What a fun weekend we had with family visiting from California, including one super adorable, three month old grand-niece. Nice treat for Labor Day before life becomes all about routines and back to the business of work and school and regular activities. Although I’m sorry to see the warm weather depart, I do love routine and organization. Especially in the kitchen….in the form of healthy habits. What? You didn’t guess?
Let’s get real though……snack time happens. It’s not so much an “if” than a “when?” The question is whether or not you’ll be prepared with healthy options or not when the need for an energy boost arrives. Get in the habit of having healthy choices available rather than hoping the need won’t be there.
Bliss balls are just perfect for this endeavor because they are a super choice for an afternoon pick me up, a little sweet treat after dinner, a post workout snack, a lunch box treat…..basically anytime you’re craving a little something sweet or feeling a little low on energy, a Bliss Ball will fill the need.
I’m not sure where the name “bliss balls” came from, but I can’t imagine many other foods that bring on perfect happiness the way these do…..at any hour of the day! My love of a good bliss ball goes well with my love of having enough energy to power through my day……matched with a desire to eat food that is both nutritious and delicious. These halva bliss balls don’t disappoint on either front.
NUTRIENT DENSE HALVA BLISS BALLS
Sometimes Bliss Balls are referred to as protein balls, or energy bites….all adequate descriptions for these babies. I started with a base of tahini because sesame seeds are about 20% protein, by weight making them a higher protein food than most other seeds or nuts. Tahini is also rich in the minerals phosphorus, magnesium potassium and iron and is one of the best sources of calcium. Tahini is easy to digest, promotes healthy cell growth and is high in Vitamins E and many of the Bs.
Flax seeds are not only a good source of protein, fiber and healthy fats, they are also super high in Omega-3s—-which have been proven to have heart health benefits and are linked to a lower risk of stroke.
The benefits to using raw cacao in this recipe go far beyond the obvious: CHOCOLATE!!! Raw Cacao is the highest plant-based source of Iron, is loaded with antioxidants (40 times more than blueberries!!!), full of magnesium—for a healthy heart and brain, has more calcium than cow’s milk and acts as a natural mood elevator and anti-depressant—-um, hello chocolate!!!
There is a reason that Maca is considered a super food. It’s highly nutritious boasting healthy amounts of protein, vitamin C, copper, iron, potassium and B6. Maca has been shown to alleviate some symptoms of menopause including hot flashes and can help protect bone health.
Halva is generally made from sesame paste and loads of sugar. As a child, I remember the halva bars my sister and I ate being crumbly, but I loved them because my Grandma Evie bought them for us…….and because they were so sweet. I remember the first time I tasted freshly made Halva from the Shuk in Israel——it didn’t resemble the Halva of my youth, but it still had a nostalgic flavor to me. The Israeli halva didn’t crumble, it was creamy—-and still very sweet—-but unmistakably halva. These days, I try to stay away from refined white sugar….though it doesn’t mean I don’t like a sweet treat sometimes, or a nostalgic dessert. Sweetening tahini with dates and maple syrup makes for a surprisingly good facsimile to halva flavor.
Pairing the halva flavor with the nutritional benefits of sesame, flax, cacao and maca make these halva bliss balls just perfect……..for any occasion, any time of day! Get yourself ready for back to school, back to work, back to the business of leading an extraordinary and healthful life. Make up a batch of these Halva Bliss Balls , some chocolate chunk cookies and maybe a batch of granola bars and even some health cookies. Get your freezer stocked and ready so you will have a healthy option available when the need arises for a snack.