This project is partly about making as much of our food as possible from scratch, living on less, reducing waste and being more self-reliant in general. It’s also about taking pride in what we make and having fun being creative. And hey, I won’t deny that it’s also about EATING. I love food and I love sharing recipes.
You may have noticed someone other than myself creeping around in this word “we.” That’s because my lovely partner, Mat, is an official participant in The Freedom Project. Partly why our relationship is so good is because we share essential values and love being creative together; we spend most of our time together reading, cooking, talking and making art. So far, The Freedom Project has given us a shared focus for our values and goals – it’s a marvelous synthesis! Many of our conversations these days end with: “This would make a great Freedom blog post…” The blog is my project, but the Freedom Project is, of course, larger than this website and most certainly shared. Thank you to Mat for inspiring me so much! (By the way, the above photo was taken with his beautiful camera, humbly by yours truly)
To put it bluntly: Mat has a freakishly high metabolism and we need to shovel a lot of protein and calories into the guy to keep him from running out of steam. Before the project, this meant spending a lot of money on protein and granola bars. We found delicious, healthy and inexpensive organic ones from our not-so-secret health food source here in town, but we still felt icky about going through so many boxes and packages, eating food processed elsewhere and shipped here by truck and spending money that could be going towards camera gear, live music or paying off debt. You know that feeling? That “I could be doing better and it would make a difference” feeling?
Well, we had been meaning to make our own energy bars for some time and decided in January that it was time to get going on this. We did a little internet research, pooled our favourite ingredients and Mat took charge of making his own delicious Bliss Balls (It has to be said, I think we’ve already exhausted the joke possibilities). They really are blissful, and we are excited to share the recipe here!
2 cups almonds
2 tb carob powder
1/4 cup hemp protein
1/4 tb tamarind pulp (see helpful note on tamarind at bottom of this recipe)
1 tb coconut oil
carob powder (for dusting)
Small bowl or plate
First, you will need to soak your dates and almonds in cold water overnight or for 8-10 hours. After soaking, peel the skins off the almonds. Soaking the almonds breaks down enzyme inhibitors and gluten in the nuts and makes them easier to digest. Peeling them makes the texture much nicer (we tried both ways).
Next, gather all of your ingredients together
Pulse the almonds in the food processor to desired texture (crunchy or smooth)
Add the dates and pulse, pulse, pulse!
Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until combined
Fill a small bowl with carob powder, shape mixture with palms into 2″ balls, roll in carob power and place on baking tray.
Freeze tray overnight and then transfer to airtight container. They keep well in the freezer – you just pop them into a lunch pail and they are room temp in time for snack. I like them straight out of the freezer. Our recipes makes about 30 Bliss Balls and the total coast of ingredients is really low. We intend to work out exactly what they cost, but we are guessing each batch is less than $5.
Mat has experimented with the recipe, adding nutritional yeast, beet syrup, walnuts, maple syrup, etc. I would like to try some with dried fruit and Spirulina. We try to add as much protein as possible, but you can make them with whatever you like!
Aren’t they delicious?! Please let us know what you think!