The first step in making clean eating sausage balls is the flour mixture. You are duplicating the chemical laden baking mix that is normally called for in sausage ball recipes. So mix together your flours, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. Cut in cold butter with a pastry tool (see link below). You can use a fork or your hands for this step, but a pastry blender makes it easier.
Grate your cheese. Any kind of high fat cheese will work, but sharp cheddar is the traditional flavor for sausage balls. As you can see in the photos, I used a colby jack cheese. It turned out just fine but didn't have the distinctive orange tint that sausage balls normally have.
Why grate your own cheese when you can buy bagged cheese already grated? One reason is economic -- grated cheese is normally more expensive than block cheese. Another reason is to avoid the anti-caking agents that are put on grated cheese to keep it from clumping in the bag. What are those chemicals? Are they safe? The FDA says they are in safe in small quantities, but I don't see any need to take any chances. It is little extra effort to grate the cheese myself. My arms get a short workout, and I save a few cents at the checkout. Besides, I want my sausage balls to clump!
Now that you have your baking mix and sausage, you simply add in the cheese and water and mix well. This will seem somewhat dry, and you will quickly have to use your hands to mix it well. (Take off your rings first, and dive in!) As I wrote above, if you have leftover bacon grease, you can mix that in as well. Up to ¼ cup of bacon drippings will add flavor and healthy fat to your sausage balls. You can add olive oil instead of bacon grease if you feel your mixture is too dry.
When your dough is thoroughly mixed, form it into small balls about the size of meatballs. Place them on greased baking sheets. It's okay if they touch, but realize that they will puff when they bake.
The bottoms will get a crunchy texture from contact with the pan. If you like that crunchy texture, flip them over halfway through baking to get more of it on other sides of the sausage balls.
If you feel your sausage balls are not browning sufficiently, spray (or brush) them lightly with olive oil. That helps to give that crispy outside while locking in moisture inside.
Bake the sausage balls at 375° F. If you plan to eat them immediately, bake for the full 25 minutes.
If you plan to store them, precook them for only 15 minutes. Allow them to cool before packaging in zipper top freezer bags. Freeze for up to three months. Refrigerate for up to ten days. To cook, place thawed sausage balls on greased baking sheets. Spray or brush them lightly with olive oil and bake for 12-15 minutes until heated through and golden. The oil will give them better color and a crispier texture while locking in moisture. Do not neglect that step. Refrigerating or freezing your sausage balls dries them out, so replacing the moisture is necessary.