Sunday, November 16, 2014

Insanely Good-For-You Bliss Balls

This year, I have been on a bit of a mission to cut out as much processed food from our household's diet as possible. I always thought we were pretty good with avoiding processed food but when I really looked at what we were eating, I found quite a few nasties in there. There are additives and truck loads of processed sugar and salt in so many of our pantry staples it makes your head spin. I decided to get rid of the worst offenders and dramatically increase our consumption of whole foods. So hello leafy greens, fresh herbs, vegetables with every meal, seeds, nuts and eggs! I've also ramped up my garden activity and I'm growing a lot more of our own vegetables and herbs. After all, it's pretty easy to grow a few basics and you get the bonus of knowing exactly where it came from and that it's super fresh. I absolutely love spending time in the garden, so I don't really need an excuse to get out there and get my hands dirty growing food for us.

Today's recipe that I'd like to share with you is a gorgeous sweet, chocolatey treat that contains no processed sugar, wheat or dairy and is really quick and easy to make - my chia seed and cacao bliss balls. I came up with this recipe when I was trying to find a sweet mid afternoon treat that wasn't full of processed rubbish, but would still provide a delicious chocolate hit. I noticed a lot of health food stores and cafes had started selling different versions of these and figured I would have a go at making my own. How hard can it be? Well the answer is, not hard at all!

Chia Seed and Cacao Bliss Balls

You will find most of the ingredients for this recipe at your local supermarket or grocer, however you may need to head to the health food store for the raw cacao powder/nibs. Remember that cacao powder is not the same as cocoa powder (which is often full of sugar), it is a less processed product with a lot more nutritional value too, including heaps of antioxidants. When I make a batch of bliss balls, I wrap each one individually and pop them in the freezer. It means that they last a lot longer and you aren't as tempted to scoff the whole lot in one go! They don't get super hard when frozen, so you can grab one out of the freezer and you don't have to wait for them to defrost either.

I hope you enjoy my chia seed and cacao bliss balls. These little treats pack a big nutritional punch, will keep you going through the afternoon and taste delicious. Perfect to have with your afternoon cuppa. In fact, I'm going to put the kettle on right now.....

You will need: 300g fresh dates, 1 heaped tablespoon raw cacao powder, 1 heaped tablespoon cacao nibs, 1 cup chia seeds, 1 cup dessicated coconut, 1/2 cup pepita seeds, Extra coconut to coat the balls.

Method: Remove the seeds from the dates and place them in a food processor. Add the cacao powder, 1 cup coconut. Process until all combined.

Put the date mixture in a bowl with the cacao nibs, chia seeds, pepita seeds and mix well with your hands until well combined.

Shape into small bite sized balls, roll in the extra coconut.

Makes 12-15 bliss balls. Keep in the fridge - also suitable for freezing.