Fudgy, chocolatey and delicious, these healthy Chocolate Chia Bliss Balls are vegan and paleo! And you only need just FOUR ingredients and a few minutes to make these healthy treats.
Chocolate Chia Bliss Balls are great as a post-workout snack or as a snack for kids and adults alike.
Updated: August 2018
Why I love these chia seed energy balls?
Striking a balance between eating healthy and satisfying that sweet tooth is always an interesting challenge. Chocolate to me, is what kryptonite is to Superman! So while finding that sweet spot between healthy and indulgent can be tricky, I’m always on the look out for a solution.
This is why I’m really excited to share this recipe with you guys today. One of my absolute favorite alternatives for that nagging craving we all get from time to time – Chia Bliss Balls!
So what are chia bliss balls?
Bliss balls are a snack that I ate regularly when I was in Australia. It’s a healthy snacks, with the added nutrition of “super foods” to make them extra nutritious! These chia bliss balls have the added nutrition of chia seeds, and these are vegan, dairy-free, and paleo, with no refined sugars!
There are so many versions and flavors of these fudgy chia bliss balls that you can make! But my favorite are these chocolate chia bliss balls. The basic ingredients for chia bliss balls are chia seeds, almonds (or any other type of nut) and dates. But for these chocolate chia bliss balls, I also added cocoa powder. And since you can make these in the your food processor, it only takes 5 minutes to make them. And maybe a few more minutes if you do decide to coat them as well.
Why chia seeds are good for you
Chia seeds have gotten quite popular in recent years. They’ve been labelled a “super food” and with good reason too. One ounce of chia seeds have 4.7 grams of protein, 9 grams of fat, 11 grams of fiber, 12 grams of carbohydrates and other minerals and vitamins (Source: WebMD and several others). It’s meant to keep you full for longer, which is perfect for someone prone to the munchies like me! I add it to all kinds of things – my bread dough, breakfast oats, salads, smoothies (my sister taught me that) and of course, bliss balls.
Are dates really good for you too?
Dates have a natural sweetness and stickiness that work perfectly for treats like these chia bliss balls. They are also high in minerals, vitamins and fiber. Even though they are also high in sugar content, they still have numerous health benefits as well.
You all know how nutritionally dense almonds are as they are packed with protein, fat, vitamins, carbs and essential minerals. And even the unsweetened cocoa powder is well known for its anti-oxidants and its ability to boost endorphin levels to keep us all happy.
I don’t mean to sound like your personal dietitian or nutritionist. But you can’t deny that these are an amazing treat! Plus you can truly enjoy these without ever feeling the need to hit the gym and run five miles afterwards.
Can I change the ingredients for these chocolate chia bliss balls?
Yes you can! If you don’t like almonds, you can use alternatives – hazelnuts, walnuts or pecans. Don’t want chocolate bliss balls? You can leave out the cocoa powder altogether as well.
If you prefer chocolate chia bliss balls that are a little less sweet, you can reduce the amount of dates you use to about 6 oz. If you do reduce the amount of dates, you may need to add just a little extra liquid – like water or coconut oil or almond butter. But only add that if necessary.
How can I make FUDGY chocolate chia bliss balls?
The trick to fudgy chocolate bliss balls is the dates. Make sure the dates are not stale or hard! Get some good quality dates that are soft and not stale to make these bliss balls . If your dates have become stale and hard, you can easily soften them too. So don’t toss them out.
Here’s how to soften your stale dates – just place the 8 oz of dates in a bowl, and pour boiling water over them completely submerge the dates. Cover the bowl and let the dates sit for about 5 minutes. Drain the water and place the dates on a paper towel to drain the excess water. The dates are now ready to use! 🙂
Plus, you don’t have to buy more expensive dates like mejdool either (although I do love mejdool dates!) for this recipe. You can use whatever dates that are available to you for this fudgy chia bliss balls recipe.
Making these chocolate chia bliss balls in your food processor is super easy too. It’s similar to how you would make nut butter in your food processor, but with a few extra ingredients. Simply run your food processor for a few minutes to chop and mix all the ingredients. The dates need to become a sticky paste along with the other ingredients too, so that it’s easier to make balls. Some bliss ball recipes call for the addition of water to bind the ingredients together, but I’ve never had to that with this recipe.
I processed the ingredients for about 2-3 minutes (with breaks in between), until the dates break down and act as the glue to hold everything together. An optional step here is to process the CHIA SEEDS FIRST, before adding the rest of the ingredients. This will chop up the chia seeds first. If you add all the ingredients together, the chia seeds will mostly remain whole. I personally like this because the chia seeds provide a little crunch. But it is up to you, as to how you’d like the texture of the chia seeds to be. 🙂
Since this “dough” is super sticky, use some coconut oil to coat your hands before mixing this dough. Otherwise it WILL stick to your hands! I also coat the mini cookie scoop so that the chocolate chia bliss balls won’t stick too much to the scoop either.
But once the chocolate chia bliss balls have been rolled into perfect balls, they will not stick to your hands. You can leave them uncoated, that’s how I prefer them. Alternatively, you can coat them with coconut flakes (K’s favorite), or with freeze-dried fruit powder (they just look so pretty).
These chocolate chia bliss balls are ridiculously fudgy, chocolatey, and addictive! These are great for kids, and are a wonderful alternative for their sweet cravings. You can even get them to help you with forming the balls!
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Chocolate Chia Bliss Balls
US based cup, teaspoon, tablespoon measurements. Common Measurement Conversions
- 8 oz dates
- 3 oz chia Seeds
- 2 oz raw almonds sliced or chopped RAW almonds are fine too
- 3 tablespoons cocoa
- pinch of salt optional
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup desiccated coconut optional
- 2 tbsp freeze-dried berry powder optional
- Optional first step - add the chia seeds into your food processor and pulse for a few times to "chop" the chia seeds. You can start with this step if you prefer the chia seeds to be fully chopped/processed in your bliss balls. But skip this step if you prefer having mostly whole chia seeds in your bliss balls.
- Add the rest of the ingredients (if you skipped the first step, then add ALL of the ingredients) into the processor and mix on low speed for about 2 minutes (stop to scrape down the sides if needed) until the ingredients come together to form a "dough". Process for another 2 - 3 minutes if needed to form the dough.
- If the dough is not coming together (if your dates were too dry for example), you can add a little water or coconut oil - a teaspoon at a time, to get a dough like consistency (see Recipe Notes).
- Turn the sticky "dough" out in to a bowl. Use oil coated hands to fold the dough into one big piece.
- Roll the "dough" in to small 1 1/2 inch balls. You can use a small, oiled cookie scoop to portion out the dough, or use well oiled hands (preferably with coconut oil).
- Optional - roll the smooth chocolate chia bliss balls in the coconut or the freeze-dried fruit powder to coat. To avoid sticky fingers, you can place the chia bliss balls in a plastic bag along with the freeze-dried fruit powder, then seal the bag and shake until the bliss balls are evenly coated.
- Store in an airtight container for a few days. These can be kept in the fridge, but will then get less soft.
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