When I started making these I had never heard of bliss balls. A friend told me “They look like those bliss balls”, um okay, what’s that? Well I’ve since discovered that there are all sorts of bliss ball recipes around the internet and yes, I guess this one does fall into that category. A follower on my FB page commented that she uses cacao in her bliss ball recipe, so I’ve started using that too and she’s right, it’s fantastic, much better for you than cocoa but if you don’t have any cacao you can substitute with cocoa or milo. These ones are nut free and have no added sugar. I originally started making these as a substitute for muesli bars in the lunchbox and that afternoon snack time where you always go looking for something sweet before you start cooking dinner. Do you do that? These are great with nuts but in the interest of keeping them lunchbox friendly I have taken out the nuts but still managed to get that nutty texture and flavour. This recipe makes around 40 decent size bliss balls. I store them in the freezer for a
couple of weeks week.
Before you shop for ingredients, let me just say this, I use ALL preservative free ingredients. You, of course don’t have to and can reduce the overall cost buy buying the basic versions but dried fruit has quite a few extra preservatives in it and if you want to avoid all that it is worth shopping around. This recipe is a rough guide and you can put int whatever you like. The main thing is the dates and coconut oil, everything else can be substituted. Here are a few of my tips;
Aldi do a 500 gm bag of dates that are preservative free, they also do preservative free and organic raisins/sultanas that come in a big bag. Preservative free dessicated coconut is one of the hardest things to find and I buy mine at the health food store as well as organic cold pressed cacao and a massive bag of pepitas (I use them in salads and all kinds of stuff). Chia seeds and goji berries I buy from the supermarket. I know this seems like a lot of effort and it will look like a ridiculous price to pay for all these ingredients when you first buy them but once bought they last for AGES and can be used in lots of other things. I still maintain that it’s much cheaper than the muesli bars they have replaced. Adding the oats also helps to keep the cost down. Organic cold pressed coconut oil can be bought at the supermarket and health food store. Every couple of weeks I buy a bag of the dates and everything else I usually have enough of for quite a while.
Using a food processor, process the oats until they are a chunky flour texture. Add the pepitas and goji berries and process until they are a crumble texture (don’t over process as they give the bliss balls that nutty texture). Add the chia seeds, dessicated coconut and cacao and let them just blend through. Those cheeky little seeds will just fly around the processor, they wont actually process. Generously spoon in the coconut oil and then throw all the dates and sultanas on top of it all. If you put the coconut oil in last, it will struggle to blend. By now your processor may not be loving this, so to avoid it overheating, you may find it easier to do the rest in two batches. I always cut the dates (5 at a time) in half to check if there are any seeds before they go in. Process the whole lot until it’s all blended and combined evenly. If you pick up a spoonful and squeeze the mixture it should hold together. If it’s too dry add some more coconut oil, you will be surprised how well set they get in the fridge though. I also check the blades on my processor for any damage before I feed them to anyone in case I’ve chippped a blade. I never have though, but I think it’s worth checking.
Squeeze and roll the mixture into ping pong ball size or smaller and roll in extra coconut if you want. They set beautifully in the fridge but I store mine in the freezer and actually eat them from frozen often. I think they are delish and they are plenty sweet enough for me just using the sweetness from the fruit. If you want them to be sweeter though, you could add a drizzle of real maple syrup to the mixture.