Wednesday, 6 May 2015

MISS YOU & BLISS YOU

Very Cherry Bliss Balls
Ingredients: 1 mugful of dates, 1 mugful of mixed nuts, & 2 tablespoons each of chia seeds, wheat bran (or oat bran or ground flax seed), cacao powder & coconut oil. Plus, most of a 200g tubful of glacé cherries.
Time taken: A leisurely hour and a half (of revision procrastination).

Hi readers,
A really big hi! It’s been quite a while since my last blog post. 2 weeks I think. So here’s a really big HIII from me. How are you? How have you been for the past 2 weeks?? It’s such a long time! Think about it, readers, what’s the best moment of your past 2 weeks? Can you remember one stand-out event that’s been your fortnight highlight?? Think hard!
Mine is attending the Newcastle Geography Summer Ball
With my beautiful friends <3

I’ve missed blogging very much. Since starting my blog last year I’ve managed to share recipes quite regularly and made the blog part of my routine. And, in a way, it’s been nice to take a break this past fortnight. But I missed getting my apron on and writing this silly blog quite a lot.
SO my ChefBeHere break stemmed largely from the fact that I chucked my phone in the toilet 3 weeks ago and am only just sorting a proper replacement this week. Due to this unfortunate event, I haven’t really been able to take photos in the kitchen, to post here on ChefBeHere. Also, I haven’t been able to browse through apps on my phone for recipe inspiration, and so I haven’t been inspired much this last fortnight. It’s been dreadful.

Sort of as a result, the second reason for my ChefBeHere break is that I’ve cooked NOTHING BLOGGABLE. Literally nothing. I feel like this is due to…
a) Keeping quite busy and so being short on cooking time
b) Getting quite stressed and so being uninterested in food
and
c) Drinking quite a lot of alcohol and so being unable to digest anything other than carbs
And I just haven’t been my ChefBeHere-ing self. The only kitchen achievement you’ve missed out on seeing, readers, is the spectacular birthday cake that me and Dr Davies threw together for our flatmate Brummanie’s 21st birthday last week. I have to say… QUITE an epic cake.
What you’re looking at here, readers, is a heart-attack certified amount of blue buttercream icing to represent the sky, with a yellow royal icing sunshine design on top. This design was based on the fact that Brummanie travels to the US and Australia this summer to embark upon the best year of her life. So we took that thought and TURNED IT TO ART. Inside, there was then an ombre cake effect. We opted for one chocolate sponge, one syrup sponge, and one banana sponge. And god they tasted good.
But other than that… nothing! So, I think I have some serious blogging to do this May to redeem myself, readers. And I will. Redeem. Myself.
But how about you?! How have you fared in the kitchen this last fortnight? Have there been any culinary adventures?? Any successes? Creations? Disasters? What is it you’ve been cooking? Or baking? Any cracking cakes to share?? Please, fill me in on how you’ve been doing while I’ve been away! I’d love to hear and I'm all ears. :)
SO! Today, readers, I come bearing an update on the Bliss Balls recipe that I introduced back in January. For any of you that missed my original post you can check it out HERE. Basically, Bliss Balls are really popular on health-based eat-clean Instagram accounts. They’re a raw, vegan, gluten-free, superfood snack that you can blend together and eat on-the-go, and they are ENTIRELY natural. So you’re only feeding your body good things.

Bliss Balls have a reputation for being the really indulgent treats that healthy bloggers all snack on when they’re falling off their superfood wagon. Because they taste like THE BOMB. But really, compared with a KitKat Chunky, readers, they aren’t bad for you at all. So I eat them when I’m trying to get back on the wagon and eat healthy foods!!
These are the perfect recipe for you to try out if you’re trying to eat healthily because they’re really good for you. Or if you’re revising / writing essays right now because they’re packed with energy. Or if you’re feeling a bit rubbish, or maybe you have a cold, because these feed your body lots of good things. All the good stuff. :)
(Except that)

Last time I made Bliss Balls I coated them in shredded coconut and goji berries. Both worked really well! This time I went for glacé cherries for a really sweet fruity flavour and, again, they taste supreme. Having no hazelnuts this time, I use peanuts instead – this worked fine. And having no flax seed in the cupboard, I subbed it with wheat bran – also fine.

Sooooo here’s how you rustle up a batch of Very Cherry Bliss Balls, readers, in just ten easy steps…
1. Pour out a mugful of dried dates from their pack (around 200g of dates). Then use a sharp knife to chop your dates into smaller pieces, tossing them back into the mug as you go.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Most dried dates come ready-pitted, but if yours still have their stones in the middle then make sure to remove these as you work through your dates.
2. Fill a mug with mixed nuts. Today, I used almonds and peanuts, but you can use any nuts you like!
3. Scoop 2 tablespoons of coconut oil out of its tub, and melt in the microwave for a minute so that your oil turns from solid to liquid.
4. Tip your nuts into a blender and then add 2 tablespoons of wheat bran (or oat bran or ground flax seed) and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. Blend until a flour forms and the nuts have crumbled.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: I had to stop the blender to shake things up a few times, in order to make sure that all the nuts had been blended.
5. Add all your remaining ingredients (dates, coconut oil & cacao powder) and BLEND AGAIN. Within a minute, sticky dough should have formed.
6. Spoon your sticky mess into a big mixing bowl and prepare to get your hands dirty!
7. Use your hands to mould your sticky mix into little balls and place these onto a plate.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: I made 16 bliss balls, each a few bites big. You could make smaller, truffle-sized bliss balls, or maybe bigger egg-sized ones if you like. It’s just personal preference!
8. Wash your hands and then use a sharp knife to chop up your glacé cherries into tiny pieces. This is messy work as they’re as sticky as the bliss balls!
9. One by one, roll your bliss balls around on your cherry-covered chopping board so that they get a very cherry coating!
ChefBeHere Top Tip: Use your fingers to gently press the cherry pieces into your bliss balls, so that they stick well and form a flavoursome coating.
10. Pop your plate of bliss balls into the fridge to chill for at least an hour… then tuck in!
My batch of Very Cherry Bliss Balls :)
Readers, these worked really well! I’m loving the Very Cherry update on Bliss Balls. These, same as the last batch, taste SO CHOCOLATEY AND RICH. It’s like they really shouldn’t be good for you, I don’t know how they are! The cherry sticks really well as the coating, and if you pack yourself up 4 as a snack (you really don’t need more than that) then this batch will last you through 4 long afternoons.
Have I convinced you yet? Of the wonders of Bliss Balls?? Readers, I KNOW you’re curious so JUST GO TRY THEM. All you need is a trip somewhere like Holland & Barrett for the healthy ingredients and then you’re all set. You’ll save money on KitKat Chunkys and you’ll feel really good for it! Promise. :)
Go try Bliss Balls readers and send your thoughts my way. I’ll be back soon this time! And by then, in the UK, we’re going to have a new government. I’m a first-time voter and so I’m quite excited for the big day tomorrow!! Don’t forget to vote. And fingers crossed for the result!

Blend safely,
Hayley


 

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