These little treats are perfect for snacking, lunch boxes, trips to the park and beach. Icklegen and I first sampled bliss balls a while back. If I remember rightly, that particular variety was made with Cherry Ripe bars (a classic Aussie chocolate bar, with, erm, a cherry and coconut filling). They were delicious but probably best not eaten on a regular basis.
I was pretty sure I could find a healthier alternative and it didn’t take long. There are hundreds of recipes out there, made with a range of dried fruits, seeds, nuts and grains. We started with this one, which I have refined to suit our tastes. It’s super-easy, especially if you have a food processor. And Icklegen loves to help out by rolling the balls in desiccated coconut and then eating them all, if I don’t get there on time…
Prepare for a blizzard to hit your kitchen – aprons are definitely advisable.
150g organic dried apricots*
150 g pitted dates
150 g almond meal
1 tbsp tahini
2 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp honey
+ desiccated coconut for rolling the balls in
1. Soak the dried apricots in warm water for around 30 minutes, then drain them well in a sieve reserving the water (you can probably skip this step if you’re using the non-organic variety).
2. Throw all the ingredients in a blender and process until the mixture starts to clump together.
3. Add some of the reserved ‘apricot water’ if the mixture is too dry.
4. Take small amounts of the mixture and roll into balls.
5. Pour some desiccated coconut onto a plate and roll the balls around in it until they are coated.
6. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
We’re still experimenting with different ingredients and flavours for this recipe. Daddy Ickle reckons the result is a bit ‘soft’ and has suggested we bump up the nut content. So we’re going to look into using more coarsely ground almonds, or walnuts, in our next batch. We’ll report back in due course!
* Organic apricots are not the most attractive looking food – all brown and leathery – but I prefer to buy them as they are free from sulphur dioxide. They plump up well after soaking and are yummy by themselves and in cooking.