In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay
an invincible summer. – Albert Camus
Marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year, the winter solstice occurs for the Northern Hemisphere in December and for the Southern Hemisphere in June. Around the world, it has played an important role in cultures—from ancient times to our present day. Interpretations of the winter solstice varies, but many cultures recognize it by way of festivals, holidays, rituals and other celebrations.
This year’s winter solstice occurs on Sunday, December 21st. To celebrate, my son’s nature preschool had a winter solstice party. I brought these little “snowballs” made of tapioca and coconut. They’re vegan, gluten free, nut free, and a great recipe to make with kids (big and small).
Boules Coco (Coconut Balls)
Adapted from Paperblog
Makes about 24-30 balls
100 grams (about ½ cup + 1 tablespoon) tapioca
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (about 13.5 ounces)
50 grams (about ¼ cup granulated sugar)
pinch of salt
1 cup shredded coconut
In a saucepan under medium heat, combine tapioca, coconut milk, sugar and salt. Stir until well combined and thickened. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and refrigerate one hour. When cooled, use your hands to form into round balls. Roll in shredded coconut and serve.
Note: I used granulated, quick cooking tapioca, but regular tapioca would also work. Some tapioca require pre-soaking. Check in advance and follow package instructions accordingly. The original recipe suggested rolling them in sugar, as well as the coconut, but I find them sweet enough without the added sugar.
Vanilla extract is a nice addition to these balls if you have clear vanilla extract. Please note regular vanilla will color your balls slightly and they’ll no longer be snow-white. If you don’t mind, add a ½ teaspoon of vanilla.