Bliss balls, otherwise known as energy bites make a great anytime snack . This simple vegan recipe is sweetened with Medjool dates and pure Canadian maple syrup, making it refined sugar free. But that’s not it, they is also no added oil or butter. It’s easily made gluten-free and best yet…you don’t have to turn on the oven. It’s a no-bake treat! Which this time of year is a nice break from the usual rounds of Christmas cookie baking. Or in my case, in easy way to fit in making yet another batch of cookies while other cookies are busily baking away.
Sugar-free cookies with dates
Every year I look for new ways of creating new refined sugar-free cookies. And in doing so, I always fall back to soft Medjool dates as the main source of sweetener for baked treats. You may have already tried my recipe for Tahini Medjool Date Cookies (vegan) or Almond-Tahini-Date Cookies (Gluten-free). I simply love both of them, but this year I thought I would give a a no-bake version a try. The result: protein-packed energy bliss balls covered in dark chocolate. I use my favorite dark chocolate which is also refined sugar-free. It’s made with natural unrefined mascabado whole cane sugar and 85% cacao.
How to adapt this energy bliss ball recipe
- I like to use a mix of hazelnuts and almonds for this recipe, but you could also trade out almonds for cashews (they go great with chocolate). And instead of buying already ground nuts, you could grind your own using your food processor.
- The mere 2 tablespoons of flour could be traded out for another type of flour — if you are wanting to go completely gluten-free, try coconut flour or even arrowroot powder here.
- Topping options are amble — try melted milk chocolate, cacao, ground coconut, or more ground nuts.
- You could even make these into squares instead of balls. Simply form the mixture into a rectangle on top of parchment paper and then chill for 15-20 minutes before cutting into squares.
Bliss Balls with Dates and Dark Chocolate
For the energy bliss balls:
- 10 Medjool dates (200 g), halved and pitted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (4 tablespoons)
- 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1/8 tsp. bourbon vanilla powder
- 1/4 cup fine cut rolled oats (25 g)
- 2 tablespoons spelt flour (or coconut flour for gluten-free)
- 100 g ground hazelnuts
- 100 g blanched ground almonds
For the toppings:
- 100 g dark chocolate (organic 85% cacao)
- 75 g ground hazelnuts
Add the pitted dates, maple syrup, salt, vanilla, oats, flour and nuts to a food processor and pulse until the mixture is well combined and starts to form a ball. If it is too sticky then add a tablespoon more oats Or if it seems dry and crumbly, add a little more maple syrup or warm water.
Form the dough into small balls (4cm) and place in the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a double boiler. And place the ground nuts in small bowl.
Bath the balls one at a time in the chocolate bath to fully coat and then tranfer with a small spoon into the bowl with the ground nuts. Roll in the ground nuts (you can do this by shaking the bowl in a circular motion or sprinkling some of the nuts on top and then rolling with your fingers) and set them on a plate. Transfer back to the fridge to firm up and enjoy. Store in a covered container in the fridge.
- You can easily ground your own nuts for this bliss ball recipe. Using a food processor, pulse the nuts until they have a sandy consistency.
- The Medjool dates should be soft, plump and juicy. If the dates are dry, then soak them in hot water about 10 minutes, then strain the fruit and discard the water.
- Other topping ideas: melted milk chocolate, cacao, ground coconut, cacao nibs.
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