Forever hungry I am always looking for quick and easy healthy treats to pick me up. These delectable raw vegan Bliss Balls are full of cashew, coconut, vanilla, goji, lemon and cactus powder and are an absolutely irresistible sphere of yumminess. They have a low glycemic too and are dense in healthy fibre to get everything moving as it should.
In my vocation I get given a lot of crazy things to try. Nopal Cactus Powder from Mama Nature is perhaps the strangest – even weirder than Kakadu Plum Powder that I turned into delicious Chia Panna Cotta. But I figured, well succulents are one of my favourite botanicals to look at, why not eat them as well? To be honest, I was more curious than anything.. what do you even do with Cactus Powder?!?!
Cactus Powder is an edible plant native to Mexico which for many centuries has been recognised for its remarkable medicinal properties. Originally it was eaten by the Aztecs to treat scurvy and now can be used to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels in patients with Type 2 Diabetes. It is one of the lowest GI plant-based foods, and is an excellent source of calcium. The green pads are sun-dried and milled into a fine and nutritious green powder so it can easily be put into smoothies, bliss balls or even face masks. It has an earthy taste but is easily masked by berries and bananas etc. Like Matcha, you get a taste for it after a while anyways.
So why is it good? One tablespoon (15g) of Nopal Cactus powder provides fibre (25% RDI), calcium (50%), has 18 amino acids (10 are essential), antioxidants, including anti-inflammatory flavonoids – all of which can prevent cell damage and protects your body from viruses, boost the immune system and combat fat build-up as well as contribute to optimal nerve and muscle function. Additionally, with a GI of 7, Nopal Cactus has one of the lowest GIs of many plant foods keeping you going with a slower rise in blood glucose levels.
So I experimented and this is one of my favourite ways to have it so far – in the classic vanilla bliss ball.
- 1 cup cashews
- 1 cup desiccated coconut or ½ cup of coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon Mama Natura Nepal Cactus Powder
- 1 pinch Himalayan salt
- 1 lemon juiced with rind
- 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
- 2 tablespoons goji berries
- ⅓ cup sweeter of choice e.g coconut nectar, maple syrup or rice malt syrup
- ⅓ cup extra desiccated coconut or coconut flakes
- In a food processor, blend cashews, coconut, cactus powder and salt until a fine flour.
- Add the lemon juice, rind, sweetener, vanilla paste and either blend or hand mix until you reach a dough like consistency.
- Add the gojis and coconut flakes for crunch and mix until incorporated. If you think the gojis are too big, feel free to pulse them a couple of times by themselves in the blender to make them smaller.
- Roll the mixture into small balls.
- Store in fridge until firm, approx. 15 mins.