Raw Cacao Bliss Balls

Question: What did people do before food processors? Answer: I have no idea.

I bought one on the weekend and I am in domestic heaven. To elaborate, last week I came across a recipe for some granola that I was keen to try. (Side note: it was phenomenal. To the extent I would have it for breakfast every day for the rest of my life if I could. But I like eggs too much for that.) It required a food processor to blend up the nuts and dried fruit the recipe called for, but unfortunately I didn’t have one. My solution? To put the nuts into a zip-log bag, use a meat mallet normally reserved for pounding meat, and crush them by hand. (I also had to finely dice the dried fruit by hand. Talk about time-consuming.)

About 15 minutes into the crushing, which I did on my very hard (aka noisy) kitchen benchtop, I got a knock at the door. It was one of my neighbours, enquiring why I was doing “renovation work” so late at night. I sheepishly explained that I was making granola and the banging was a last resort due to my lack of proper equipment. As soon as I saw the displeased look on her face, I knew I had to buy a food processor with my next pay check. And since a Thermomix wasn’t in my immediate future, I bought this nifty food processor and blender.

Fast forward to today, when a morning tea was being held at my work. Since I wanted to bring something homemade and healthy (much to my colleagues’ displeasure) I thought I’d try out some raw bliss balls. I didn’t have a recipe, I just added bits and pieces as I went. I’m actually surprised they turned out so well, normally when I “get creative” (ie. not follow a recipe) the results are disastrous. But they even got all eaten at work, so I’m glad I can share the recipe now!

photo RAW CACAO BLISS BALLS
Makes 20 small

Ingredients

  • Mixed nuts, 1 cup (I used almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts)
  • Optional: Dried fruit, ¾ cup (I used cranberries and pitted dates. Note: if leaving this out, add 1 extra tablespoon coconut oil)
  • Maca powder, 2 tablespoons
  • Cacao powder, ¼ cup
  • Cacao nibs, 2 tablespoons
  • Chia seeds, 1 tablespoon
  • Coconut oil, 2 tablespoons
  • Water, 2 tablespoons
  • Desiccated coconut, 1 cup (½ cup for recipe, ½ cup to coat)

Method

  • Put everything except the coconut oil, water and the second ½ cup of desiccated coconut into a food processor and blend.
  • Pour the mixture (it will be quite powdery) into a bowl.
  • Use your hands to blend in the coconut oil and water, then form into small balls. If the mixture seems too dry, add a bit more water.
  • Roll in desiccated coconut and you’re done. No need to bake or freeze, but I would store them in the fridge. (If you don’t eat them all at once, like I was tempted to.)

Variations
The good thing about this recipe is that you can adapt it however you like: leave out the chia seeds; add an extra half cup of nuts; add honey if you prefer it sweeter or extra cacao powder if you like it richer; whatever. Other additions could include goji berries, dried apple or apricot, protein powder, sunflower seeds, vanilla essence or orange zest. Just play with it! These are paleo (dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free), raw and vegan but if you include the dried fruit they have some sugar, so consider each one a treat.

First published July 23, 2013

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