Recipe: Bliss balls - great snack!

Adapted from a friend's recipe (which I believe she got from the Michelle Bridges 12 Week Body Transformation program) this is a decadent-looking snack without the guilt trip! A  friend creatively called them "Healthy Ferrero Rochers" but I've since discovered most people call them bliss balls. I brought these to work one day for an afternoon tea and people gobbled them up! There is no refined sugar in this recipe - the sweetness comes from the dried fruit, cocoa powder and honey (which you can tailor to your liking). Having these bliss balls prevents me from reaching for the chocolate bars during any the mid-afternoon slumps! (although it can be hard to stop eating the bliss balls after one or two after you start!) OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw nuts (I used peanuts and walnuts but you could also use cashews, almonds or pecans)
  • a handful of toasted coconut (you can buy it in a packet already toasted)
  • 1/2 cup seeds (I used sunflower and pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup dried pitted dates (check for and remove pits)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries but you could also use dried goji berries, apricots, and currants)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp of honey

Method

  1. Finely chop nuts, seeds and coconut in the food processor. Scoop about 2 tbsp of mixture out and reserve on a plate.
  2. Add dates, dried fruit, essence, cocoa powder, spices and honey to food processor until combined.
  3. Roll into balls before rolling around in the reserved nuts and seeds mixture.
  4. Keep in airtight container and eat within a week or so (if they last that long!)

哈瓦納 Havana Steak and Pasta - Taoyuan, Taiwan

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Today, I ordered the Spaghetti with Seafood and Cream Sauce (as a meal). The spaghetti by itself is NT$180 (approx AUD$5.90). But if you pay NT$260 (approx AUD$8.50) for the set meal, as well as the main, you also get a bowl of soup + a side salad + a drink + fruit for dessert (for an extra NT$20, you can upgrade to a slice of cake).

We began with a creamy, yet light and flavourful vegetable soup.

Next came a refreshing salad of lettuce sprinkled with nuts, raisins and a drizzle of thousand island dressing.

I hardly ever say this, but the dish tasted every bit as good as it looks in the photo! The spaghetti was not overcooked and neither was the seafood, of which there was a generous amount (it was all hidden under the spaghetti!). Ribbons of carrot and green capsicum added freshness and a summer-like feel to the dish. The sauce was creamy but not at all cloying. The delicate flavours infused into the sauce complemented the overall lightness of the seafood pasta.

In Taiwan, when you order a set meal, drinks come after you have finished your main. I had a cold milk tea. Two people in my party were sharing a set meal and the wait staff were nice enough to let both have a drink each :)

Well-picked fruit was the perfect way to end a fantastic meal. A special note on oranges in Taiwan. This may sound weird, but if you are ever in Taiwan, try an orange. It will change your life and you won't be able to stop at just one. The Taiwanese orange is the reason why I don't ever buy Australian oranges :P

 Address: 桃園市自強路171號(青溪國小正對面)

Phone: 03-3470920