Hey! You! Yes, you! Where are you running to? Don't run away just because you saw "vegan" in the title of this post.
You know, I had the very same thought when Laura of The Whole Ingredient started following me on Twitter. "Vegan | Wholefoods | Foodie | Londoner", her profile said. "Oh boy," I said to myself, and waited for her to unfollow.
I mean, have you seen my Instagram posts? They're about as meaty and carnivorous as you can get! But then I clicked on the link to her website and instantly fell in love with her healthy but delicious recipes: Peanut Butter Pie Granola, Super Protein Kale Caesar Salad, and Pecan, Sage, and Cherry Quinoa Stuffing all spoke to me. To me, readers, a die-hard carnivore.
That kind of says it all.
After gushing about how much I loved her recipes, I found out that Laura and I have quite a bit in common: we both work in publishing, we both love to write, and we both love food.
The reason why I love The Whole Ingredient so much (aside from the beautiful photography, great writing, and mouth-watering recipes) is because it's so accessible to those who aren't necessarily vegan or perhaps are a little too intimidated to try vegan recipes for fear that they'll taste like ... cardboard (yes, my previous experience with a vegan brownie was akin to that of biting into a cereal box). It's a non-judgey, welcoming place for all to try some healthy and nutritious recipes without the use of fancy gadgets (ahem, I still want a spiralizer, though) or crazy ingredients.
I love Laura's approach to cooking and to life, which is why I am honored to share her recipe for Macadamia Goji Bliss Balls - a delicious, good-for-you alternative to chocolate truffles. Enjoy!
The Whole Ingredient - Macadamia Goji Bliss Balls
Are you familiar with ‘bliss balls’? If not, please be assured this is merely the term du jour for truffle. Or healthy raw truffle, to be more accurate. I have no idea where the term came from, but I suspect there is a yoga connection somewhere… Essentially, these Macadamia Goji Bliss Balls are a deliciously healthy and nutritious way to indulge in something sweet, while benefiting from the wonderful superfoods that are all rolled up in lovely coconut.
Have I mentioned yet that a batch of these tasty treats can be yours in just ten minutes? Perfection. Bliss balls really are one of the easiest and most versatile raw snacks you can make – all you need is a food processor and ten minutes.
I like to whip up a batch at the start of the week, ready to be deployed in any number of the following ways:
· with my morning coffee;
· as a delicious addition to my bowl of Healthy Plum & Pecan Granola;
· as a snack at my desk;
· for a no-fuss healthy dessert;
· as a topping for a more extravagant dessert; and
· when I’m out and about and don’t want to be tempted by a less virtuous treat (and everyone’s bag or pocket has space for a teeny tiny tupperware, right?)
My recipe for bliss balls also makes them super-powered: the macadamia nuts alone are a powerhouse of protein, vitamins and minerals (including zinc, copper and potassium), not to mention the added bonus of antioxidants such as selenium, that help to protect us against harmful toxins. Macadamias are also low in cholesterol, meaning they’re great for our hearts! Goji berries are another excellent source of antioxidants and can boost our immunity – which is exactly what we need during these cold months.
Why else should you give these a try? Well, this is a snack that’s refined sugar free and includes raw cacao, which not only tastes delicious but is a fantastic source of B vitamins and, again, antioxidant powers! Chocolate really is good for you. I roll these in desiccated coconut (result = virtuous Bounty bar!), but you could use anything else you love, from chia seeds to matcha powder or more raw cacao. Be creative!
So here’s my recipe for Macadamia Goji Bliss Balls: I hope they are as popular in your house as they are in mine!
o 10 dates, pitted
o 50g ground almonds
o 2 tbsp raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
o 1 tbsp maple syrup
o 2 tsp solid coconut oil
o Pinch Himalayan pink salt
o 30g macadamia nuts, chopped small
o 30g goji berries
o 30g desiccated coconut
1. Put the dates, ground almonds, raw cacao, maple syrup and coconut oil in a food processor and pulse on a slow speed to begin with. The ingredients should start to clump together; once this happens you can increase the speed to create a smooth paste.
2. Combine the mixture in a bowl with the macadamia nuts and goji berries.
3. Roll into small balls and coat with the coconut.
4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful recipe, Laura! I can't wait to make these this weekend! I think that they would look great in a mason jar with a ribbon, if you wanted to give them as a gift, don't you think?
For more delicious vegan recipes, check out The Whole Ingredient - prepare to be inspired!
Photos © 2015 Laura Hemmington