If you have a nut allergy, just replace the almonds with toasted sunflower seeds.
I prefer to use toasted almonds, but if you are in a hurry natural almonds will work perfectly in this recipe.
As you shape the balls, the toasted coconut butter will begin to melt slightly with the warmth of your hands. This is why the balls stick together. If you wish to coat the balls in desiccated coconut, roll the balls straight in the coconut after shaping. The coconut will stick to the melted butter. If you allow the balls to cool slightly after shaping, the butter will set and the balls will be far more difficult to coat with coconut.