Instant Pot Healthy Ladoo/Pinni (naturally sweetened, gluten-free, paleo)


This might just be the easiest and healthiest ladoo recipe ever.

instant pot healthy ladoo pinni

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.

instant pot energy ball

Why am I Sharing a Healthy Ladoo Recipe?

Since posting my previous two halwa recipes (this and this), I have gotten some somewhat angry messages from you guys (and rightfully so):

  • 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?)

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:

instant pot healthy ladoo pinni

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.

instant pot healthy ladoo pinni

Tell me what you think if you make these – and what additions you try!


Instant Pot Healthy Ladoo/Pinni (naturally sweetened, gluten-free, paleo)

instant pot energy ball

Instant Pot Healthy Ladoo/Pinni (naturally sweetened, gluten-free, paleo)

5 from 8 reviews
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Servings 14 -15 ladoos


  • 1 cup ground golden flaxseed meal OR almond flour
  • 10 medjool dates pits removed, chopped into small pieces*
  • ¼ cup + 1 tablespoon water
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • ¼ cup raisins or another dried fruit
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds OR ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom


  • 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.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @myheartbeets on Instagram and hashtag it #myheartbeets!

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instant pot healthy ladoo pinni
instant pot healthy ladoo pinni

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About Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley. Thanks for being here! I truly believe that food brings us closer together. Gather around a table with good food and good people, and you’ll have the ingredients you need to create some happy memories. My hope is that you find recipes here that you can’t wait to share with family and friends.


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  1. Susan says

    5 stars
    I used half flax meal and half almond flour, and dried cranberries as I can’t tolerate rosins. Delicious! Thank you for another great, easy recipe Ashley. I absolutely adore your blog and use it a lot.

  2. sree says

    Hu Ashley, I want to try this recipe. I don’t have flax seed powder. Can I replace with chia seeds powder?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Sree, I haven’t tried using chia seeds so I can’t say for sure… my only concern is that chia seeds tend to absorb a lot of liquid which could affect the texture. If you try, please let us know how it goes!

  3. Mythili says

    The taste was awesome even with 3 few dates. The ladoos were too soft. Any chance you can share the weight of the ingredients? I’m not sure what needs to change to make them harder.

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Mythili, glad you liked the flavor! I’ll be sure to update the weight measurements the next time I make these 🙂 You mentioned that you used 3 fewer dates, that may be why they were too soft.

  4. bhanu says

    Ashley, your InstaPot recipes have changed our lives! The secret Punjabi magic vibe of the ingredients always matches something in our memory banks. Thank you! In this recipe…Do you think chickpea flour might work?

  5. Neha says

    How to store them? In the fridge? Surely not going to last more than 2-3 days anyways, but in case I end up making double the amount next time

    • My Heart Beets says

      You can keep them on the counter for a couple of days – after that, I’d put them in the fridge or freezer. I actually have a bag in my freezer now – they taste great when thawed 🙂

  6. Lyn says

    5 stars
    Is it possible to substitute dates with other dried fruit such as blueberries, cranberries etc? I don’t have dates but am loaded up with others.

  7. Poonam says

    Hi Ashley, I tried this recipe and I must say, I was really disappointed with the result. It did not taste good with the flaxseed meal. I wonder if anyone else has had better results. I use these balls now for my smoothie as I hate to waste. Would you be able to suggest a better healthy/tastier recipe from your list? Thank you

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Poonam, I’m sorry to hear you didn’t like this! I know it’s a bummer to make something and not enjoy the results. Do you normally like flaxseed meal? Perhaps you’d like the almond flour ones better? I’ll try to come up with more healthy dessert recipes 🙂

  8. Mimi says

    I am fascinated by this recipe. I want to make them for my friend, but he’s vegan. So you think I could sub coconut oil for ghee?

  9. Rohit J says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, Tried the recipe today and the ladoos were delicious! Loved them!

    I was wondering whether the cooking time would change if I were to use dried figs instead of dates?

  10. Rohit says

    5 stars
    Hi Ashley, I tried this recipe and the ladoos were wonderful! Loved them!

    I was wondering if cooking time changes if I were to try this with dried figs rather than use dates?

    • My Heart Beets says

      Hi Rohit, I’m so glad to hear that! I haven’t tried this with figs yet but plan to and will update the post when I do! If you try before I do, please let me know 🙂

  11. Isha says

    Hey,Ashley I liked this recipe & want to try today please let me know whether it be can made it a pressure cooker or not?will be waiting eagerly for ur rply.Thanks

  12. Gail Yeatman says

    What if you don’t have an instant pot but you got a pressure cooker. So the instant pot has sought a but the pressure cooker doesn’t. Can you toast them another way and start from there. I would like to try to make them if I can figure out how to do it in a pressure cooker or on the stove or in the oven

    • My Heart Beets says

      I’m sure you can do this on the stovetop – just boil the chopped dates in water with ghee and once they’re soft, stir in the nut/seed flour, raisins and spices! Let me know how it goes if you try 🙂

  13. PB says

    5 stars
    I am always waiting for new recipes from you Ashley Thomas. My wife wants me cut down the sugar so this will be good alternative desert. Also I like fennel seeds, gives licorice taste. I will try tonight.

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