Thursday, 12 February 2015

Chocolate fruit and nut balls

One of the first recipes or blog posts I saw from the sort of 'whole food' community was one about something called 'bliss balls'.  They were described as little balls of chocolatey heaven with none of the guilt. Or similar!  I rather liked the sound of that so I bought the ingredients and followed the recipe all excited.  Then, there they were, these little balls of loveliness all ready and waiting to pop into my eager and waiting mouth...

...I hated them.

And I hated the fact that I hated them.  I wanted to love them as much as blog poster did.  I wanted to feel a part of this wholesome whole food eating bliss ball rolling community.  

So I ate another.  Nope, still horrible.  They were just too sickly, a bit greasy, not quite sweet or chocolatey enough and just all wrong from my point of view.  A bit like nutella, or ferrero rocher...just not quite right if you ask me!

A while later, having seen about 85 billion more posts and recipes on these little balls of wrongness, I tried another recipe.  Still not buying it.

Then this evening I thought to myself, when I whizz up the dates and nuts and whatnot in the blender I always really like the taste of what comes out, and I'm pretty sure with a bit of tweaking here and there I could make the mixture into balls.

So, off I popped into the kitchen armed with my trusty hand blender (well, no, that was already there, but you know what I mean), rooted about in jars of stuff and came up with the following recipe which......I LOVED!! And so did Alex so there are now none left already.  Oops.

Here's what I did:

handful brazils
handful cashews
2 dessert spoons almond butter
tspoon or 2 date syrup
5 pitted medjool dates
1 table spoon raw cacao powder

You could use any nuts really but I just fancied this mix today.

Then all I did was whizz it up on full power for a bit until it resembled what I can only describe as crumbly soil!  There should still be visible bits of nut in it and it should be crumbly rather that gooey - add more dry stuff if not.

Despite being crumbly, it is also nice and sticky so then, just grab some in your hands and press it together into a ball shapes.  The mixture is enough to make 10 balls.

10 little balls of chocolatey yumminess I PROMISE.  Not too sickly, not oily, not sort of airy fairy chocolate, just yum with a nice consistency.

And whilst not the healthiest of all things ever, all whole foods, all natural ingredients and all yum.

I'd love to hear if anybody found another 'bliss ball' style recipe they liked or what you think of this one? Think I might experiment with a bit more fruitiness somehow next time.  Or dip them in molten dark chocolate and pop in the fridge to set. Or add some rose water. Or....

Raw courgetti spaghetti

This quick thrown together supper just saved us from ordering a Chinese takeaway!  That may not sound like a good thing, but it is.  A Chinese really would do me no favours right now.

It was another case of fridge gazing to see what happened. And what did happen was really rather wonderful!

I grabbed:
1 courgette
1 carrot
about 1 cup of pre-cooked quinoa left over from the weekend
1 large lemon wedge
1 small pot humus
handful fresh parsley
pinch seasalt
very small handful blanched almonds
small handful parmesan shavings
A hand blender
A spiraliser

Then I spiralised the courgette and the carrot on the narrowest spaghetti sized blade and threw it in a big bowl with the leftover quinoa (it only takes 15 mins or so to make fresh quinoa or you can actually buy it ready cooked too).

Then I finely chopped the parsley in the hand blender and added that in, along with nearly a full little tub of humus, the juice from the lemon wedge and the sea salt.

Finally I crunched up the almonds a little bit in the blender and stirred them in too with the parmesan.

It served two of us with some left over for lunch and was totes delish.  Very satisfying but light, tasty thanks to the humus and parmesan, full of wholesome goodness and tangy thanks to the lemon and carrot. We had it with a wholemeal pitta but would have done without to be honest!

I'm really happy with this recipe and will definitely be making it and version of it again. Yum,