When it comes to bliss balls, apricots aren’t always the starring ingredient. More often than not, you’ll find dates hogging the limelight.
These scrummy energy bites, however, hero the humble apricot. When paired with coconut, cashews and lemon, you get a gloriously fresh, sweet and slighty zesty mouthful.
With equal measures of apricots to cashew to coconut too, these balls aren’t too fruit dominant – lending to nice nutrient diversity.
Ingredients & Kitchen Tips
This recipe comes together in less than 15 minutes and you might even have a few of these ingredients in your pantry already! You’ll need:
- Dried apricots. A source of fibre, antioxidants and vitamins; these help bind, while adding flavour and sweetness. Aim to use a softer dried apricot – if they feel a bit tough, soak in hot water and drain well before use (note, you may not need to add the recommended water measure below).
- Raw unsalted cashews. Rich in heart-healthy fat, protein and minerals; cashews serve as the nut base. If salted cashews are in the cupboard begging to be eaten, simply drop the salt measure below.
- Shredded coconut. This is coconut that looks coarsely grated in long thick strands – like it has been shredded on the medium hole of a box grater! It holds more moisture than desiccated (finely grated) coconut.
- Runny honey. The stickiness in honey helps bind the balls, while adding another subtle flavour dimension. To make these bliss balls vegan, sub the honey for brown rice syrup – it’s sticky-sweet too. Easy as!
- Lemon zest. It wouldn’t be a lemony bliss ball without lemon. Citrus adds flavour and brightness. Side note – in the name of food waste, it pains me to request just lemon zest for these, so please find another way to enjoy the juice! Some ideas – squeeze into water and drink, or whip up a vinaigrette, or add to a curry to brighten, or freeze in an ice block tray for future you. Whatever works friends.
- Vanilla extract or essence. For a subtle but delicious, vanilla flavour.
- Salt. Salt enhances and balances flavours (easily my most frequently use ingredient in the kitchen!).
Tools of the Trade
Only a few tools are needed to whip these up:
- Food processor. A high powered machine makes the job easier. If you don’t have a grunty beast, all good – you may need to run your machine a bit longer to break everything down. The end goal is a mixture that can be pressed together with your fingers and hold its shape.
- A microplane or the smallest hole on a box grater. When grating zest, use a light touch to rotate the fruit gently. Aim to catch the yellow upmost peel, rich in aromatic citrus oils. Avoid the white pith below like the plague as it’s bitter! If the zest gets stuck in the tiny holes simple strike it on the bench a few times to come loose.
- A humble Tablespoon. Use to measure portions of the mixture to roll into even-sized balls. This recipe makes about 14 bliss balls when sticking to this…but you’re free to make smaller bites by using a teaspoon.
Storage & Serving Suggestions
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge. They’ll last a solid week. Otherwise, they freeze in an airtight container for a few months!
- Enjoy on-the-go. These travel well – pop into your work or kiddies lunchbox (if your child goes to a nut-free school), take on a picnic or enjoy on a roadie.
- Have as a mid-morning or afternoon pick-me-up. The combo of protein, fats and sweetness from the fruit will help keep you going between meals.
- Great as an after-dinner sweet-treat. Alongside some caffeine-free tea – dreamy!
- Treat someone for a gift! Load a batch into a jar and tie a ribbon around its neck. Caaa-ute.
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy these scrummy bites, as I do. After more snack recipes? Try these chocolate-covered rice cakes or crunchy honey nut joys.
Lemony Apricot and Coconut Bliss Balls
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1 cup raw cashew nuts
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 ½ Tbsp runny honey
- ½ tsp vanilla essence or extract
- 1 ½ tsp lemon zest from a small lemon
- 1 Tbsp water
Add the apricots, cashews, coconut and salt into a food processor. Blitz for a minute.
Add honey, vanilla and lemon zest. Blitz for 30 seconds. Add 1 Tbsp of water and blitz for a final 30 seconds. It should be tacky and hold together when squeezed.
Using a tablespoon as a measure, roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls. Enjoy!