Cherry Balsamic Turkey Meatballs

Appetizer number 2 is something you will find at every pot luck, company party, birthday celebration, etc. MEATBALLS! These are a little healthier though because they are lean turkey meat. Again, I am not fond of the 99% fat free meat. You might as well eat dry wall. No matter how much yogurt you add to them to make them moist, they still turn out dry as can be. So please do yourself a favor, buy the 93% lean, 7% fat. It’s good fat, lean protein, and tastes so much better! Remember you need fat in your diet 🙂

I put these in the slow cooker so I could do some other things that needed to be done. I also really needed to clean out my fridge and cabinet (how most of my recipes are brought to life).  Plus, mixing sweet flavors with savory is one of my favorite things!

These are super moist from the slow cooker, have a tartness and sweetness from the cherries, and a zing from the balsamic vinegar.

For this recipe you will need: 
-1-1.5 lbs of lean ground turkey meat
-1/2 small white onion diced
-1 Tablespoon of garlic
-1 Tablespoon of ground flax meal
-1 Tablespoon of water
-2 cups of tomato sauce or petite diced tomatoes
-3/4 cup of dark red cherries (frozen for this time of year)
-1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
-2 Tablespoons of Guar Gum (for thickening)
-pepper

(Makes 30-32 meatballs)

Start by making your meatballs. Add the white onion, and garlic to the turkey meat. You also want to mix your flax seed meal here. Mix 1 Tablespoon of flax meal with 1 Tablespoon of water. Let this sit for 5 minutes and you end up with an egg-like consistency. You can also use a regular egg here, but I like the flax meal! Add to the turkey meat and mix.

All ingredients for the meatballs

All ingredients for the meatballs

Roll into small meatballs

Rolled meatballs

Rolled meatballs

Place them in the slow cooker and pour 1 cup of tomato sauce over the top

1 cup of tomato sauce

1 cup of tomato sauce

Next grab your frozen cherries, thaw them of course! I used 3/4 cup (what I had left over) and closed the bag and gave them a good mash! Pour the mashed cherries into a measuring cup. Add 1 cup of diced tomatoes or tomato sauce (I only had diced so I gave these a mash as well), then 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar

The cherry marinade

The cherry marinade

I had more meatballs, so I just layered some more on top

Layering!

Layering!

Pour the cherry marinade on top of the meatballs

Cherry Balsamic over the meatballs

Cherry Balsamic over the meatballs

Give them a GENTLE toss, you don’t want them to fall apart!  Cover and place on high for one hour.

In one hour you have this:

1 hour in

1 hour in

Cover again and place on low heat for 3 more hours. After 1 hour, sprinkle in 1 Tablespoon of guar gum. This is a thickening agent. I found it in the spice aisle.

You could also use cornstarch

You could also use cornstarch

When the 3 hours are up, sprinkle in another Tablespoon of guar gum, turn the pot on warm, and cover.

I wanted the sauce to thicken overnight but not overcook the meatballs, so I left on warm.

In the morning (5 hours later) I woke up to this!

Morning Meatballs

Morning Meatballs

Yummy cherry balsamic meatballs! Nutritional info (4 meatballs per serving): 156 calories, 6.4 grams of fat, 6 grams of carbs, 17.5 grams of protein. Great source of protein and low calorie!

Luscious Little Meatball

Luscious Little Meatball

I didn’t have time to make them all fancy, but I don’t think they need it 🙂

Skinny Minnie Meatballs- 156 calories per serving (4 meatballs)

Skinny Minnie Meatballs- 156 calories per serving (4 meatballs)

Great little appetizer to take with you to a party, or just to eat as a meal!

Side note: refrigerate these for a few hours if you can before serving and reheat! This will really help the sauce to set some! 🙂

XOXO With a Cherry On Top,

-Minnie

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