Thursday, September 27, 2012
sharing is caring: a recipe for bliss balls
I was introduced to the wonders that are Bliss Balls on the 21 Days of Nourishing e-course back in June. For those in the know, 21 Days is a beautiful online experience that fosters a real sense of friendship and community between the participants. Every day you get a "love bomb" in your email inbox and this could be anything from a guided mp3 meditation, to creative writing prompts, invigorating or gentle yoga sequences, tips on going green with your beauty routine, or even delicious nutrient packed recipes. It's always a surprise! You're encouraged to interact and share your thoughts, progress and results with the 21 Days Tribe on the private Facebook group too, which is great fun. The emphasis is very much on taking a bit of time out in your busy day to nourish yourself, to feel grounded, creative, purposeful, healthy and happy. If you've been burning the candle at both ends and want some time and space just for you, I thoroughly recommend giving the course a try!
Anyway, one of the "love bomb" emails on the first course featured an interview with Sydney-based health coach Fiona Wissink about simple ways to incorporate more raw, plant-based and whole foods into our daily diets. Fiona used to be 28kg overweight as well and in the process of becoming fit and healthy she became very passionate about good nutrition and now coaches people to become their happiest, healthiest selves. Her tips for getting more green, raw and wholesome were very do-able, I reckon even my Dad, president of his local Beer and Beef Club, could take them on board ;)
Our hOMework was to make a recipe Fiona included if we so desired....and when I saw the ingredients I knew I couldn't resist! This was my favourite lesson of the whole course :)
Fiona (and Stella and Jacqui, the 21 Days course creators) very kindly agreed to let me share the Bliss Balls recipes with you all, as quite a few of you asked about the recipe when I mentioned them a few months ago when they made a wonderful breakfast substitute one morning when I was late for my train. They also make a perfect pre-run snack, a healthy snack to tide you over at the office, or a treat with a cup of herbal tea in the evening. They also keep really well in the fridge for ages and ages. I think I still had four or five in the fridge after nearly eight weeks and they were still great - kind of like rum balls, the flavours had deepened and matured! But how I managed to resist them for so long is beyond me!
I've shared Fiona's original recipe and also, in true SLSB tradition, the "Phil version". If you have kiddies, get them to help shape the mixture into balls and roll them in coconut - I'm sure they'd love it :)
You should be able to get all the ingredients at your local health food shop - I found maca and raw cacao powder (which smells incredible by the way!!) at Wholefoods in London but have since sourced them from two shops in my local area. If you can't find it in your local shop ask them if they'll order it in for you, most of them are happy to!
Original recipe courtesy of Your Health Coach and 21 Days
Phil's version in italics!
1 ⅓ cup of medjool dates (pits removed) (I used dates from wholefood section of the supermarket)
handful of almonds (I have also used a combination of pecans, pistachios and walnuts)
1 tablespoon maca powder
¾ cup chia seeds
1 cup raw cacao powder
2 vanilla beans (scraped) (I found using just 1 vanilla bean was fine - save the pod and put in a jar of sugar to scent it)
1 tablespoon of coconut oil (I used filtered water - coconut oil is a wonderful food but just not in the budget at the moment!)
Shredded raw coconut
Place all ingredients except for chia seeds and coconut oil (or water) into a food processor. Mix well! Pause the processor to scrape down the sides and mix again until everything is thoroughly combined.
Add in the chia seeds and part of the coconut oil (or water) until desired sticky consistency is reached. It should become almost like a big dough ball in the food processor. Add more oil or water as needed but you don't need much, the mixture should be firm.
Roll the mixture into little balls (or, if you're me, a variation of big and little balls!) and then into the shredded coconut.
Keep in the fridge.
Enjoy as suggested, or with an iced chai and good novel, as below!
Hope you enjoy, and let me know if you try them! Thanks again Fiona for letting me share the recipe :)