This Chocolate Chia Bliss Ball Pops Recipe is vegan, gluten-free and nut free! It’s perfect for an easy, healthy birthday dessert idea and would be perfect for a nut-free school snack or treat!
I have a bit of a cookbook obsession. I love using them for inspiration for my cooking classes and for snacks and meals that I feed my family. I re-organized my cookbook shelves last weekend and noticed how the cookbooks in my collection have changed over the years. The cookbooks that I collected during the early years in my relationship with my husband focus a lot on eating on a budget and recreating foods that you would buy at your favorite restaurants (Mexican, Italian, Thai, Japanese, etc) at home.
The cookbooks I collected when Bean was little focus a lot on feeding little ones and hiding fruits and veggies in your child’s food so they don’t realize that they are eating healthy foods (do I ever feel grateful that we have conquered picky eating over the last few years and are on to a new stage).
The cookbooks that I’ve been collecting recently align with the values that I have adopted over the past few few years and cemented into my food motto when I was getting my Culinary Nutrition Certification.
While my family isn’t vegan, or even vegetarian, we have definitely started eating a more plant based diet over the past few years. We try to know where our food comes from, have done farm tours, and support our local farmers as well as growing our own fruits and vegetables in our garden.
I want my kids to know that strawberries come from a plant, not from a plastic clamshell. That we can take the tomatoes we grow in the summer, spend an afternoon canning them to preserve them and be able to enjoy the flavors of summer throughout the winter. I want my children to understand that eggs come from chickens, not from egg cartons and what it looks like for a farmer to raise those chickens and collect their eggs on a family run farm where the farmer treats their chickens in a loving, ethical way– which is why I take them with me on the weekends to pick up our organic free-range eggs from our local farmers stand.
I don’t feel the need to hide the fact that we are eating healthy from my kids, because eating healthy tastes delicious!
I feel so lucky to be blogging/living/eating/creating in this time where there are so many incredibly talented recipe creators who’s values align with my own and who inspire me. One of those people is Mandy Sacher the author/creator of The Wholesome Child.
Mandy is a paediatric nutritionist with two young children of her own. Flipping through her book “The Wholesome Child” I was struck by how the book really is a bible for not only how to feed your family healthy, whole food snacks and meals, but also how to transition a child who might be a picky eater or not be used to eating that way and why that is so important.
In her book, Mandy has an 8 step system for transitioning your family to a whole food diet. Each step is included in it’s own chapter:
- Swap to whole grains
- Reduce sugar
- Increase vegetables
- Boost protein
- Healthy fats
- Balance fruit
- Rethink dairy
- Avoid nasties
Each chapter starts with why this step is important and the health impact it makes, how to get started with implementing a change in your family’s eating, tips and tricks for making the change fun, delicious recipes and and all kinds of really interesting nuggets of information.
We all know that photos are so important in cookbooks, and this cookbook has gorgeous photos but the other pages are also easy to dive into with lots of color, fun charts and bits of information laid out in an easily consumable format.
The Wholesome Child also has tips for eliminating fussy eating, suggestions for how to shop and what you should be looking at on a nutrition label, charts with different types of vitamins, how much your child should be consuming each day, the functions of those vitamins and what foods to find them in and SO MUCH MORE! It really is the bible for healthy family eating. You can get a closer look at the pages within the book here.
Perhaps most importantly the food that Mandy shares how to prepare in this book is bright, colorful and fun. I had my 6 year old and 10 year old flip through the pages to see what they thought and they both came back to me with the book marked in multiple places with recipes they want to try– Which definitely isn’t something that happens with all of my cookbooks.
One of the recipes they wanted to try was the Choc Chia Bliss Ball Pops Recipe. It is so yummy and a great healthy dessert option that your will love just as much, if not more, than a regular cake pop and you’ll feel good about serving. Mandy and her team were kind enough to let me share the recipe with you today.
They are also giving you all the chance to win a copy of The Wholesome Child. Believe me, you’ll want to add this to your cookbook shelf! Read on for the giveaway at the bottom of this blog post as well as for Mandy’s Chocolate Chia Bliss Ball Pops Recipe!
Chocolate Chia Bliss Ball Pops Recipe- Gluten free, Nut-free and Vegan friendly
This healthy take on cake pops have become my go-to for school birthday treats instead of cupcakes. The kids love them and the teachers do too! These nut-free chocolate bliss balls are packed full of zinc, calcium and antioxidants – a perfect way to satisfy and sweet tooth!
Prep time: 20 mins (+2 hours freezing time)
-1 cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, sesame). If you don’t require this to be school-friendly, use a cup of mixed nuts instead.
-1/4 cup chia seeds
-1 cup soft Medjool dates, pitted
-1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
-1 tbs cacao powder
-1 tbs carob powder
-1 tsp cinnamon
-Pinch Himalayan rock salt
-1 tbs coconut sugar (optional)
-30 lollipop sticks
-Homemade Chocolate (see below recipe), in liquid form OR 250g dark chocolate, melted
-1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
-High-speed food processor
Step 1: Place all seeds, including chia seeds into high speed processor and process until smooth. Add half the dates and the coconut oil and process again until smooth. Add remaining dates and process again. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth consistency is reached.
Step 2: Roll into little balls and place into freezer for an hour on a lined baking tray.
Step 3: To make topping, either follow below recipe or place chocolate in small pot and melt over low heat. Once melted, remove from heat.
Step 4: Remove bliss balls from freezer and place each one on top of a lollipop stick. Dip in melted chocolate then roll in desiccated coconut (if using). Place choc pop in glass cup with chocolate end sticking up to let the chocolate set before placing on a lined baking tray to go into the freezer. Let set in freezer for at least an hour before serving.
Serving and storing leftovers
Remove from freezer at least 10 minutes before serving. Store in the freezer for up to 4 months.
Leave out the chocolate and roll in desiccated coconut instead for a yummy bliss ball treat (sticks optional).
Quick and Simple Homemade Chocolate- Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Nut-free and Vegetarian friendly
Prep time: 8 mins (+1-2 hours to set)
-½ cup organic cocoa butter
-½ cup cacao powder
-4 tbs raw honey or Manuka honey
-¼ tsp vanilla extract or powder
-Pinch of Himalayan sea salt (optional)
Step 1: Pour some water into a small cooking pot and place over a medium heat. Place the cacao butter in a small bowl and place on top of the pot. Once cacao butter is completely melted, stir in all other ingredients until well combined and smooth.
Step 2: Use to coat your chocolate chia bliss ball pops -OR- Pour chocolate into small molds and sprinkle with toppings if desired.
Step 3: If making chocolate instead of using as a coating- Leave molds to harden in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours and remove from molds.
Serving and storing leftovers
Serve immediately after it has set, store in an airtight container for up to 1 month in the refrigerator or freeze for 4-6 months.
Delicious right?!?!? Who wants to make Chocolate Chia Bliss Ball Pops now?
To learn more about Mandy Sacher please visit the Wholesome Child website. Find her book “Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook” on Amazon or through iTunes. You can connect with Mandy on Instagram and Facebook.
Ready to win a copy of The Wholesome Child? Must have a Canadian or US shipping address to win. Enter below and leave a comment to tell me… which of the 8 chapters outlined above (swap to whole grains, reduce sugar, increase vegetables, etc) does your family need the most help with/ would you be most excited to read?
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