As a busy mom, making healthful and delicious make-ahead snacks is a weekly task. Granola bars, bliss balls, and trail mixes are my go-to options for my daughter and myself. Playing around with different ingredient combinations is a great way to personalize my own snacks.
There are plenty of recipes for bliss balls or energy balls, both online and in cookbooks. I’ve shared one of my favorite homemade bliss ball recipes on this blog, my Raw Carrot Cake Bliss Balls. The process for making these easy no-bake snacks is the same, it’s a blend of dried fruit, nuts and/or seeds, and flavorings (spices or extracts). What sets this new recipe apart from the others is the addition of a Superfood to the mix of ingredients.
For these bliss balls, I wanted to include Maca. Are you familiar with Maca? It’s a Superfood from Central America, it grows at high elevations in the Andes Mountains – it’s actually the world’s highest growing crop! Maca has been used by the indigenous cultures for thousands of years, and only recently have we started to use Maca for our own modern-day health and wellness.
The benefits of Maca include:
Maca is one of the most commonly used adaptogenic herbs. What’s an adaptogen? It’s a powerful plant which helps to balance stress and maintain a state of equilibrium within the body. The adaptogenic compounds found in Maca are excellent for supporting the health of the adrenal glands. These are the tiny glands on the topside of the kidneys that are easily disturbed by stress – commonly referred to as “adrenal fatigue”. Maca helps to balance hormones and enhance energy levels without being a stimulant; I find the effects of Maca to be similar to caffeine without the sudden jolt of energy or the withdrawal cravings.
There are several different Superfoods companies who process and sell Maca Root. I received a package from The Maca Team which contained two of their Maca powders and a bottle of their liquid Maca extract. For this recipe, I used the Raw Red Maca, the best selling product from this company. The Raw Red Maca contains the most phytonutrients and has the most pleasant taste profile. Maca’s taste can be described as “butterscotch-like” or even earthy like a radish, and it does take some getting used to for most people. Oftentimes, Maca is added along with stronger flavored ingredients to mask its taste. I happen to really enjoy Maca’s flavor, especially in combination with coconut and dried fruit, such as figs and dates.
I hope you try Maca, if you aren’t already using it to support your health. If you need some recipe ideas for incorporating Maca into your daily routine, let me know. In the meantime, make these Figgy-Lime Maca Bliss Balls to enjoy as an afternoon snack, to help keep you energized during the long stretch between lunch and dinner.
Figgy-Lime Maca Bliss Balls
Made with The Maca Team’s Raw Red Maca Powder
Ingredients: (use organic whenever possible)
1 C chopped dried figs
1/4 C almond meal
3/4 C desiccated coconut, divided
3 t freshly squeezed lime juice
2 t Raw Red Maca Powder
Place chopped figs and almond meal in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add 1/4 C coconut, lime juice and maca powder and blend until uniformly mixed.
Cover a small baking sheet or pan with parchment paper and set aside.
Put remaining 1/2 C coconut in a shallow bowl. Divide fig mixture into 12 pieces and roll into balls. Roll balls in coconut until fully covered. Place coconut-covered balls on prepared baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour.
Recipe yields 12 bliss balls
Keep bliss balls in a sealed container, either refrigerated or frozen, for up to 2 weeks.
The Maca Team generously sent me their Maca Powder and Liquid Extract products. Opinions are all my own.