Friday, March 9, 2012

Bliss Balls

I wanted to share this recipe with you as I've had a few friends ask for it. I find it's a great little snack, particularly when eating light. I often have a salad for my lunch and I find that I can get a 'sweet craving' later in the afternoon. One of these does the trick providing a natural sugar hit with nutrients too.

This can be adapted to whatever fruit and nuts you have on hand. Just keep the proportions pretty much the same: 250g fruit & 150g nuts/seeds.
You do need a food processor or at least a good stick style blender.
You can substitute the cashew butter (which can be pricey) with tahini or other natural nut butter as long as it doesn’t have any added salt or sugar; And substitute the maple syrup with honey but the Maple Syrup gives a lovely depth. Here is one of my favourite combinations.
100g dates (make sure the pits are removed)
100g sultanas (or dried cranberries)
50g crystallised ginger
50g Pecans (or almonds)
50g Hazelnuts
50g toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), sunflower seeds or combination
1 dessertspoon cashew butter
1 dessertspoon Maple Syrup
½ cup Desiccated coconut

Get ingredients ready –
If using crystallised ginger, rinse off the sugar and chop finely.
‘Toast’ the nuts by spreading them onto an oven tray and cooking for 8 min in a mod (180c) oven. Cool and roughly chop.
‘Toast’ the seeds by dry frying in a shallow frypan (no oil) stirring often for 3-4 mins until browned.
Spread the coconut onto a dinner plate and put aside for later.
In the food processor, in this order-
Put in the sticky fruit e.g. dates & sultanas.  Pulse several times until well combined but not ‘mush’.
Next add the ginger if using along with the nuts and pulse as before until well combined, but the mix still has small chunks and texture.
Then add the seeds and the ‘binders’: cashew butter and Maple Syrup. Pulse carefully until the mixture comes altogether in a ball or mix by hand at this stage. You are aiming for little bits of identifiable fruit & nuts not puree. 
Making the balls-
Take out about a heaped tablespoon of the mix and roll in your hands (keeping your hands wet with a little water helps here).
Put them straight onto your plate of coconut. When you have done about half, wash your hands and the roll the balls around to coat them. Lift them out and repeat with the remaining half.
Store them in the fridge in an airtight container.
Enjoy X

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