Nut Free Bliss Ball

Supermarket bought bliss balls are generally full of preservatives and refined sugar. Or where not with refined sugar still over 50% sugar with the high level of dried fruits. You can make bliss balls that are higher in fat and lower in sugar which is my preference but these are generally not so great in the lunchbox as they tend to melt. They do best kept in the freezer and used for home treats.  So the trick is working out the lower level of sugar that works and yet still holds the balls together for a lunchbox.

These bliss balls are quite basic, they’re quick to make and not crazy high in sugar. They also store well in the fridge or freezer but they also work well in the lunchbox as they don’t have coconut oil to melt.

There are loads of variations possible with bliss balls including making them into bars instead of balls. Let me know what you try and how you find them!

RECIPE:

Makes 10-15 bliss balls.

What you need:

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup coconut, dessicated

1/2 cup dates* (soaked in hot water for 10 minutes then drained)

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

* Use Medjool dates if you can otherwise other dates (without sulphites).

Optional:

1 Tbsp cacao (or cocoa) powder & 1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp strawberry or other flavoured (all natural) powder (we used Fresh As products)

1/4 cup of apricots can be added to mix in place of 1/2 the dates or in addition for sweeter treat.

Toast the sunflower seeds and coconut before hand in some coconut oil in pan on stove for extra yum factor!

What to do:

  1. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften.
  2. Combine the sunflower seeds and the coconut with the ground cinnamon in a bowl.
  3. Add mixture to food processor and pulse until medium crumb like consistency.*
  4. Drain excess water from the dates and add them to the other ingredients in a food processor.
  5. Pulse for approximately 2 minutes or until the mixture comes together. If its not coming together then drizzle in some water (or coconut oil if these are not for school lunches).
  6. Dampen your hands and gather up the mixture making into small balls. (You might have to wash your hands part way through if get too sticky.)
  7. If balls are sticky spread some desiccated coconut on your chopping board and roll the balls in this.
  8. Store the balls in the freezer until you need them.

OPTIONS:

Add 1 Tbsp of cacao and 1 Tbsp of raw honey or maple syrup or other liquid sweetener of choice to the mixture in the processor before you mix together.

Another option – roll in a powdered flavour – like here strawberry powder.

TIPS:

*I like to blend in food processor just 3/4 of the seed mixture and leave some whole seeds out but just do what you think your kids will like best. Some prefer more blended. The more blended it is the more mixture will be gooey at the end once dates are added and then you’ll need to use more coconut to coat.

These are lower sugar bliss balls than many recipes and ones sold (but still high sugar). If you need to add a tablespoon of maple syrup or honey to the basic mix.

Store balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for ages (I’ve kept them couple of months and they were fine).

If for school: leave in freezer until the morning of school lunches need packing. Best in school lunchbox/bag with a cooler pack but will be OK even at room temperature unless we’re talking about a heat wave they’ll get a bit soft.