“It is health that is the real wealth, not pieces of gold and silver” - Mahatma Gandhi
If you're anything like me, now that December has finally arrived, you might be thinking about what to do for gifts this year. And even if (like me) you're no Martha Stewart, there's still something about giving handmade gifts that says “priceless”—especially if they've got a bit of wellness thrown in.
So if you're looking for something good, and good for you, to give to those you like and love this year, check out this recipe for one of my favorite healthy treats.
A Gift with Added Benefits
As well as tasting like a little bit of heaven, these bliss balls are great for increasing ojas (Ayurveda's “Big O”). Ojas is a subtle substance that feeds your vitality and immunity. It's a Sanskrit word that translates as “vigor” and Ayurveda calls it the “fluid of life” or “vital essence.”
Overexposure to chemicals and pollution, overworking, lack of sleep and exercise, lack of connection, and the stresses and anxieties of modern living all deplete our ojas.
We use food and activities like yoga, meditation, laughter, and spending time in nature to top up our ojas and build strength, resilience, vitality, and happiness.
These gorgeous little bliss balls contain ingredients like dates, nuts, and coconut, which are sattvic, nourishing to the tissues, and great for peace of mind, as well as spices like cinnamon and cardamom which help to balance digestion.
Each one delivers an ojas-boosting hit of homemade love! They're super popular in our house, and are one of my favorite foods to enjoy and give away!
Ayurvedic Bliss Balls
Note: American measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml
- 1 ½ cups chopped dates
- 2 to 3 tbsp. each almonds (soaked & peeled) and pistachio nuts (or any other nut of your choice)
- 1 to 2 tbsp. raw cashews
- 4 to 6 whole dry figs
- 1 to 2 tbsp. desiccated coconut (optional)
- 2 pods green cardamom, peeled and seeds crushed using a mortar and pestle
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ghee (optional)
- For coating: 2 to 3 tbsp. desiccated coconut, 2 tbsp. pistachio nuts, finely chopped, 2 tbsp. raw cacao powder
- Roast the nuts in a pan until lightly browned.
- While the nuts are roasting, chop the dates and figs.
- Peel the cardamom pods and grind the seeds coarsely using a mortar and pestle.
- Add the chopped dates, figs, desiccated coconut, and the coarsely powdered cardamom powder (and ghee) to a food processor, along with the roasted nuts.
- Grind to a coarse, sticky, dough-like mixture and spread on a tray or plate or in a bowl.
- Make small balls by hand with approximately 1 tbsp of the mixture (I usually coat my hands in ghee before rolling). Roll the completed balls in desiccated coconut, chopped pistachios, raw cacao powder, or all of the above.
- Serve the Bliss Balls immediately, or store in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
From My Heart to Yours
“it's not how much we give, but how much we put into giving” – Mother Theresa
Best thing about these? They're ridiculously easy, require no baking, and are fun to make (a great project for kids!). They're also gluten free, raw (if you leave the nuts unroasted), and vegan (if you leave out the ghee), which means they've got something for everyone!
So why not spread a little bliss around this season by making and sharing a few batches of these with the important people in your life. They're a gift that communicates a simple (and delicious) wish for joy, peace, and wellbeing this time of year and beyond!