bliss balls

Looking for something quick, healthy and simple to make for an after-school snack that will get everyone through to dinner time without blood sugar levels (and moods) dipping and rising? Bliss Balls are the perfect solution. Or are they?

There are many variations on the Bliss Ball today but I consider their real appeal to be how quick and easy they are to make whilst packing a clean, nutritional punch. It takes longer to clean the food processor than it does to whip up a batch.

They are a great post-workout snack, after-dinner treat, late afternoon pick-me-up and they fill the gap nicely as an after school snack as long as they are child friendly. Nut and seed allergies aside of course (as they often form the base of a Bliss Ball), I am wary of many commercial variations on the shelves of organic stores when it comes to serving them to my children. Many of these Balls or Orbs, as they are also known, are proudly packed with ‘superfoods’ to add nutritional value which, quite frankly, should be carefully measured when served to children.

So before you dish out these versatile and ‘nutritious’ little treats to the hungry hoards in the back seat there are a few things you may want to consider. ‘Superfoods’ have medicinal properties and some are potent herbs that need to be administered with care and caution. As many of these foods and powders are readily available we may be mislead into thinking they are healthy at best, or perhaps benign or harmless at the very least.  Whilst gogi berries and chia seeds may be a safe addition to any ingredient list there are some herbs that we need to be cautious of when serving them to children. Maca root powder for instance, is traditionally used for increasing hormonal activity, infertility, low libido, enhanced energy levels, and increasing testosterone levels. Raw cacao powder is a powerful stimulant that can affect the nervous system and it is high in oxalic acid which can inhibit absorption of calcium. Camu Camu is rich in vitamin C which can disturb the digestive system. Mix some or all of these together in a friendly looking Bliss Ball and we are now serving quite the cocktail for afternoon tea.

The safe (and easy) alternative is to whip up a batch at home. This way we are able to take full control of what you are feeding our children.

Here is my Bliss Ball recipe (as pictured above). You can also use whatever ingredients you have handy i.e. exchange the sultanas for other dried fruits and the nuts for whatever is available.

Bliss-Filled Bliss Balls

  • small handful gogi berries (great antioxidant)
  • small handful sultanas (contains boron for bone health)
  • 2 tbsp tahini paste (loaded with calcium)
  • 1 tbsp honey (anti-bacterial, anti-viral)
  • 2-3 tbsp buckwheat kernels (no gluten here)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (packed with omega-3)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (helps to stabilise blood sugar levels)
  • 2 tbsp desiccated coconut (rich in fatty acids)
  • 1/4 cup ground hazelnuts or almonds (both are packed with essential minerals and vitamin E)

Throw all of these ingredients into the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped, making sure to leave some texture. If mixture seems too dry try adding some coconut oil or more tahini. If the mixture is too loose add more desiccated coconut to help it firm up.

Take a heaped tablespoon of mixture and roll into balls. Leave to set in the fridge for an hour or more before serving. Then… unleash them.