I first heard “Bliss Balls” mentioned in a Kat Loterzo video. Actually, in several Kat Loterzo videos. (They seem to be her preferred brain fuel, right up there with coffee, coffee, coffee, and “espresso martinis”.) I didn’t know if they were “an Aussie thing”, “a body builder thing”, or what, but I had never heard of them. So I turned to The Great Knower Of All Things (Google), and discovered that “Bliss Balls” are actually “a fuel thing” (yay, protein!), and lots of people already know all about them. (See Google for a plethora of recipes.)
After scanning a handful of recipes to learn the usual ingredients, proportions and making methods, and conducting a little kitchen reconnaissance, I turned to my local Trader Joe’s for more supplies. I chose raw almonds and coconut as the primary ingredients of my made-up “Bliss Balls” recipe, and pulled out my trusty Ninja blender/processor to experiment. (Yes, without an actual recipe to follow.)
My first attempt at making almond, coconut, raspberry ‘Bliss Balls’ turned out both pretty and surprisingly delicious. After gobbling down the first two, I was hooked. That batch kept me working happily for a good three days. (Success!) When the bliss finally ran out (boo!) and I started grabbing less healthy alternatives, I decided to keep the ingredients on hand from then on.
Over the next few batches, I tweaked my recipe and technique a bit each time and discovered that I preferred my “Bliss Balls” a little dryer (not so sticky), and with the nuts not too finely ground. I also realized there was no need to roll the balls in coconut or even sprinkle some on top (I now include all the coconut—which I love—inside the balls), as this is fuel production, not a cooking contest. (So don’t let your experimenting take over your whole day, mkay?) The only person I need to please with these babies is me, and I like fast, easy and yummy.
Eventually I developed a recipe and method that makes the ingredients bind without adding water, so that the finished product is nutty, salty, and a little sweet, not too sticky or wet, but not so dry that it can’t be formed into balls. I now understand why these little darlings are a regular part of Kat’s refueling routine and have made them a requirement of mine, too. (Though I’m saving the “espresso martinis” for a future day off.) They’re fast and easy to make, delicious, satisfying, filling, and one batch can carry me through at least three days of hyper productivity.
Included below is my final (for now) recipe. I encourage you to experiment and create a recipe that works well for you. Enjoy!
Almond, Coconut, Raspberry Bliss Balls (High Protein Snacks)
1 cup Raw Almonds
1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
6 Medjool Dates, pitted and coarsely chopped
A dash of Salt
A bigger dash of Cinnamon
2 scoops of Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
2 scoop of Miracle Reds Powder
1 T. Coconut Oil
1 T. Almond Butter (I use creamy, salted)
A drizzle of Honey
Put all the above ingredients in your food processor (I recommend a Ninja!) and pulse until well mixed and the nuts are the texture you prefer. (Don’t add the frozen raspberries until after you’ve gotten everything else ground and blended.)
Add ½ cup Frozen Raspberries and pulse until the mixture gets too thick and frozen to move it. Then carefully mix with a butter knife and pulse more. Patiently repeat this process until the berries are ground and mixed into the other ingredients. It will seem like a thick, frozen mess, but try to resist adding any water (unless you prefer your balls to be more wet and sticky). Just keep alternating the hand mixing and pulsing (and tasting) until you have a thick, dough-like mixture that is well blended and will hold together when you squeeze it.
Next, pull the blade out of the mixing bowl and use a scoop to form the “dough” into balls. (I put mine in a large storage container lined with parchment.) Store them in your refrigerator. A #40 (1.5 T) cookie scoop should make 14-16 delicious, bliss ball energy snacks.