Sometimes I get stumped by the world of food bloggers. Their jargon and technical means are very much part of a learning process, even after stalking vegan bloggers for a considerable amount of years now. One of these puzzling terms is “bliss balls”. I know, right? It’s a ball and…blissful? Anyway, I’ve seen very many variations of bliss balls after a very dangerous and hunger-inducing search, so I figured whatever I made would just have to be accepted as such.
These bliss balls are actually a gift for pal Charlene, since she was the birthday girl yesterday! I find food to be a super practical gift because you eat it and then it’s done, whereas with items or physical objects there’s not always an agreement on taste or even space!
Charlene is a real lamb, and one of the most ridiculously tasty (and oh so sweet) treats she made (vegan style!) was delightful lemon cupcakes. I LOVE lemon so there was much swooning, so I figured I’d make her a little bunch of treats stuffed with a lemon surprise.
I happened to have some leftover lemon curd from my adventures last week, so these bliss balls were the perfect vehicle for finishing it all off in a more dignified manner than licking out the container. Covered in a raw chocolate brownie delight, and then covered in home-made chocolate, splashed with ginger, and studded with poppy seeds and goji berries – it really is rather blissful!
Ingredients (makes 9 large balls):
- 1.5 TBSP carob
- 1/2 cup almonds, soaked
- 1/4 cup almonds, soaked
- 2 TBSP oat fibre
- 1/3 cup date pulp
- 1 tsp NuNaturals Simple Syrup
- 1/3 cup peanut butter/2 *heaped* TBSP
- 1/2 cup approx of lemon curd (I used Jessica’s recipe for lemon curd sauce, doubled the starch and added LOTS of colouring for glee purposes)
- 2 TBSP coconut oil
- 1.5 TBSP carob powder
- 1 TBSP goji berries
- 1 TBSP poppy seeds
- Make your curd in advance and let it set in the fridge for half an hour or so.
- Blend your 1/2 cup of almonds until it’s fairly broken down (not powder), then add the rest of the ingredients (except the 1/4 cup almonds and blend til combined.
- Crush your 1/4 cup almonds in a mortar and pestle so they’re easier to blend.
- Add the rest of the almonds and pulse til combined but there are still small visible chunks (for bite!)
- Taste and add more sweetner if necessary. The dough shouldn’t be soggy – it will be firm and malleable.
- Take a heaped TBSP of batter and remove 1/4 and set aside.
- Make a ball and then press your thumb in, pressing the ball a bit more hollow – sort of like making a clay cup.
- Spoon in 1/2 – 1 tsp of lemon curd.
- Flatten the remaining batter of the 1 TBSP and close up the top of the bliss ball.
- Gently roll the ball in your hands, pinching closed any leaking parts where the lemon curd shines through.
- Place in the freezer for half an hour on a tray.
- Heat your coconut oil in a bowl in the microwave until melted/transparent (times may vary according to your model).
- Add in the carob powder and mix thoroughly.
- Place your poppy seeds and goji berries on a plate.
- Dunk your bliss balls in the chocolate, coating them, then quickly sprinkle on or roll them in the poppy seeds and berries. Set aside on the baking tray and continue til all are done. If you like and are quick you can splash some ginger spice on the chocolate before it sets, but that will happen very quickly!
- Keep the treats in the fridge if eating during the week or else freeze them and let them thaw a bit for a longer-lasting bit of delight.
These little treats are not only great as easy and nommy presents (because one usually has a mish mash of these ingredients on hand), but are also wonderful to keep in the freezer for emergency treats when you’re feeling blue or need a natural sugar boost. If you don’t have lemon curd you can easily fill them with a jam, some more date mush, or just about anything. Some cinnamon-spiced mashed banana could even be nice! 🙂
Easy does it! I don’t know what I’d do without my food processor, to be honest. So much of what makes the type of food I eat so delightful is that I can blend and pulse and carry on and transform raw ingredients into something magical and delicious (at least, according to my own tastes!).
Some things are easier to live without than others. As much as I boast about being zombie-apocalypse ready I would totally cry every day for the eventual lack of electricity that is apparently part of the lore. Other things, however, are surprisingly easy to leave behind. When I first went vegan I had a long spell of ignorance about what it would mean for parts of my life other than food. I didn’t think about the tons of leather bags, shoes, woolen sweaters and other such goods that littered the house. Eventually it started to click, and I ended up giving away pretty much all my bags and shoes, except for my wedding shoes. Why? No idea. They’re blue, so comfy, and so beautiful, but oh so leathery. Have I worn them since? No. Do I know why I keep them? No. I guess if I can find them a loving home anyone in PTA with size 8 plonkers is welcome to them! Still, it’s difficult to always judge what the best course of action is, because I hate wasting items, but at the same time my skin crawls to think I’m being dis-compassionate.
On a lot of vegan forums there are new vegans who ask advice regarding what they should do about their non-vegan possessions, and the general consensus is either chuck it out or use it, it’s really up to the individual. I still have a woolen jersey that I wear every winter, not because I’m reveling in sheared fluff, but because at $6 an hour I can’t afford new clothes! Sometimes one has to look at your personal situation and decide what’s best. When I get an adult job I’ll happily donate my jersey, but until then it stays in my cupboard, and I honestly don’t feel like I’m such a failure. Part of all this is realizing that n0-one is perfect, and the same applies to my food creations. These may not be the most pristine, artful bliss balls, but I enjoy the heck out of them!
Part of the grand cheer of food blogging is seeing the many manifestations of the same concept – even typing in a simple search for bliss balls kept me busy for at least 4 hours! Another thing that’s keeping me on my toes is preparing for our anniversary bbq this Sunday – I’ve already made and frozen beet falafel and sweet potato falafel, and today it’s carrot falafel and flatbreads to go with the heaps of hummus, sauces, dips and other side trinkets I hope to have up and ready by then. Can’t wait!
(so hungry now!)
What goes into your favourite bliss balls?