I’m a snacker. It is fun and yum and also when I’m bored it seems like a good idea (probably isn’t). I wouldn’t go as far to say that I am a ‘grazer’, but professional snacker – count me in. There is however a good way forward in the snacking department – which I have not always utilised. A few years ago my snacks would be any of the following: packaged museli bars, crackers, sugar-free this and that, low fat this and that, fruit flavoured yoghurts, cheese (mmm cheeeeese. I haven’t given this up!), fruit and carrots (still regulars), scroggin, chips, the occasional biscuit, although thankfully these are not my fav etc … you get the general picture, and it has only been through the process of research, education, listening to my body, trying new things and understanding what all the crap is in the food I was eating, that I have in more recent years distanced myself from these things and have embraced the ‘real’ food option. Now I’m not saying you need to go all ninja-like and cull the above (and others) but if you want to eat less processed food then starting with almost anything packaged and giving it the flick is a good way to roll. Now there are some exceptions for example, raw nuts that come in a packet, full fat plain yoghurt, cheeses etc. Just check out the label and if there is a whole lot of stuff listed in the ingredients list that you can’t pronounce, then it probably isn’t a bad idea to steer clear of it. Or at least have a go anyway, slow and steady.
Anywho, this post is actually about Bliss Balls, which you have probably heard of and are an easy clean eating snack that I like to make and are deliiiish.
You can experiment with ingredients depending on whether you want them more fruity, more nutty, more chocolatey etc … but below is an example of ones that I make. I am usually pretty liberal with my pouring of ingredients but the recipe below will give you a rough idea of what you can put in Bliss Balls.
1/2 cup of raw almonds (don’t forget to ‘activate’/soak the nuts prior to use, and you can use the left over pulp after making nut milk (see my post on nut milk)
1/4 cup of raw cashew nuts (soak as above)
10-12 dates/a handful (if you use medjool dates you’ll need less, but the good old normal pitted dates are fine and heaps cheaper)
8 – 10 dried apricots
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 heaped tablespoon of cacao powder
1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
Seeds – as many as you like – I like to use sunflower and pumpkin and it’s also a good idea to soak these before use too
1-2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil (if you want your bliss balls to set harder in the fridge then you’ll need to use more coconut oil)
Also, you can throw in some honey or brown rice syrup but I find with the dried fruit that these are sweet enough and generally stay together well considering the consistency of the ingredients once they’ve been whizzed together.
Blitz the nuts together and then depending on how hardy your blender is, throw everything else in – otherwise add and blend one at a time.
Then scoop the mixture out, roll into balls and cover them with desiccated coconut and pop them in the fridge to set. I keep a stash of individually wrapped bliss balls in my freezer for ‘on the go’ food to grab, which are especially good for low blood pressure/hangry moments.
If you want to experiment with flavours you can add flavoured natural essence to your mixture too. You don’t always need to use heaps of dried fruit either, you could cull the apricots and keep the ingredients simple, i.e. nuts, dates, seeds etc and then add a few drops of essence – I’m a huge fan of orange essence which makes jaffa bliss balls – holy yum! Or peppermint essence which is also very scrummy! Just experiment and see what you enjoy though.
Probs don’t have too many of these in one hit as the dried fruit still makes them high in sugar but mixed with nuts etc it is a combo that your body will love, knows how to digest and will be used for energy.