The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Nut-free Choco-coconut Bliss Balls

Bliss balls remind me of delicious truffles and choc balls, yet a whole lot more nutritious and just as quick and easy to make. The perfect snack to have on the go or to satisfy the sweet tooth without compromising on nutrition. I first encountered bliss balls on another food blog written by Daphne (from my hometown Perth!), and her dedication to clean-eating and healthy-living is admirable. Daphne's recipes set the bar high for healthy cooking, most of which are paleo and gluten-free, but unfortunately I have not been able to use any of her recipes because of the use of nuts or sesame - ingredients that are usually quite prevalent in gluten-free and paleo recipes - which my son is allergic to. On the weekend I had about 20 minutes of rare spare time on my hands, so I decided to try making bliss balls that are safe for my son using the ingredients I already had in my kitchen. It was a spontaneous decision, and I didn't have time to look at any recipes for proportions of dry and liquid ingredients, so I was quite lucky that what I put in the bowl the first time worked well to form balls of moist, delicious goodness. My son loved these chocolate balls, and was none-the-wiser that these were a whole lot healthier than the chocolate biscuits and homemade chocolate muffins that he eats occasionally.

I made only a small amount for my test run, and when my recipe got the approval of my guinea pigs (hubby and son), I made a bigger batch that yielded 10 bliss balls. I wish I had a more robust food processor to make bigger batches, but my stick blender could not cope even with this small quantity of ingredients, and it went bust during the making of these bliss balls. Since this is a nut-free recipe, I imagine that these bliss balls are almost as easily made without a food processer (only the dates require chopping). The dates provide natural sweetness and chewiness, and is (in my opinion) a fundamental ingredient to a successful bliss ball recipe. To make up for the lack of nuts (hence protein and fat) in this recipe, I added some organic (vegan) protein powder to increase the protein content, and used organic coconut oil to add fat and moisture. The dessicated coconut I used is a reduced fat version (leftover from when I made some Anzac biccies), and I would have much rather the full-fat version, but this was the only type of coconut I could find in all of Hong Kong! Taking a quick look at the ingredients I used, I was pleasantly surprised to see that majority are organic. Organic products are more expensive, but you cannot put a price on health. These bliss balls took only six ingredients, very easy to make, and what a fantastic healthy option for the snack box!

Nut-free Choco-coconut Bliss Balls

Makes 10 bliss balls, depending on size


75 grams dates
30 grams reduced-fat dessicated coconut (this would be approximately equivalent in volume to 50g of non-reduced-fat dessicated coconut)
10 grams cocoa powder
25 grams protein powder
25 grams honey
15 mL coconut oil (melted if it is solidified)


Simply put the ingredients into a food processor, whiz until combined, then roll into balls! Store in the fridge, and it should be good for one or two weeks (though these were gone in a couple of days).

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