Umbongo Balls

When life gives you passion fruits… make umbongo balls!

We were blessed to pet sit (Yogi Bear & Daisy Mae pictured below) in a tropical paradise… a beautiful Goan/Portugeese House in the Indian Jungle with passion fruits growing on the veranda.

I’d gone from never having had fresh passionfruit straight off the vine… to being inundated with a daily fresh crop of passion fruit… I started to get creative in the kitchen.

Energy Balls are simple to make and create your own unique version. This recipe is super quick and easy to make…

The flavour of these Vegan Energy Balls reminds me of the Umbongo Juice we had in my childhood… hence the name ? In-Joy

Umbongo Balls – Vegan Energy Balls


  • 6 dates – chopped
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup grated/desiccated coconut


  • 1 dessert spoon tahini
  • 2 heaped dessert spoons pea protein


  • 2 passion fruits
  • 2 tangerines (or more passion fruit)


  1. Add Lot One in Food Processor and mix for a few seconds…
  2. Add Lot Two and Mix…
  3. Add Lot Three and mix…
  4. Mix until the mixture is ‘tacky’… ie, it is sticky and rollable between your fingers without coating your fingers in a sticky, gloopy mess!!
  5. The pea protein will soak up some of the wet and thicken over time, so if the mix is wet, let it stand for a little while first
  6. If it’s still too wet… add some extra grated/decicated coconut and mix
  7. Once the mix is ‘tacky’, roll into walnut sized balls between the palms of your hands…
  8. Roll a few balls in grated coconut (cocoa or other seeds) for decoration… and place them all in the fridge to set
  9. In-Joy and Share

The Beautiful Passion Fruit

Native to subtropical regions of South America, the passion fruit is a vine, Passiflora edulis, thought to have originated in Paraguay, southern Brazil, and northern Argentina. It is a tropical fruit now grown all over the world.

The fruit has a colourful (purple and yellow are most common), tough outer rind and in the centre it has a jelly-like consistency with crunchy seeds, and a tropical perfumy aroma.

Inside each 5-8cm (2-3 inches) round fruit there can be up to 250 small seeds!

Passion fruit is a good source of fiber, rich in antioxidants: vitamin C, beta carotene, and polyphenols. Diets high in these nutrients have been linked to a lower risk of conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Grow Your Own Passion Fruit Vine

Find out more in Botanicals: The Passion Fruit

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