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TelMD

No-Bake Chocolate Brownie Bliss Balls for Tel

brownie, cacao, chocolate, no bake, recipe

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I didn’t know what a bliss ball was until Tel introduced me to them.  Who’s Tel? He’s the “Tel” in TelMD–the family physician turned visionary who created this incredible place that we all come together and each find our own path to optimal wellness!  

But back to the story…

I had never heard of bliss balls until I traveled to Monterey for a visit.  While Tel was seeing patients, I explored the area and stopped for a smoothie.  When I texted him to see if he wanted anything, I got an immediate response: “YES! BLISS BALLS!!!”. 

OK, it was clear that he liked these things.  I picked up four and brought them by his office.  Later that day, he shared one with me. It was then that I understood his excitement.

I mean, have you tried them?  They are truly incredible!  

Back home in my own kitchen, I came up with this version of the chocolate heaven that I discovered that day.  Now I don’t think I’d dare show up at Tel’s without them. I bring them every time I visit. He’s a big fan, and I think you will be, too!

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They’re made entirely in a food processor with only 8 ingredients (or 9, if you choose to coat them in shredded coconut).  They require no baking and you’ll be surprised just how much they taste like brownies. In fact, I like them more than I do most brownies.

The Recipe

1 c. raw, unsalted cashews

¼ c. cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

2 – 2.5 T cacao nibs

⅛ t sea salt

14 barhi dates, peeled with the seeds removed or 8 Medjool dates, seeds removed

1 t vanilla extract

½ T coconut oil

1 t water (or a little more depending on your dates)

¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)

Add the cashews into a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add the cacao/cocoa powder, salt & cacao nibs & pulse 10-15 seconds or until mixture is uniform throughout. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until the ingredients start to stick together.  Slowly add appx. 2 t of water while pulsing to get the mixture to really stick. Roll into small bite-sized balls and place in the freezer for 1/2 hour.  

The recipe starts by just pulsing cashews in the blender until they’re finely chopped.  If you don’t have cashews, feel free to use walnuts or almonds. I’ve tried this recipe with both and either will work fine.  If you have a nut allergy, I believe that sunflower seeds should work well (although I have not tested it).

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Instead of processed sugar like many desserts out there, these little gems are sweetened by using dates.  Although they are not easy to find, I believe that barhi dates are leagues better than the other varieties out there.  They are sweeter and juicier by far & work great in this recipe. In fact, every summer I drive several hours to a farm in Palm Desert, California where I buy them in bulk.  They freeze really well. If you can’t find them, Medjools are a good substitute.  

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If you do use barhi dates, it’s easy to remove the skins and seeds.  Just squeeze them and pull the skin to the sides. It takes a little practice, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it.

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You might need to add a very small amount of water.  I usually add about 1 tsp. If you’re using Medjools, it might be a little more, but be sure to add it really slowly.  It should look like the photo above.

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Roll them into bite-sized balls and put them in the freezer for about half an hour to set.  At this point, if you like coconut, feel free to roll them in shredded coconut. This recipe will make 6-9 balls, depending on the size that you make them.  Store them in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll keep for up to a week (if they last that long).

Enjoy!  

 

brownie, cacao, chocolate, no bake, recipe

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