I like to have a snack for morning and afternoon tea. If I don’t, come lunch and dinner time I tend to over eat. So I always make sure I have healthy little snacks such as bliss balls that will get me through the day with long lasting energy.
Bliss balls like this have now popped up in every health food store and healthy cafe around, however I’m always mortified at the price charged for such a tiny morsel. Yes, they are often tasty, but I do find that they are way overpriced for what they actually contain. As well as this, they often contain loads of added extra ingredients that sound fancy, sound healthy, but are they really necessary? Macca powder, blue green algae, spirulina and guarana. Often the dose of these added extras contained in the little bites such as guarana is nowhere near the dose required to actually do anything, or have any effect. Some of the bites are available pre packaged in plastic wrap and yes, they contain healthy ingredients but they also contain additives to extend their shelf life.
So to save money, and control what exactly goes into is them I make them each week at home. All you need is a blender, some nuts and some sweetness. It literally takes 1 minute to blitz in the blender and then a couple of minutes to form into balls. Easy.
Better still, I make a double batch and pop some of them in the oven to make biscuits. You will find the recipe at the end of this post.
- 1/2 cup sunflower kernels
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar (available from health food stores, it is a low GI sugar) or brown sugar
- 1 cup whole unsalted almonds
- 1/2 cup sesame seeds
- 1/2 cup sultanas, currents, cranberries or chopped dates
- 3 tbsp water (more if required)
- Throw everything except the water in the blender.
- Blend until combined and mixture starts to come together.
- The ingredients don’t have to be broken down to form a paste, chunky pieces are fine.
- If the mixture is still too dry, add the water and continue adding extra until mixture comes together.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop mixture into little balls into the palm of your hand. Roll into balls with the palms of your hands.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or the mixture will also freeze well.
- Leave the mixture with a slight ‘chunk factor’. Your body has to then work harder to digest the nuts and seeds.
- Coconut sugar is low GI. It still contains the same amount of calories as white sugar, though won’t give your blood sugars the large peaks and troughs. It also has a delightful caramel flavour.
- Sultanas contain fibre for a healthy digestive system.
- Almonds are our heart’s best friend. They are packed full of heart healthy monounsaturated fats which have proven to help lower our cholesterol and reduce blood pressure. They also contain vitamins, minerals and fibre. Vitamin E is particularly high in almonds, which is an important antioxidant to prevent cell damage, reduce inflammation and even enhance the immune system. The protein helps build bone and muscle, repair tissue and help to keep us full.
- Sunflower kernels are also fabulous sources of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fibre and Vitamin E and have anti inflammatory effects. Like almonds, sunflower kernels are also high in protein. My favourite nutrient in the world, tryptophan is found in high levels in sunflower kernels and also in the sesame seeds contained in this recipe. This amino acid can help to make us feel happy, as once it enters the body it is converted to the happy hormone serotonin. Perhaps this recipe should be called Happy Bites!