What do you get when you cross a coconut macaroon cookie with a truffle? A bliss ball! These are my favourite little treats. They are easy to make, contain no refined sugar/oil and even look festive.
I make a variation of these all year around. After you create your base of dates and nuts, the sky is the limit. You can create all sorts of combinations using cranberries, cocoa, raisins, nut butters, coconut, etc.
These particular bliss balls combine orange and chocolate for a lovely holiday flavour. We all know what comes out this time of year that is also orange and chocolatey -
Among the ingredients we have some delicious rancid milk products, artificial flavours and of course tonnes of sugar. Vanillin is also an ingredient, not to be confused with actual vanilla extract. Vanillin is a synthetic compound used in a lot of sweet foods to give a vanilla taste. You may be surprised to learn the starting material can come from many peculiar sources. “There is even a small market in vanillin that comes from the glands of beavers.”
So let's make some thing more appetizing shall we?
Orange & Chocolate Bliss Balls
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 cup raw cocoa nibs
1 cup dates (soaked and soft)
1 teaspoon of REAL vanilla extract
1/4 cup cacao powder (or carob powder)
Zest and juice of one orange
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (to roll)
1. Add the nuts and cocoa nibs to a food processor and pulse to chop, making sure not to grind them into a powder...unless you would like a smoother more truffle like treat. I prefer to have a crunch to mine.
2. Add the dates, vanilla, cocoa powder, orange juice and zest and process until a sticky mass forms.
3. Shape small balls and roll in coconut. Or for a more truffle-like finish, roll in extra cocoa or carob powder. Shake off excess.
I sincerely wish everyone a happy holiday! Merry Christmas and all the best for 2015.
Director of Teacher Training for the Maritime Yoga College and Registered Holistic Nutritionist.