With Ramadan now upon us, it’s a good time to keep wholesome and healthy snacks at hand that can be enjoyed for your Suhoor (pre-dawn meal) or to break your fast with at Iftar (post-sunset meal).
Dates are symbolic in Islam, for both the religious and health points of view. The date palm is mentioned more than any other fruit-bearing plant in the Qur’an, with several references to the holy month of Ramadan. Prophet Mohammed said: “Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying.” Dates also have an abundance of nutritional benefits, ranging from being vitamin, protein, and fibre rich, to benefits for brain and bone health. They are also full of natural sweetness. Incorporating dates into your diet in small doses does wonders for overall health. The combination of dates with nuts in this recipe provides a great source of energy and will help to sustain you during the days of fasting.
Bliss balls are also perfect paired with a cup of tea or coffee, as a naturally sweet and nourishing snack. Packed full of goodness, these bliss balls are ideal as they can be made in advance, in bulk, and kept for weeks. They are also great as edible gifts!
Makes around 20 balls
200g pitted dates (any semi-dry or dry date variety like Deglet Nour or Medjool)
50g dried figs
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ tsp ground cardamon (or finely ground seeds from 6 pods)
¼ tsp ground ginger
50g chopped mixed nuts (I love to use a mixture of almonds, walnuts and brazil nuts)
Fine desiccated coconut
1. Deseed the dates and roughly chop, along with the figs.
2. Place in a food processor, along with the coconut oil, cardamon, ginger and one tablespoon of desiccated coconut, and then blend for a minute or so. Allow the mixture to come together as a dough, ensuring everything is combined well.
3. Place the mixture in a large bowl and add the nuts, mixing in well. Use your hands if you need to but be prepared to get a bit messy!
4. Prepare a wide plate with the desiccated coconut, and a clean plate for the finished bliss balls.
5. Take a small amount of the mixture and make marshmallow-sized spheres (about 2cm diameter) by rolling the mixture in your hands, and then toss them in the coconut so they’re coated all over.
6. Keep the bliss balls covered or in an airtight container, either at room temperature, or if you prefer a firm, fudgier texture, keep them in the fridge. Enjoy!