Chocolate bliss balls {raw, vegan, gluten-free}

How do you know when you’ve been heading down a highway of unhappiness at 100km an hour? I only know when hindsight calls in and tells me to make a U-turn. By then, the damage has already been done – in one way or another.

Remember how I realigned my priorities this year? I was heading down that road. To get back on track, I had to address the root of the problem – my job.

It wasn’t just the environment I was in, it was the actual job. I applied for a job that encompassed a lot of the elements I enjoy, and the rest is history. Now, I’m a strategic storyteller who gets to finish my working day at 4.30pm (instead of 6pm) so I can eat better, sleep earlier and spend more time with my partner.

Now, I practice yoga at a small studio and have made it a priority to focus on what I’m consuming, like increasing the amount of organic food I prepare and eat at home, and being strict about sticking to gluten-free when I go out for a meal.

These bliss balls are contributing to my newfound happiness. They were an 11th hour effort before a few friends came over for a BBQ, and they were perfect from the get-go. I’ve made them many times since.

Chocolate bliss balls
Makes approx. 16

2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup cacao nibs
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup
8 dates, pips removed

Add all ingredients to a food processor and process on high for around 45-60 seconds.

Add a teaspoon of water to help moisten the dough if needed and process for a few seconds more.

Mould around one tablespoon of dough into a ball and repeat for remaining mixture.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

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White chocolate cookie dough bliss balls {raw, vegan, gluten-free}

My first foray into raw food was making bliss balls. I was after a sweet snack to combat 3pm-itis and this was the perfect thing for me to enjoy as I weaned myself off every food I loved in this world. Fast forward to now, I don’t make them very often at all. But I should. I always forget how easy they are to make.

So, here we are with some cookie dough bliss balls made from cashews, coated in a white chocolate shell made from cacao butter. This recipe is quick, easy and simple. The hardest part? Stopping yourself at just one.

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White chocolate cookie dough bliss balls {raw, vegan, gluten-free}
Makes 14 balls

For the balls:
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup almond meal
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the shell:
40g cacao butter
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp maple syrup

Put cashews, almond meal, maple syrup, vanilla extract, coconut oil and salt in a food processor and process on high until mixture is sticking together and the oils from the nuts start to release. Transfer to a bowl and place mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Gently heat the cacao butter in a small saucepan. Once it has melted, add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Whisk and remove from the heat to cool.

Remove mixture from freezer and start shaping into 14 even-sized balls. Dip each one in the cacao liquid and once you have done all of them, repeat the process.

Return coated bliss balls to the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Eat straight from the freezer, or at room temp. Just be careful not to let them get too warm, or the chocolate shell will melt.