Eat, Drink & Be Kari

Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

Healthy-ish Sausage Balls

NO Bisquick!

No Unnecessary Fillers!

First of all: Happy 2014!!!

Let’s start the New Year off right by eliminating unnecessary CRAP from our diet.  It all starts at home with YOU and your choice of ingredients.  Some choose to take the easy way out….but little do they know how simple the healthier version is.  Healthy doesn’t always mean more difficult.  I’ll prove that to you, just wait and see….

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls with Mustard Dipping Sauce

These are super tasty and at least a little guilt free!  Adding in a bit of Whole Wheat Flour and using herbs and spices really makes the flavors POP!  And the guilt-free mustard dipping sauce is a super healthy addition and really adds some zing.  When I got these off the baking sheets, they were virtually grease free.  I was super impressed….as were all the people enjoying them!!!

Gather Your Ingredients

Gather Your Ingredients

So, here is what I started with:

  • Flour (1 Cup Whole Wheat King Arthur Flour & 1 Cup Whole Wheat White King Arthur Flour)
  • Baking Powder
  • Fresh Grated Cheddar (please grate your own…this is a simple step that most people use a shortcut for….you WILL be able to tell a difference in the end result….trust me)
  • 2-3 cloves minced Garlic (can use garlic powder)
  • Dry Mustard
  • Onion Powder (not pictured)
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage (original, hot or extra sage are all delicious!)
  • Champagne with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.  This helps, I promise!!! (this is for YOU, not the recipe…in case there is any confusion)

TIP: You can also use Turkey or Chicken Sausage as well….it just needs a little extra fat, so be sure to add in a couple Tbs of melted butter or oil so your sausage balls won’t dry out.  I’m also wondering if you could use applesauce……hummm…might try that next and let you know how it turns out. Probably would be good with Chicken Sausage and maybe some apples and fontina cheese…..

Herb and Spice Additions

Herb and Spice Additions

That’s when I realized I didn’t buy the HOT sausage, so I needed to spice it up some with:

  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • Dry Mustard
  • Coarse Black Pepper
  • Rubbed Sage
  • Salt

*Add as much or as little of these as you’d like.  You can add anything you want to change the taste of these!

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients

Put all your dry ingredients into a large Mixing Bowl.  Flour, Baking Powder, Garlic,  Onion Powder, Dry Mustard, Red Pepper Flakes, Sage, Salt & Pepper.  Mix to Combine.

Add Cheese

Add Cheese

Add Grated Cheddar Cheese to Dry Mixture and toss to combine and coat the cheese.

Add Sausage

Add Sausage

Next, add the UNCOOKED sausage to the mixture. Use your hands and really get in there!!! Don’t be scared.  You need to break up the sausage and make sure it is all mixed in together.

Binder Time

Binder Time

You’ll notice it is not binding completely together. You need a little liquid to help this.  Add 2-4 TBS 2% Milk until just moist.  Add it in a little at a time so you don’t overdo it!!! I’m also going to experiment and use beer next time!  It should look like this and shape into a ball easily!

Get Ready to Bake!

Get Ready to Bake!

Roll them into Bite-sized Balls and place them on a cookie sheet.  I had enough to fill 2 full cookie sheets (24 on each) and most of a 3rd cookie sheet.  I made about 67.  So you should get anywhere from 55-70 depending on the size of your balls.

Little Bites of Heaven

Little Bites of Heaven

Pop them in the Oven on 350 for 15-20 mins or until browned and sausage is fully cooked.

Browned and Delicious

Browned and Delicious

Tasty little morsels right out of the oven!!!

Let em cool

Let em cool

So. Darn. Good

So. Darn. Good

Cheddar Sausage Balls

Cheddar Sausage Balls

ENJOY & DEVOUR!!!

This recipe is basic and can be changed up in so many ways.  I’ll also post another flavor change up for you, but here is the Basic Cheddar Sausage Ball Recipe:

Healthy-ish Cheddar Sausage Balls

  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 Cup Whole Wheat White Flour (King Arthur)
  • 1 1/2 TBS Baking Powder
  • 4-6 oz. Freshly Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 lb Nesse’s Sausage
  • 2-4 TBS 2% Milk (2 Tbs at a time)

TIP: Above is the BASIC recipe.  You can change/add any herbs/spices from here on!

  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1-2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2-3 Cloves Minced Garlic (or 1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder)
  • 1/2 tsp Fresh Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • Pinch Salt

Mix all ingredients (flours, baking powder, herbs & spices) to combine EXCEPT the Cheese, Sausage & Milk.  Next add grated cheese to dry ingredients and toss to coat cheese.  Then, with your hands, crumble the sausage into the mixture…breaking it up and incorporating it into the mixture.  Do not overwork!!! Add enough milk to moisten the mixture, 2 TBS at a time.  (Tip: if you used turkey or chicken sausage, it might take a little bit more!!!)  Roll into bite sized balls.  Bake 350 for 15-20 mins until browned and sausage is cooked through.

Mustard Dipping Sauces:

* Combine equal parts, or 2-3 heaping TBS, Creole Mustard and Dijon Mustard.  Mix.

* Combine equal parts Yellow, Dijon & Whole Grain Mustard with a dash of Worcestershire. Mix.

* Combine 2 TBS Whole Grain Mustard & Dijon Mustard, 1 TBS Mayonaise, Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt.  Mix.

And there you have it, folks.  Probably one of my husband’s favs.  I hope you enjoy the sausage balls as much as my family does.  I’m also going to quickly share a flavor change up for you!  Here goes:

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

Cheddar Jalapeño Sausage Balls

These are out of this world!!! But, careful, the pack quite a kick!!!

Basic Dry Ingredients

Basic Dry Ingredients

Here I used the same dry ingredients in my basic recipe, but added in 2 TBS dried jalapeño bits. These bad boys are SUPER spicy!!! You could also substitute fresh jalapeño.  Depending on your spice preference, one should do the trick…or even half if you don’t like heat.  I also omitted the fresh garlic and red pepper flakes.

  • 2 TBS Dried Jalapeño Bits
  • 1 TBS Rubbed Sage
  • 1 TBS Dry Ground Mustard
  • Fresh Black Pepper & Salt
Cheddar & Scallions

Cheddar & Scallions

Next add in your freshly grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese and 3 diced Scallions. (whites and green parts)  Toss to combine and coat in dry mixture.  Add the sausage.  Mix with hands.  Add a bit of milk until moistened.

Pop in the Oven

Pop in the Oven

Roll into Bite Sized Balls and Pop into the Oven.

350 for 15-20 mins.

Dee-damn-licious

Dee-damn-licious

These are super tasty and bursting with flavor!!!

Careful if you don't care for Spicy Sausage Balls

Careful if you don’t care for Spicy Sausage Balls

If you don’t like spice, or heat, just stick to the regular basic recipe!

So Yummy!

So Yummy!

Moist and Delicious because no one likes dry Sausage Balls!!!

Enjoy!

Happy 2014!

Cheers!!!

eat.drink.be Kari

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