This simplified version of traditional rice balls are perfect for meals on the go and little fingers. It’s pretty easy to make extra rice for dinner and form some into rice balls for school lunches the next day. An extra treat is to hide something tasty in the center, like a tiny square of Savory Baked Tempeh, chunk of soft steamed carrot or piece of pickle.

Pumpkin Seed Rice Balls

1 cup room temperature freshly cooked brown rice, preferably pressure cooked (boiled brown rice will work if it’s soft but not too wet)
a few Tbsp toasted, ground pumpkin seeds

1.  Pour the pumpkin seeds into a shallow dish. Set aside.

2.  Take 2-3 tablespoons of rice in your cupped hands and mash together eventually forming it into a ball. At this point, you can make a little hole in the ball, tuck something tasty inside and seal it back up. Or, you can leave it as is.

3.  Roll the ball in the pumpkin seeds to evenly coat. Continue making balls until the rice is gone or you have made as many as you want.

1 cup of rice makes 5-6 balls depending on the size.


I like to use pressure cooked brown rice because it is soft and a little sticky. Keep in mind that fresh rice works best. If you need to use leftover rice that has been refrigerated, soften it a bit over hot water in a steaming basket, let cool to room temperature and then see if it will form into balls.

Tahini Sauce

We use this tahini sauce on almost everything. One of my favorite ways is on Millet with Cauliflower. Those are Mochi Waffles in the photo and even those got dipped by the two-year old eating her snack. Not a combination I would have chosen! By the time snack was done both the waffles and kale had disappeared.

1/4 cup tahini
2 tsp shoyu or gluten-free tamari
1 1/2 tsp brown rice vinegar

1.  Measure all of the ingredients into a small dish. Stir until incorporated.

2.  Add water a little at a time, stirring until smooth each time. Keep adding water until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.


I think every tahini tastes a little different, so you may need to play with the proportions of shoyu and brown rice vinegar to get the taste you want.

This sauce might thicken over time, so add more water if you need to.

Lemon Tahini Sauce

Replace some or all of the brown rice vinegar with fresh lemon juice.