I was contemplating waiting until the Fall to post this recipe but then I remembered that although my affinity for chai does peak during the colder months, my love is not seasonal. It is evergreen; failing to discriminate between July and January. I love chai all year round. PERIOD.
I spent a couple of weeks dreaming up this recipe and jotting ideas down as they came to me. Last week I finally felt like playing in the kitchen so these balls got to leave the “recipes to make” note on my iPhone and manifest themselves into the real world. And my belly.
This was actually my first attempt at bringing the sweet, spice forward, satisfying balls I dreamed of into the real world and I fully expected to have to give it a couple of tries to get it right. Despite being a big fan of bliss balls (or protein balls, or fat bombs or whatever you want to call dense, circular formations of goodness), I had actually never made them myself.
Well friends, every now and then you strike gold in recipe development land and end up creating exactly what you wanted on the first go. I ate these over a few days, each time reassessing my feelings to make sure I still loved them. And I did. I even got the nod of approval from my family members, whom I suspect are not avid bliss ball consumers. Actually, I know they are not.
What You Need to Know
Now, let’s talk about some things you should know before you make your balls. You could probably purchase pre-made chai spice and that’s totally cool if you choose to do so. However, for a number of reasons, I would HIGHLY recommend making your own. For one, you can tweak the ratios so the overall flavour is just how you like it and two, you can use freshly ground spices to get a much stronger, fresher mixture. I ground my own cloves and cardamom for the first time and I was amazed at the aroma that filled my kitchen.
I am no expert when it comes to grinding spices – my experience in spice grinding is as sophisticated using a pepper grinder. I was able to get the cloves and cardamom ground down into a powder, however it was a fairly tedious process and probably not the correct way of grinding spices. So I won’t even bother detailing it here. I’m sure if you google it you will find copious resources. I plan on doing the same next time I need to grind spices. And rest assured, once I have learned the tricks of the trade, I will share.
As for where to purchase spices, I’m aware they can be hella expensive. One hidden-in-plain-sight gem I have found for spices is Fruiticana. They have tons of spices, many of which are organic for super reasonable prices.
Soak your dates! It really does soften up the texture and makes them much easier to blend in with the rest of the ingredients, and safer for your food processor. I soaked mine in hot water for about 30 minutes while I prepared the other items of the recipe.
Meet your new best friend when it comes to plant based Omega 3 Fatty Acids; Walnuts! It can be tough to find accessible food sources of Omega 3 in adequate quantities, but walnuts are a rich source of these omegas.
Let’s not forget about chia seeds! These are also a rich source of healthy fats and yup, you guessed it – that includes Omega 3’s.
Last but not least the dried coconut will also bring in those satisfying fats. I have yet to learn about how the drying process effects the quality of the fat in coconuts, however there is still fat present once it’s dried and it tastes delicious. For now, that’s good enough for me.
All of these wonderful fats will help keep you satisfied for longer meaning you get more bang for your buck with this snack.
What about the sugar in dates?
Good question. It’s true, dates have a lot of sugar. However, unlike processed snacks that contain little else besides refined sugars and food additives, dates are a whole food and contain fibre. Fibre helps to regulate blood sugar by essentially slowing the absorption of dietary sugar into the blood stream.
So in conjunction with the fibre, healthy fats and spices like cinnamon (which is also believed to help regulate blood sugar), you shouldn’t find that the dates in these bliss balls send you on a blood sugar roller coaster.
Chai Coconut Bliss Balls (Vegan, Gluten Free, No Bake)
- food processor or blender
- 1 cup dates pitted and soaked
- 4 tbsp walnuts chopped
- 4 tbsp dried coconut flakes
- 4 cracks sea salt
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp ground/powdered cardamom
- 1/8 tsp ground/powdered cloves
- 1/8 tsp powdered white pepper
- 1/4 tsp powdered ginger
- 1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon
- 1 cup dried coconut flakes finely ground/desiccated
- Soak your dates in a bowl of hot water for 30 minutes.
- Using a food processor, grind up the 1 cup of dried coconut flakes allocated for the "Topping" until it is finely ground.
- Evenly spread the desiccated coconut across a plate and set aside.
- Combine all "Chai Spice" ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until evenly combined.
- Once 30 minutes have passed and your dates are soaked, combine all "Main Ingredients" and "Chai Spice" ingredients in a food processor and blend until well combined. Blend more for a smoother texture and less for a chunkier texture with more crunch from the walnuts.
- Using your hands, roll the mixture into 1 1/2 inch balls.
- Roll the balls in the plate of desiccated coconut until there is an even layer around the entire ball.
- Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!
- These were eaten in a couple of days for me, however they should last you about a week if stored in the refrigerator!
If you make these, be sure to let me know by sharing on Instagram and tagging @bythesoulblog!
Happy Eating 🙂