Discover the Essential Ingredients in Our Homemade Chocolate Bliss Balls
Explore the key ingredients that go into our delectable homemade Chocolate Bliss Balls and the purpose behind their inclusion. While we often utilize what’s readily available in our pantry, especially when crafting these treats with kids, we make it a point to educate them on the nutritional value of each ingredient. Our approach is all about making food enjoyable, delicious, and engaging, while also instilling a deeper understanding of why we choose specific ingredients for our recipes.
- Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, zinc, and iron source. Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that can function in fat and water-based substances, so it is fantastic to help detox the brain. Vitamin E deficiencies can often be linked to slow language development, abnormal proprioception, a high pain threshold, low muscle tone and poor motor control and planning; Kelly Dorfman MD, What’s eating your child?
- Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, plant-based omega 3’s, protein and magnesium. Zinc is fantastic for cell growth and immune function, but my favourite is its involvement in sensory development, such as developing your sense of taste and your sense of smell. This is terrific news for all those parents with super-sensitive eaters!
- Sunflower seeds – again rich in vitamin E, copper, B vitamins and selenium for hair and nail health.
- Sesame Seeds –Vitamin B6 and Folate, which improve cellular metabolism, mood and energy and aid in the absorption of Vitamin E. Sesame seeds are balanced with calcium and magnesium. They are more bioavailable to the body than milk for bone health.
- Dates– delicious and chewy- are also a good source of vitamins A and B complex. They are rich in iron, calcium, manganese, copper and potassium, making them great building blocks for nerves and brain development. Dates contain selenium, which is vital for bone development.
- Coconut – fibre
- Raw cocoa – Lowers insulin levels, protects the nervous system, boosts mood, and is rich in minerals.
- Dark chocolate – I always make sure it is soy and palm oil-free – anything 75% or above works well with the dates, but be careful regarding caffeine levels and young kids who still require a nap.
- Good quality salt – to enhance the caramel taste of the dates and fuel the body with electrolytes.
- Coconut oil – Healthy fat
- Wild blueberries – are 2x higher in antioxidants than regular blueberries
- Dried apricots – have a high concentration of beta-carotene. This makes them an excellent food for healing lung, skin, and stomach illnesses, but they also aid in building healthy eyes. We dehydrate our own to ensure they are organic and preservative-free, especially if you are sensitive like me to pesticides, sulphate and salicylic acid.
Putting it all together:
- Blend and mix all desired dry ingredients. Soak dates first and blend with chocolate; add salt to taste.
- Combine the dry ingredients and date mixture into a bowl. Add melted coconut oil until the mixture is wet and holds shape.
- Roll into balls and cover in desiccated coconut (I blend my coconut with wild blueberries to colour)
Like every household, we have ups and downs, parental wins and losses. Parents aren’t meant to have all the answers, only a willingness to learn new things. One of the most consistent questions parents ask me as a Kinesiologist is always about a child’s food, diet, or lack thereof.Back to School
Food and nutrition today can be dynamic and, more often than not, confusing. I would never claim to be a specialised nutritionist, just a health facilitator (with few units of nutrition and sports nutrition) who can self-empower others to become critical consumers. Over the last 18 years I have taught, nutrition has changed dramatically; science and social viewpoints have changed this. We now understand and can observe bodily functions at a more micro level. An example of this would be the now universal understanding of gut health, the microbiome.
When it comes to ‘diet’, there has never been a one size fits all….. I’m not sure there will ever be. Kinesiology has taught me that we process more than just food each time.
I suggest looking past any perfect diet and looking more broadly. Focusing on understanding why you want to eat food/ nutrition. What does the food offer you, how can you maximise nutrition, and what will you gain from eating it? Most of the latest lifestyle changes have the same underlying messages. They recommend you increase the nutritional density of the food consumed, waste less food, know your fats, avoid pesticides as much as possible, and eat hormone- and GMO-free food when possible.
Don’t be fooled by my Instagram lifestyle either; my kids, like all kids, have treats! We just chose treats that balance out our overall food consumption. I read the ingredients on the back of the packet and taught them how to understand and interpret food labels. But mostly now, as the kids get older, we balance out their weekend eating with nutritionally packed food during the week and don’t overconsume any food family at any one time.
As a kinesiologist and a health teacher, my message is to not focus on the foods you need to avoid but relish what goodness you can always add.