for the gelling solution
- 3 cups purified cold water
- 1 tsp sodium alginate
for the eyeballs
- 6 oz. vegan yogurt (I used So Delicious Plain Greek Cultured Almond Milk)
- 1 tsp calcium lactate (yes, it’s vegan)
for the pupil/iris
- 6–8 blueberries
- 6–8 chocolate chips (I used Guittard brand)
- cherry or beet juice
- To make the gelling solution, fill a large measuring cup with the purified cold water. Add in the sodium alginate and blend for a full minute with an immersion blender. Allow to sit undisturbed for about 30 minutes to allow the air bubbles to settle.
- To make the eyeballs, place the yogurt and calcium lactate into a small bowl. Stir with a spoon until well combined, then set aside.
- Find a drinking glass with a circular base, no more than 2-3 inches in diameter. Pour enough of the sodium alginate solution to create a very thin film on the bottom of the glass, then drop a heaping tablespoon of the yogurt into the glass. It has to be dropped carefully and in one shot to achieve a perfect spherical shape.
- Now, tip the glass to a 45-degree angle, then very slowly pour more solution over the top until it’s covered, then slowly raise it back up to a 90-degree level (sort of like pouring a beer carefully into a glass).
- Next, swirl the sphere around in a circular motion for about 30 seconds to create the spherical shape. (It may look at little misshapen, but it will smooth out nicely once placed on a flat surface.) Set it down and leave the ravioli undisturbed in the glass for about a minute.
- By now, the sphere should be very sturdy. Pour the solution and sphere into your hand, then rinse it off under cold water, then place it into a bowl of clean cold water while you make the rest of the spheres.
- To make the iris/pupil portion, make a small “x” at the top end of a blueberry. Press a chocolate chip into the center, and repeat until you have 6-8 of them. You could also use different kinds of sliced fruit like green or purple grapes or sliced raspberries to make different eye colors.
- Remove the spheres from the water and place on a plate or in a bowl. Lightly press the blueberries into the sphere, taking care not to break it in the process. Drizzle with beet or cherry juice, if desired.
- You can make these a day ahead if you want. Just store the spheres in cold purified water in the refrigerator and assemble them with the fruit and chocolate right before serving.