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Merry Bliss-mas! Bliss Balls – SABH

SABH_12-12-Santa-150Whether you’re shivering through wintry blasts or baking under the blazing sun, Christmas is a time that has an enduring sense memory linked to food.  I always wonder why we only ever buy a leg ham at Christmas when it’s available all year round?  The same for petticoat shortbread, Danish butter cookies and pfeffernusse.  Once, they were treasures only to be found at Christmas-time and even with the advent of globalisation and all round availability of everything, I still only buy these treats at Christmas.  They are my Christmas childhood in one big sugary burst.

Well, it’s time again for the Sweet Adventures Blog Hop and this month it’s the very festive theme of ‘Sweets for Santa’. And who doesn’t love a bit of Christmas Cooking?  Christina over at the Hungry Australian is hosting this month’s blog hop and what a festive delight she has made. As well as buying favourite treats, these days I also enjoy making confectionery and baked gifts to give to friends.  This year I made Butterscotch Brazils (so easy in the microwave), Gingerbread (with very unprofessional icing) and Bengal Apple Chutney. But what about those who are wanting to eat well? Trying to maintain a diet for health or aesthetic reasons? What are their treats? This is the dilemma that raised its head when I wanted to cook for a couple of friends who have some specific dietary requirements. One, is Vegan but has also been advised to stay off preservatives. The other tries not to eat refined sugar.

I had in my mind’s eye some type of sweet treat that didn’t include sugar nor any added fats. I decided that an energy restoring Bliss Ball would be the ticket. Dressed up with a little coconut, they’d be a great substitute for Rum Balls but a darn sight healthier.  This recipe is adapted from Bliss Organic Cafe’s version. These raw Bliss Balls have no dairy, no gluten and no added sugar or fats (though remember, there are sugars in the fruit and fat in the nuts). Perhaps we will all be on these in the New Year, when the resolutions are made……

Christmas Bliss Balls
Bliss Balls closeup
  • 1 cup whole almonds – raw
  • 1 cup walnuts or hazelnuts or a mix – raw
  • 1/2 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds or a mix – raw
  • 2 cups dried dates soaked in hot water for 1/2 hr OR 1 cup fresh dates
  • 1/2 cup prunes
  • 1/4 cup carob or cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • toasted sesame seeds, cocoa seeds, coconut or poppy seeds for decorating
  • 1 pair of disposable gloves – essential!


  • Place almonds in food processor and chop to a rough rubble – there needs to be texture but not too large (about the size of a pea)
  • Add walnuts and pepitas in processor and chop to a rubble – these nuts are softer than the almonds and will chop quickly
  • Roughly hand chop dates and add to processor with prunes, cocoa and cinnamon
  • Run the food processor to chop dates into nut mix.
  • Be careful not to burn out your engine on your food processor – do short bursts.  You may need to stop the processor and push the date mix down from the walls and distribute it evenly.  This is a very thick mass for the blades to chop.
  • Continue to pulse until you have a nutty, sticky mass. This is not a smooth paste.
  • Place mix in bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
Ready to roll...

Ready to roll…

  • Put your disposable gloves on – trust me, this is a sticky, sticky job and the gloves will make it easier and quicker.
  • Get rolling!  Any size is fine – commercial Bliss Balls are about the size of a golf ball but I prefer to roll them smaller.
  • Roll bliss balls in preferred coating and place on a lined baking tray to chill in fridge – makes at least 20 small balls

Bliss Balls on tray

– These keep well for several months in the fridge
– You can add your own flavours and mix ins – just make sure you have dates as the base to bind the balls.
– These are a fun treat that kids can help make, roll and most importantly, eat!

Bliss Balls in dish

This will be the last TIFFIN post for 2012 as I revel in a short Christmas break.  Whatever your beliefs, I hope you enjoy this time of year with friends and family and in the company of good food!  See you in 2013.

9 comments… add one
  • Jeybird8 December 18, 2012, 3:08 pm

    thanks for the recipe! they look fantastic! Merry Christmas to you!!!

  • Jennifer A. Wickes December 19, 2012, 3:03 am

    These look so awesome! Thanks!

  • Lizzy (Good things) December 19, 2012, 5:02 am

    Yummy! Merry blissmas to you too Fiona.

  • Baking Myself Happy December 19, 2012, 8:32 am

    I love this idea! I have been wanting to make something like this for my boyfriend for a healthier snack alternative – this recipe looks perfect.

  • The Food Sage December 19, 2012, 9:57 am

    What a lovely, festive creation. Think i'm going to get blissy in the kitchen!

  • Christine @ Cooking Crusade December 20, 2012, 10:20 am

    Christmassy and healthy – win!! They look like a great gift to give too!

  • JJ - 84thand3rd December 20, 2012, 10:53 pm

    They sound like a perfect healthy indulgence – great tip about the gloves, I always end up a mess after making these!

  • Monica @ Gastromony December 21, 2012, 3:14 pm

    Lovely 🙂 It's nice to have something healthy around this time of the year. I'd much rather one of these than a Lindt ball after a few days of indulging 🙂

  • My Kitchen Stories December 26, 2012, 4:13 pm

    I will definately have to book mark the recipe so I can make something healthy thats sweet ….Chritmas have been very naughty for me

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