A quick recipe today as my brain is slightly fried after a couple of weeks of hardcore essay writing (read: procrastinating). I’m attempting to finish a social sciences degree while working pretty much full-time in a job that can, at times, be pretty stressful. Every semester, around this time, I ask myself why I put myself through the stress of working while studying but nothing beats that sense of relief I feel when I’ve handed up the last essay for the semester and I realise my evenings and weekend are my own again for a few precious weeks.
These sweet treats are loaded with nutrients and easy to prepare. They are inspired by the little balls of bliss I buy at my local health food store and the recipe is able to be adapted to suit your tastes and what you’ve got available in the pantry. These balls are made from finely chopped dates, ground walnuts and chocolate but you could easily use raisins, sultanas or goji berries and replace the walnuts with cashews, macadamias or almonds – even tahini or almond butter would taste great. They don’t need any cooking – just a quick whizz in the blender, and to coat I simply roll them in some lightly toasted coconut, my new favourite obsession. They store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week and can be made vegan if you use some dairy free chocolate or cocoa nibs.
Chocolate Bliss Balls
Makes about 10
1/2 cup dried, pitted dates
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup dark chocolate
1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds (*optional)
1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste (or vanilla essence)
a pinch of salt
3 tbspns toasted coconut
Place dates in a bowl and cover with boiling water to rehydrate for about ten minutes.
In a blender or food processor combine walnuts, dark chocolate and chia powder and blend well.
Drain and add the dates to the blender with salt and vanilla bean paste. Add a teaspoon of water if necessary to get everything blended together.
Form balls by rolling in the palm of your hand and then roll in the toasted coconut.
Pop in the fridge for about an hour to firm up.
I played around with some new flavours today after discovering I’d run out of dates and walnuts. The result was another yummy, winning combination. Thebitterness of the cocoa offsets the sweetness of the sultanas and cranberries. The almond and coconut together remind me a lot of the Coconut Rough I used to get from the deli as a kid:
‘Coconut Rough’ Balls
Makes: About 10
1 cup roasted almonds
1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup sultanas
1/4 cup dark chocolate
1 tbspn ground chia
pinch of salt
1 tpsn vanilla bean paste
2 tbspns flaked coconut, lightly toasted
1 tbspn organic cocoa powder
Prepare according to instructions above… Soak the fruit, blend and roll into balls. Roll in the cocoa powder and leave to set in the fridge.
Gemma has also made a couple of fabulous suggestions about flavour combos in the comments section below, Gemma let us know how it goes!