A Little Bit of Bliss
Bliss balls the whole family will love
There is nothing more frustrating than putting your heart and soul into a meal only to have your kids tell you it’s yuk. It’s incredibly hard to watch your children turn up their noses at a healthy casserole, a salad, or even something a bit more exciting like sushi or rice paper rolls, and then see their eyes light up when they see something sugar filled or deep fried. At what point do you give in and let them have what they want, because at least that way they’re eating something at all?
Sometimes the trick is in making the kids think what they’re eating isn’t good for them. It’s simple enough to hide a million vegetables in a spaghetti bolognese, or make your own burger patties (with sneaky carrot and zucchini), but sometimes snacks are the hardest things. It’s so easy to grab a big bag of Tiny Teddies, muesli bars or pots of flavoured yoghurt. And considering how time poor most of us are, it’s inconceivable to make everything from scratch. However, there are some things that are simpler than others, and still a great alternative to prepackaged treats.
If you’re looking for a healthy snack the kids will actually eat, here’s one that’s a winner for all the right reasons. These bliss balls are school friendly, no nuts, no sugar, no guilt. They taste like a treat, but they’re full of goodness. The mixture is versatile, so if you’d rather make it into a slice, go for it! If your kids are having it at a picnic or for dessert, add some dark chocolate on top to make it a little more special. If you aren’t in a nut free environment, throw in some cashews. Mix it up, there’s no wrong way to make good food. Here’s the recipe I use.
1 cup pitted dates
½ cup sunflower seeds (or cacao nibs, or nuts)
½ cup desiccated coconut
4 tablespoons of cocoa (or cacao if you have it)
2 tablespoons of honey
2 tablespoons of water
Chuck everything in your food processor. Blitz it until it all starts to stick together and it looks like you no longer have any large chunks. At this point you can choose whether to get your hands dirty (bliss balls), or whether to make a slice. For a slice, line a loaf pan with baking paper and press the mixture into the base. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and then slice into your preferred portion size. For bliss balls, take tablespoon size portions and roll them between your (clean) hands until they form small balls. Continue until portions are rolled, and then refrigerate for 20 minutes.
If you’re after a bit more of a treat, at this point you can drizzle melted chocolate over the bliss balls, or add a layer of melted chocolate to your slice. This will make it less school friendly, but it will make for a nice treat for dessert. If you’re running short of time, the refrigeration isn’t completely necessary, they just might not hold together as well. In total the whole prep should take less than 10 minutes, 15 if you’re rolling the balls and then you have a scrumptious treat that even the biggest health nuts couldn’t turn up their noses at! Enjoy!