making it a thing. Just… don’t expect this to taste like an actual ladoo, okay? I mean, these are naturally sweetened, so please lower your dessert expectations a bit.
That said, these are surprisingly good, especially considering that there is no added sugar. Not even unrefined sugar. This is sweetened only with dates and raisins.
When you cook down dates (as I learned when making these healthy caramels many years ago), they basically melt into each other as you mix them up. They also take on a great caramelly flavor. Combine that with toasted nut/seed flour, chewy raisins, and a pop of spice, and you’re in for a pleasant surprise.
Why am I Sharing a Healthy Ladoo Recipe?
- What the heck, Ashley. Are you trying to give us [enter health condition here]?!
- ONE cup of sugar? Who are you?!
- I love you, but I hate you (and also, more halwa plz?)
- YOU HAVE FORGOTTEN YOUR CLEAN EATING ROOTS.
I lost my way, you guys. I wanted to shed my rep of being “that healthy Indian food blogger” for just a little while. I got so caught up in creating desserts for Diwali and the holidays. I’m back to being my normal healthy-ish Ashley self… though I feel like I should probably warn you, I might go into a bit of a dessert frenzy again later this month. But that’s still a few weeks away.
If “healthy” isn’t your thing, and you’ve somehow found your way this deep into this blog post, then know that you can, of course, always add sugar to these ladoos if you want. But my main goal with this recipe was to create a sweet for those who are watching what you eat for health reasons. These are not authentic (like, at all), but they absolutely hit the spot when you’re craving something bad for you, you know?
Now, these ladoos still call for ghee, but healthy fats are cool in moderation (full disclosure: everything on my blog is just my opinion, and I am an expert in literally nothing). This dessert has a much more reasonable amount of ghee when compared to this or this.
But Ashley… this isn’t a real ladoo.
Goshhhh, I know. Did you even read anything I wrote above? Honestly, I had no idea what to call this dessert. Is it a ladoo? Is it a pinni? I still don’t really know. I suppose it’s more of an Indian energy bite/ball? It’s a round sweet treat made with ghee, dates, spices, and either almond flour or flaxseed meal. So maybe it’s an alsi pinni? Or an almond flour ladoo?
What’s in a name anyway… here’s a picture to distract you. Look! I took a bite out of it:
Look at how easy it is to make these ladoos:
Toast the flour!
Cook the dates to make them all soft and caramelly:
Add the toasted flour to the pot along with raisins and spices (if using)
Smash, smash! Roll into a ball and voila! Ladoos!
Healthy Ladoo Ingredients:
To make these healthy ladoos, you will need the following ingredients (for the full list/amounts, see the recipe card below):
Nut or Seed Flour: the ladoos you see in these photos are made with almond flour or golden flaxseed meal. I’m sure you can use another type of nut or seed flour if you want. I suggest roasting the flour a bit (see step 1) so that it gets a nice toasty flavor.
Medjool dates: I use organic medjool dates from costco. They’re big and plump and not overly dry. I’m sure any medjool dates will work – just make sure they’re not super dry/hard.
Water: water shouldn’t count as an ingredient, just saying.
Ghee: this recipe calls for 3 tablespoons. The ghee is important in keeping the dates from sticking to the bottom of the instant pot. I tried a few times sans ghee and the dates burned, so don’t leave out the ghee, okay?
Raisins/Dried Fruit: you’ll really enjoy the chewy bites of sweetness that raisins add to these ladoos. You can try another type of dried fruit for a variation: dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried cherries – you get the idea. You can also add chopped nuts too if you want.
Spices: you can use fennel seeds or cardamom powder or whatever spice you like. I love fennel seeds because they are a little different from the typical cardamom flavor in most Indian sweets. Fennel seeds are also known for being helpful with digestion, making it a nice after dinner treat.
Tell me what you think if you make these – and what additions you try!
- Press sauté on the instant pot and toast the flaxseed meal or almond flour for 8-10 minutes or until it turns slightly golden. Remove and set aside in a bowl.
- Turn off the heat, add ghee and allow it to melt and coat the bottom of the pot. Then add the chopped dates and water.
- Secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
- Quick release pressure.
- Add the toasted flour back into the pot along with the raisins and spice and mix well mashing it all together.
- Remove the steel liner from the instant pot (so the mixture doesn’t burn).
- Use a small cookie scoop to remove the warm mixture and roll into balls. Set the ladoos on a plate and let them cool, then eat!
*you need to chop the dates into small/medium pieces so they really soften.
feel free to change this up by adding different additions to the ladoos! you can add chopped nuts, dried fruit and spices.