I have a new date and nut combo for you!
Coconut Raspberry Cacao Bliss…Balls.
*Excuse me while I try to control my eye twitch.*
You see, the word “balls” brings back memories of an unfortunate nickname I once had.
It all started when a red-haired boy in my 4th-grade class developed a crush on me. And you know how 4th graders express romantic interest. They don’t pick dandelions for you during recess or buy you candy with their lunch money.
They mercilessly pick on you. They make fun of you. They decide to give you traumatic nicknames like “Izzah-balls”.
I have no recollection of why this nickname came into being.
But the idea went viral.
Soon allll the boys in the class were shouting “izzahbawwwlls!!” from across the room. Glad we didn’t have the Internet back then. #izzahballs
Now that I’ve unloaded all that emotional baggage, I can finally share this delightful recipe with you.
These coconut cacao date balls bear a close resemblance to my 5-Minute Chocolate Energy Bars. I often made those bars, but a little change here, a minor addition there, and they eventually morphed into these too-good-not-to-share date balls.
Whatever the variations, some form of these date and nut balls (aka bliss balls) can often be found in my kitchen. They fit the trinity of qualities we’re all searching for circa 2018: tasty + nutritious + easy. No wonder they’re called bliss balls!
I make them alllll the time because they are an excellent snack for my daughter. They contain walnuts, dates, and coconut (i.e. things you feel good about feeding your child). Try adding probiotic powder, chia seeds, or whatever nutritious goodness you want to sneak in.
On Making Them Aesthetically Pleasing
I credit my friend and allergy-friendly food blogger Shahla at My Berkeley Kitchen!
She posted her own nut-free sunflower balls covered in crushed freeze-dried raspberries, and I longed to do the same. When I couldn’t find any, she even offered to mail them to me. She’s always been such a nice person, but I was genuinely touched by her offer. Thank you, Shahla!
Now that I moved to Houston (and have access to all the foods! YAYY!), I was able to get my hands on some of these magical dried raspberries.
And oh my, they take the ‘addictive status’ of these date/nut bars up a notch. They also make them particularly festive for Valentine’s Day.
So if you’re trying to gain someone’s affection, I recommend making them these date balls. Maybe cover them in melted chocolate to up the decadence.
But whatever you do, please don’t bestow the name “balls” upon them.
Coconut Raspberry Cacao Bliss Balls
These coconut cacao date balls are quick, easy and nutritious as a snack or dessert. They're perfect for kids and make a wonderful Valentine's day treat.
- 1 cup raw walnuts
- 1 heaped cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 tbsp coconut oil melted and at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cup pitted medjool dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2-3 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- small handful crushed freeze-dried raspberries plus more for garnish
- pinch cardamom powder optional
- shredded coconut for garnish
Add the walnuts and shredded coconut in a food processor. Process until the walnuts have broken down well. Add the rest of the ingredients except the garnish and process until the mixture is combined well, about 2 minutes.
Divide the mixture into tablespoon sized balls. Roll the balls in crushed freeze-dried raspberries and coconut to coat them.
Cover and store them in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes so the oil can solidify.