These orange cranberry bliss balls are the perfect nutritious healthy snack!
Bliss balls go by many different names - energy balls, protein balls, date balls, etc. I am not sure any of these sounds sound extremely appetizing but don't let the name fool you, these little guys are delicious. Even better, they are made with nutritious ingredients which make these a healthy snack that are actually satisfying!
What is so great about bliss balls?
There are many reasons that I love bliss balls but here are a few:
- They are super easy to make
- In about 10 minutes or less you will have a healthy homemade snack to eat throughout the week
- They store well in the freezer (click here to read more about storing food in the freezer)
- I recommend always keeping a batch in the freezer. I like to double the recipe and keep half in the refrigerator and half in the freeze. That way I have a batch to enjoy immediately and a batch to enjoy at a later time.
- Healthy way to satisfy a sweet tooth
- The maple syrup in this recipe provides a slight sweetness and makes it perfect for when the sweet cravings hit.
- Made with recognizable and healthy ingredients
- These little balls are basically just nuts, oats, maple syrup, orange zest/juice, and dried cranberries! All very basic ingredients that you likely already have on hand.
- Highly versatile
- The sky is basically the limit when it comes to bliss balls. There are so many different flavor combinations that you can use when making bliss balls. Below are some of my other favorites.
- Click here for the recipe for my peanut butter banana bliss balls
- Click here for the recipe for my strawberry shortcake bliss balls
Bliss balls vs protein bars
A lot of people like to grab a protein bar for their afternoon snack. While not all bars are created equal, there are many out there with a lot of added junk. By making these balls you can avoid some of the added junk in protein bars while still having a healthy grab-and-go snack.
Like I mentioned above, these one of the things I love about bliss balls is that they are made with good for you ingredients. Read below if you are interested in what actually makes these balls healthy.
Oats: oats are a whole grain and a good source of a type of fiber. Fiber has several different health benefits but it's best known for being helpful in lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar, feeding good gut bacteria, and helping you to feel full after eating (1).
There are several different types of oats out there and not all are created equal. However, in pretty much every scenario, I recommend using old fashioned rolled oats instead of quick or instant oats.
Almonds: almonds can be helpful in lowering both cholesterol and blood sugar levels, managing your weight, and protecting against diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease (2).
Walnuts: walnuts sort of look like little brains which is ironic because one of their health benefits relate to their effects on brain health. Studies have suggested that consuming walnuts could have improve cognition, memory, anxiety and help to protect against Alzheimer's disease (3).
Orange Cranberry Bliss Balls
- ⅔ cup raw almonds
- ⅔ cup raw walnuts
- ⅔ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 orange, zest
- Add the almonds, walnuts, oats, cinnamon, and salt into a food processor or a high speed blender. Blend/process until into a fine meal.
- Pour the nut and oat mixture into a medium sized bowl and add the chopped cranberries, maple syrup, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla extract.
- Mix together until everything is incorporated. This should be a thick sticky dough.
- Using a tablespoon, scoop out the mixture and roll into balls.
- Store balls in the refrigerator or freezer for longer keeping.