Grain-free Christmas Rum Balls (vegan, paleo, dairy-free, low-carb + keto)

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #ketoA healthier, keto rum ball recipe that’s free from corn syrup, refined powdered sugar, and flour. Filled with healthy fats and under 2 grams of net carbs per serving.

Last year, I made this FREE Christmas Baking Ingredient Checklist – a list of 26 ingredients that every paleo, vegan and grain-free kitchen should have on hand for a successful (healthy) holiday baking experience.

When you get started on your Christmas keto baking grocery list, do hemp hearts make the cut? I’ve got to tell you… they probably should. Heck, they most definitely should.

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

Why Hemp Hearts are Great for Keto Holiday Baking…

They’re nutty. Making them a great keto addition to nut-based holiday recipes. Either as a full-on replacement, or subbed with half of the original ingredient and half hemp hearts. Either way, the nutty factor will remain!

They act like flour. Especially in no bake recipes. In today’s keto recipe, I swapped out the flour for hemp hearts, 100%. Worked like a charm.

They’re loaded with protein. 1 serving of hemp hearts has 10 grams of plant-based protein, your keto baked goods will fill you up far more than flour-based goodies.

They’re high in omegas. Over 10 grams per serving! So, you’ll be doing your body + brain a favor while enjoying the holiday festivities.

Many of the grain-free, vegan, paleo Christmas desserts in my Christmas Dessert Freedom Cookbook use hemp hearts. Booyah!

My favorite hemp heart brand is Manitoba Harvest. You can find their keto friendly products in most grocery stores (including Costco). Very accessible and affordable.

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

So, these keto rum balls… they have rum. If you don’t do alcohol, that’s okay. I’ve included instructions on how to use other ingredients in place of rum.

If you’re rockin’ a ketogenic eating style and have questions about alcohol… I’d like to offer up a bit of clarification. From what I’ve read, when a keto-fueled individual consumes alcohol the process of the body using fat as fuel is halted. This is until the alcohol is burned up in the system. For a small keto treat like this, it’s likely to be a couple of hours. During that time span, your ketone numbers will likely drop. When I was testing this keto recipe, 1 ball reduced my number by 0.8mmol/l, but it was right back at a solid number the next day. This is likely because it was such a small amount of rum. Larger quantities would take longer for the body to process.

Small disclaimer, right?

Okay, let’s get on with the keto hemp heart holiday baking… and in this case un-baking. Seriously, this keto recipe takes all of 15 minutes.

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

5.0 from 6 reviews
Keto Grain-free Christmas Rum Balls
Recipe type: Keto, Vegan, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Grain-free, Egg-free, Low-Carb, Keto
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
A healthier rum ball recipe without corn syrup, refined powdered sugar or flour. 100% vegan, paleo, dairy-free, low-carb + keto. Under 2 grams net carbs per serving.
  1. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet. Set aside.
  2. Place shredded coconut in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl of your food processor.
  4. Pulse until mixture forms a ball, about 30-45 seconds.
  5. Pinch 1 ½ tablespoons of dough and roll between your hands to form a ball. Drop the ball into the coconut and roll around until coated.
  6. Place the completed ball on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Transfer baking sheet to the fridge or freezer to set for one hour.
  8. These grain-free rum balls hold up well at room temperature and can be frozen for up to 1 month.
Stevia or Coconut Sugar: I used stevia for this keto recipe because I like the taste. However, if you do not like stevia, or aren’t living sugar-free, you can use coconut sugar in this recipe. Another sugar-free option would be xylitol. If Xylitol is used, you could try 2 tablespoons, ground before adding to the recipe.

Rum: if you don’t like rum at all, don’t add it! You could replace it with water, some vanilla extract or your favorite coconut milk.

View Nutrition Information (once on page, scroll down)

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

Once all of the ingredients (except the coconut) has been added to the bowl of your food processor, process until a ball forms, like this.

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

Pinch dough, and roll into golf ball-sized balls, like this…

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

Then (the funnest part!) roll each of the balls in coconut. This used to be my job when I was a kid, helping my Mom with our Christmas baking. Pretty sure I ate half the coconut before it reached the bowl.

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

Place the balls back on the sheet and refrigerate to set.

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

Dig right in!

Healthy Christmas Rum Balls #vegan #paleo #dairyfree #lowcarb #keto

There you have it, another deliciously keto rum ball recipe to add to my collection, and yours! And hey, this one is actually pretty darn good. No sugar… at all! Not even 1 gram.

Have you used hemp hearts in your keto holiday baking before?

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Happy Keto Body


  1. We are a treenut free home (coconut is ok) but almond is out…. Is there anything I could use to substitute for the almond flour?

    • You could try sunflower seed flour (ground sunflower seeds)!

  2. Hi Leanne,
    Can you roll the balls in un-sweetened coco powder like truffles? Also how many balls per serving?
    Thank you!!

  3. In a lot of your recipes you use almond flour, well I’m allergic to all nuts , what would be a good substitute for almond flour?

  4. Could you use Maple Syrup or Honey perhaps instead of the Stevia or Sugar please?

    • Sure can! If the batter becomes too wet, just add a bit more almond flour.

  5. These look amazing! I am totally new to hemp, and unsure about different products. Can I use hemp protein powder in place of the seeds?

    • Thanks! Protein powder may be too fibrous or dry depending on what kind it is. You could try adding it slowly until you get the right consistency, but I’d recommend going for hemp hearts instead if you’re able.

  6. Leanne you are a legend, these are the best Rum balls I have ever tasted! I didn’t have any almond flour, so I threw in some macadamia nuts into the vitamix and whizzed it all up. Most delicious creation. Thank you!

    • Hooray! I’m so happy you enjoyed them :)

  7. Hello! Interested in trying these but I do not have liquid stevia. What I do have is brown sugar stevia, would this work? Was also hoping to add a bit more rum than what the recipe calls for. Any idea how I might alter the recipe to incorporate more rum?

    Thank you:)

    • No problem! You can replace the stevia with 2 tbsp of brown sugar, or to taste. If you want to increase the rum, you may need to also increase the almond flour and cacao powder. Good luck! Hope you love them ;)

  8. These look very tasty….I’m definitely going to have to give them a try. However, I don’t see how you can claim they are sugar-free! If you read the nutritional facts on the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Pro 70 (chocolate), you’ll see it has 7g of sugar per 4 tbsp. Even the hemp hearts have 1g of sugar per 3 tbsp. Also while coconut sugar is lower on the glycemic index, it is still essentially sugar.
    Just nitpicking here, but it seems it is virtually impossible to create anything these days without sugar.

    That said, I’m still going to make them because they look yummy!

    • Hey! You’re right– they are only refined powdered sugar and corn syrup free. Thanks for sharing!