We healthy types are a bit bonkers!
(I hear my friends saying “I’ve been trying to tell you that for years!” Bahaha.)
While the heart is in the right place – just trying to be healthy, and help others attain this mystical level of nirvana – this pursuit of health kind of sneaks into extremes very easily, and before you know it, you slip into ‘not healthy’ because of it.
1.Excess sugar is bad – true
Soon becomes: all sugar is therefore a poison and must be avoided in everything including fruit and veges – wrong, so very wrong and leads to health issues like hypothyroidism!
2. I need to lose a bit of weight so I might reduce my carbs a bit – sounds sensible.
Soon becomes: all carbs are bad, keto/low carb is the only way to improve your health and lose weight, avoid carbs in everything including fruit and veges. – wrong, so very wrong and again leads to health issues like hypothyroidism and more!
The Bliss Ball Link
So the above two examples lead me to Bliss Balls, and while you may not see it yet, I assure you there is a connection!
While we were avoiding sugar and carbs, somehow we’ve all decided that nuts and seeds are healthy, and you know what, – the 6-8 whole nuts that you crack from the shell yourself are probably quite ok.
But magically somehow our health extremism set in again and we are putting heaps of nuts in everything – a raw vegan dessert like ‘cheesecake’ has a cup of nuts in the base and 2 cups of cashews in the middle replacing dairy. There is nut milk, fudges are mostly nuts, meat substitutes are all nuts, slices are all nuts, cakes with almond flour, people are putting spoons full of peanut butter in smoothies (for the protein right?) and of course energy bars and Bliss Balls – all nuts. (I’m totally guilty of this too – most of my past recipes were all nuts!)
It’s like once we drop everything we think is bad for us and a ‘healthy food’ is put on a pedestal, then it’s at least something we can eat every day because we have to eat something right?
Unfortunately wrong again.
Nuts have quite a few issues going on such as:-
High levels of polyunsaturated fats – many issues – see here.
High fat levels as a whole – easily tip into too many calories
Phytates – block mineral absorption
Contain lectins – a type of plant poison, which make them hard to digest
May cause intestinal issues – IBS, gas, nausea, bloating, and diverticulitis
As nuts contain mostly unsaturated fats, which are highly unstable when exposed to heat, light and air, those pre-shelled packets of nuts in the supermarket in clear plastic bags are well on the way to being rancid. In fact, as soon as they are shelled the decline begins. And how long have they even been on that shelf before you buy them?
And that doesn’t even cover those with actual nut allergies! Usually though when a dish is said to be ‘nut free’ they throw in seeds instead like sunflower seeds – unfortunately they are just as bad in excess and have all the above things going on too.
So, eat your small handful of nuts that you shell yourself and let’s put something else in those Bliss Balls that your body can easily digest.
Nut Free Bliss Balls (also gluten free)
(Hubby’s name for them: Spotty Bog Balls – nothing like telling it like it is!)
(makes about 10 medium sized)
6 medjool dates
½ cup rice puffs
¼ cup chocolate chips (recipe here)
1 TBS Sweetened condensed milk (or honey)
1 TBS coconut oil (if required)
pinch sea salt
Whiz the dates and salt in a food processor until it forms a ball.
Tip into a bowl.
Add rice puffs and press them in with either a spoon or your hands. Then do the same with the chocolate chips.
Then add the sweetened condensed milk and smush together. (Now if your mix is looking particularly dry then add a bit of coconut oil. If it isn’t or you would prefer to keep it low fat, then leave it out.)
Roll into balls and set out on a tray lined with parchment paper.
Cover with chocolate if desired. (recipe here.)
Now a couple of notes:-
I didn’t throw everything in the food processor as I didn’t want to grind the rice puffs into a powder. I prefer the puffs intact, so you get some crunch.
I’ve included rice puffs in here because of all the grains, white rice is the least likely to cause any allergy or gut issues. I used plain old rice bubbles because I couldn’t find any white rice puffs with no additives. There are brown rice ones because people think brown rice is healthier but in the outer layer that’s where the phytic acid is blocking mineral absorption – so where it may give with some b vitamins and fibre, it also takes away.
So snack away and you have any other ideas for nut/seed free ingredients that can go in, please let me know.