These cute and portable snacks are packed with superfoods, natural ingredients, fibre and protein to keep you energized throughout the day. All it takes is a food processor and a tolerance for sticky hands to make them!
I can’t be the only person out there who finds snacks really difficult to plan. If I’m at home I just end up cooking something or making toast or eating fruit from the fridge if I need a snack. But when it comes to packing something up for on the go, I’m kind of lost.
Right now I’m gearing up to head to Toronto in a couple of weeks. Last summer I went and brought a container of two flavours of these balls and they (along with some quinoa squares) really saved the day in terms of breakfast. I’m trying to decide if I should make some more for this trip, and I’m leaning towards yes – even though we’ve rented an AirBnB with a kitchen. Which, by the way, is the only way to travel imo.
Making snack balls (or “bliss balls” as they’re often called online) is really easy. It just takes two basic components: the dry crunchy parts, and the sticky sweet parts.
The Dry Crunchy
Okay, so, pistachios are expensive. I’m not about to create a recipe that calls for a whole cup of them. So in order to keep on the green theme (not that the colour shows up much thanks to the dates, but still, its about the spirit of things) I used half pistachios and half pumpkin seeds.
I always opt for unsalted nuts when possible. That’s simply because I like to be in control of the salt in my recipes. I didn’t add any sea salt into these balls when I made them, but I think it would possibly be a good addition – I’ll update the recipe if I try it and decide it’s even better. For now, the focus is on the sweetness.
Since there’s no reason not to, I threw in some hemp hearts and chia seeds. They’re both so good for you and filled with protein and vitamins and minerals. If you don’t have these ingredients (you should go buy them, but otherwise) you can omit them and add some extra nuts to bulk up the mixture.
The Sticky Sweet
In order to make this mixture come together into a roll-able form, you have to add something sticky sweet. Dried fruit is the best for this, and even if I’m using other fruit I also add some dates since they’re just so perfect here.
Once processed, the dates become like a sticky glue that holds together the dry ingredients. The maple syrup adds a bit of extra sweetness and moisture – now, some of these ratios will depend on how big your dates are. If they’re jumbo, you’re probably not going to need as many or as much maple syrup. If they’re on the small side, you can add more. The best thing to do is start small and add more if needed. This is totally a recipe that you can throw things into as you go along.
Rolling these balls in coconut at the end is optional, but if you don’t like coconut you should try and find something else to roll them in (Crushed cookie crumbs? Granola?). It makes them easier to hold and stops them from sticking to their container and each other.
Pistachio Date Balls
- 1/3 cup shelled plain pistachios
- 1/3 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 8-10 pitted dates
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- shredded coconut
In a food processor, add the pistachios, pumpkin seeds, hemp hearts, chia seeds, dates, and maple syrup.
Process these ingredients until they form a sticky, crumbly mixture.
Sprinkle the coconut in a small dish to roll the balls in when formed.
With slightly damp hands (to avoid sticking), take about a tablespoon of the date and nut mixture and roll into a firm ball.
Roll the balls in the coconut, pressing the coconut into the outside to stop them from being too sticky.