With Christmas around the corner, it’s hard not to give into temptations that leave you feeling… well… a little naughty.
Even more so when you’ve been trying to be nice to your body all year long!
Why wait until the New Year to kickstart your health? With these decadent Heart Healthy Christmas Bliss Balls, you can snack the savvy way. Swap your standard refined sugar-filled confectionaries with these balls this holiday season and give your body the love it deserves.
These balls make a perfect Christmas treat or post workout snack, should you be taking our advice seriously and sticking to your health routine despite the holiday season.
Sink your teeth into the goodness of protein-rich heart healthy nuts and soft, juicy dates, wrapped in coconut.
Note – the dates here are the KEY to making this recipe droolworthy. If you can find fresh, medjool dates at a local supermarket or fruit shop, you’re golden. The pre-packaged dates will suffice, but fresh is always best. Fresh dates are high in natural sugar, so you don’t need many to make these bliss balls feel more naughty than nice.
1/2 cup fresh dates pitted
1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup of Nature’s Garden Heart Healthy Mix
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 tbsp coconut butter, or regular butter slightly softened and cubed
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp desiccated coconut, cocoa, or sprinkles for rolling
Soak dates in a glass or small bowl of warm water for 15 minutes or until soft.
When the fruits are nice and soft, drain and tip dates into the bowl of a food processor.
Add the remaining ‘ball’ ingredients to the processor and process until combined (the ‘dough’ will become quite dense and sticky when properly combined).
Remove mixture from food processor and roll into teaspoon sized balls.
On separate plates, shake out your desired toppings.
- Roll each ball in your chosen topping before placing it on a dinner plate/baking tray/large tupperware container and popping in the fridge.
Dates are high in fiber and antioxidants. Their nutritional benefits may support brain health and prevent disease. With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements.
Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They’re a gluten-free whole grain and a great source of important vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Studies show that oats and oatmeal can help promote weight loss, lower blood sugar levels, and may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
NATURE’S GARDEN HEART HEALTHY MIX
This trail mix features a mouthwatering combination of the highest quality heart healthy nuts, fruits, and seeds sourced from all natural ingredients. This carefully curated combination includes the freshest cranberries, walnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, and pepitas for a wholesome, mouthwatering combination of nutty decadence.
This high-fiber snack is ideal to help you in your weight-loss or training regime to satisfy hunger for longer. Almonds, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, and walnuts provide a burst of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids, vital in maintaining a healthy heart. Not to mention the antioxidant benefits, provided by pepitas and cranberries, known to help protect your body from disease.
The meat inside a coconut is dried to create shredded coconut flakes, used in this recipe. Although coconut meat is high in fat, it also contains MCTs.
MCTs are a source of energy and some research has shown that they may fight bacterial growth, help protect your heart, and assist in managing diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, and autism.
Coconuts also provide carbohydrates, a great source of energy, and protein, along with many essential minerals, such as manganese, copper, iron, and selenium.
Chia seeds also pack a huge fiber punch! These crunchy (and soft when soaked) little seeds contain large amounts of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, plenty of high quality protein, and several essential minerals and antioxidants. They may help to improve digestive health and work to decrease the risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Cocoa is one of the richest sources of polyphenols - a naturally occurring antioxidant. Polyphenols may help to reduce inflammation, better blood flow, lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol, and regulate blood sugar levels Cocoa is also full of flavanols, which have potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Shoutout to Healthy Mummy, where we adopted this recipe from.
Searching for more healthy Christmas treats? Look no further than the Nature’s Garden blog. View all our recipe articles here.