This super simple recipe is a special share from the ‘No-bake’ chapter of my gorgeous ebook ‘The Well Nourished Lunchbox’. It’s a quick and easy to make treat, very nutritious and satisfies the strongest chocolate craving. They are nut, gluten, grain, egg and refined sugar-free; a bit of a change from the dried fruit, high-sugar energy balls or bars about.
The sunflower seeds are a wonderful source of vitamin E, many essential minerals, monounsaturated fats and protein. The pumpkin seeds super-charge this recipe with zinc and the sesame seeds with calcium. The chia seeds are a balanced blend of fibre, essential omega-3 fatty acids, protein and many phytonutrients. The principle medium chain fatty acids in coconut, lauric and capric acid, are anti-inflammatory and support immune and digestive health. The cacao adds antioxidants galore and the cinnamon stabilises blood sugars for a sustained energy release!
Soak and dehydrate your seeds to make them more digestible and nutritious. Otherwise use lightly toasted seeds for a nuttier result.
Take a look at the variations (below the main recipe) for suggestions to alter the recipe to suit your specific dietary requirements.
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Nut-free Cacao Bliss Balls
- 150 g mixed seeds (approx. 1 cup) ground (140g pumpkin and/or sunflower seeds plus 1 tablespoon chia seeds and 1 tablespoon linseed)
- 20 g chia seeds (2 tablespoons) ground
- 80 g desiccated coconut (1 cup)
- 30 g cacao (¼ cup) unsweetened Dutch process or raw
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 85 g rice malt syrup, honey or maple syrup (¼ cup)
- 100 g coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla -powder, extract or essence
- In a bowl or food processor combine the seeds, chia or flax, coconut, cacao and cinnamon. Thermomix 10 seconds, speed 5.
- Add the sweetener, coconut oil and vanilla and mix until well combined. Thermomix 15 seconds, speed 5.
- Roll into small balls and toss in the extra coconut or cacao if desired. This is a great job for the kids.
- Place on a tray lined with baking paper and pop in the fridge or freezer to set.
Store and serve
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks, or freeze for up to a month. I pack these into the lunch box from frozen (against an ice brick). They will fall apart if not kept cool.
Low-fructoseChoose rice malt syrup as your sweetener.
Coconut-freeReplace the desiccated coconut with more ground seeds and the coconut oil with butter or ghee.
Cacao-freeReplace the cocoa with carob powder.
VeganChoose rice malt or maple syrup as your sweetener.
Time saving TipSometimes I just don't have the patience to roll balls. This mixture can also be pressed into a tin lined with baking paper, chilled to set and then cut into squares and stored.
I'd love to hear how your kids enjoy this recipe - post a comment or rate this recipe below.