So you might be confused right now: this is a baking blog, yet this isn’t a baking recipe, you might be thinking. Correct, I would reply. And this is healthy? Yes, yes, indeed…
But I would also add that sometimes it’s good to branch out. Sometimes it’s good to realise that nutrition (what now?) is actually something worth paying attention to. Sometimes you just have to give in to the simple truth that you can’t actually eat chocolate and cake all day and feel remotely healthy (sad, but true).
And so that brings us here, to this recipe. Yes, it’s different. Yes, it’s “healthy”, but let’s embrace it – these things are actually pretty tasty! And the most amazing thing about them is they have barely any calories – I’m not even kidding. These things have about 40 calories per ball, which means eating about 4 would be a standard snack size, but you only ever really eat 1 or 2 because they’re so filling and delicious that any more than two feels like a treat (this is getting confusing)!
Another brilliant thing about this recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile – you can pick and choose, swap and change, whatever you like. The main thing is keeping the right consistency, but that’s pretty straightforward too – just make sure you can squish the mix together well enough for a smooth ball to form. If it’s crumbly, add more liquid. If it’s liquidy, add more oats. Simple.
Chocolate Bliss Balls
Makes about 25 balls | 30 minutes, no baking
180g dried dates
40g rolled oats or quick oats
20g desiccated coconut, plus extra for coating
1-2 tbsp cocoa (or cacao if you want to be even healthier!)
2 tbsp fruit juice (fresh or bought), if needed
handful of roasted nuts, eg. hazelnuts, almonds
- Blitz fruit in a food processor until finely minced, almost like a paste.
- Add oats, coconut, cocoa and fruit juice and blitz until oats are chopped finely and mixture is combined.
- Finally, add nuts until combined and nuts are only roughly chopped (for texture).
- Add more juice if the mix is too dry, or more oats if the mix is too wet – it should stick together when pressed, but hold its shape.
- Roll mix into small balls and coat with coconut.
- Keep in airtight container for a week in the pantry, or two in the fridge.
- As I say, it’s a very versatile recipe. Try adding different dried fruits for different flavours, eg:
- Apricot and almond: use dried apricots and almond meal instead of sultanas. Omit the cocoa.
- Chocolate peanut butter: use a combination of dates and sultanas. Add 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter. Omit juice.
- Nutella: use hazelnuts instead of oats.