Since I first discovered this concept about three years ago, my family has been smitten with bliss balls, energy bites, raw truffles, or whatever you like to call them.
Bliss balls basically consist of raw sticky dough typically made from nuts, seeds, oats, and nut butters or dried fruits to make it all stick together. This batter is then rolled into balls for an easy on-the-go snack that is satiating and high in protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Until recently I had always used Medjool dates as a base, mixed with raw cacao powder to make delicious chocolatey bliss balls like the ones in this recipe.
One day my kids were begging me for bliss balls (yes, they’re THAT popular here), and all I had was a bag of dried apricots. So I started experimenting and, after a bit of trial and error, I came up with this winning recipe of apricot-coconut bliss balls.
Just like other energy bites, they keep well in the fridge for a week and can be frozen for months. They’re also easily transportable although I find the shredded coconut a bit messy when eaten on the go. So if you’re planning to put them in your kids’ schoolbag or take them on a trip, then simply don’t cover them with coconut.
Health benefits of dried apricots:
Dried apricots offer the same nutritional benefits as fresh apricots, although mostly in a far higher concentration:
- High in carotenes, which give them their deep orange color. Carotenes are particularly good for the eyes (yes, it’s not a myth that eating carrots will give you stronger eyes), and help prevent heart disease and cancer.
- High in potassium and iron, two minerals of which many of us are deficient.
- High in fiber (7.3 g in dried apricots versus 2 g in fresh apricots).
A few warnings about dried apricots:
- Just like every dried fruit, dried apricots are high in natural sugars and contain about 53 g/100 g. In this recipe each ball contains about 2.6 g of sugar which you could compare to a little over half a sugar cube (although we’re talking about natural sugars and not refined sugar). So just be aware that it’s not a good idea to eat a whole bag in one go because it might send your blood sugar skyrocketing.
- ALWAYS buy organic dried apricots. Not only because they contain less pesticides. But more importantly because non-organic apricots are very high in sulfur-dioxide. This compound is added during the drying process as a preservative and causes adverse reactions such as hives or difficulty breathing in sensitive people (1 in 100 people and 1 in 20 people with asthma). Organic and natural food stores sell non-sulfured apricots which are safer and have a browner color.
If you struggle to find healthy snack ideas for your children, make sure to read this post: Healthy snacks for kids or download my free ebook "20 sugar-free snacks for kids" right below this post.
- 15 dried apricots
- ¼ cup roasted or raw cashews (or any nut you have on hand)
- ¼ cup almond flour
- ½ cup oats
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- ¼ cup shredded coconut + more to roll the balls in
If your apricots are dry, soak them first in water for 1-2 hours
Put all ingredients in your blender or food processor and blend until a sticky dough forms
Roll the mix into small balls. I usually hold about a tablespoon of mixture in one hand and squeeze it a few times between the palm of my hand and my fingers, while rolling it between each squeeze. Then I use both hands to roll it into a nice little ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, make them wet before rolling the balls. If the dough is too dry and breaks down then add a little bit of water to the mixture.
Spread shredded coconut on a plate and roll the balls in it. If the coconut doesn’t stick to the balls, briefly dip the ball in a glass of water before rolling it into the coconut.
Store in the fridge for 30 minutes to set and keep in an airtight container for about a week or freeze for a few months.