Normally I would never post a recipe for something sweet on a 5-2 fast day. With a daily intake of only 500 calories, every morsel that passes my lips is carefully calorie counted with a very firm emphasis on wholesome and nutritious food. My fast days have become my goddess days filled with clean eating; everything on my plate fresh, delicious and vibrant. Pared back recipes with little added sugars and fats.
So it follows that today’s Orange Scented Double Cacao Hazelnut Bliss Bombs are a little bit of an exception. My winter fasting routine has evolved to allocate 400 calories between a light late morning brunch and more substantial early evening meal. Leaving 100 calories to play with to fuel any mid afternoon slump, particularly important on cold, wet and dreary afternoons, when cravings left unchecked can easily trump steely resolve. A strategy cunningly designed to accommodate a skim milk cappuccino, until bliss balls crossed my radar.
Sugar free and rich in antioxidants, these good- for -you energy balls are filled with naturally sweet dates, deep dark slightly bitter cacao and crunchy hazelnuts. A healthy raw food treat, they come together very quickly in a matter of moments in the bowl of your food processor. Scented with orange and a dash of vanilla they’re rich, fudgy and also extremely moreish. At just 92 calories per bliss bomb they have the makings of a perfect, guilt free mid afternoon pick me up. It goes without saying, that the trick is to be disciplined to stop at just one.
Orange Scented Double Cacao Hazelnut Bliss Bombs
Makes 16 Bliss Bombs (92 calories per serve)
10 medjool dates, each date pitted and scissored into 6 or 8 pieces depending on size (660 calories)
finely grated zest and juice of one orange (12 calories)
a scant pinch bicarbonate of soda
1 tablespoon unsweetened cacao powder (or substitute cocoa) (24 calories)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (12 calories)
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted with skins rubbed off , coarsely chopped(480 calories)
2 tablespoons almond meal (106 calories)
1/4 cup cacao nibs (181 calories)
PLACE scissored dates in a small heatproof bowl with the juice and finely grated zest of one orange. Add a scant pinch of bicarbonate of soda and soak for 15-20 minutes to soften. I like to place the bowl into the microwave and heat through on low for a minute to hasten the process.
TRANSFER softened date mixture into the bowl of a small food processor. Add cacao powder and vanilla extract. Pulse until combined. The mixture will clump together and be soft and a little sticky.
ADD coarsely chopped hazelnuts and almond meal. Pulse once or twice more to combine all ingredients. Stir through cacao nibs.
TAKE level tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls between moistened palms. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.