Lily's Chocolate Bliss Balls

 
Lily's vegan chocolate bliss balls vegan dessert recipe fayelessler.com Faye Lessler
 

Who doesn't love dessert? I know I do, and lucky for me, there are tons of great vegan desserts! I had the opportunity to taste Lily's balls (heh) when I was traveling in California last week, and let me tell you, I'll be making these immediately. These little balls of chocolate bliss are perfectly balanced between sweet and salty, with the added amazingness of toasted sunflower seeds. As Lily puts it "the toasted sunflower seeds are key."

Lily is an old and dear friend of mine who truly lives the life of a free spirit. She is carrying out the mission of Birth Into Being and wants to bring positive energy to all living things! Lily loves to eat and be around plants and she is dedicated to helping people find their center - aka their own sustainable energy. This girl continuously teaches me to be more meaningfully connected to myself, to my mama earth, and to everyone around me. So let's get connected and make some yummy chocolate bliss! I promise these little treats will bring you positive vibes.

The rest of this post is written with love, by Lily Rothrock.

Every time I go on a roadtrip, I make three essential preparations:

  1. I pause, breathe, ground and center myself.
  2. I envision my reception at my destination and make a prayer that I may arrive safely.
  3. I make chocolate balls.

Yes, these chocolate balls are as vital to my well being as my spiritual practice.

 
Lily's vegan chocolate bliss balls vegan dessert recipe fayelessler.com Faye Lessler
 

Chocolate Bliss Balls

Recipe adapted from my friend, Sierra Chik-McNeal

Prep time: 20 minutes. Suggested chill time: 1 hour.

Ingredients for about 15 balls:

  • 1/2 cup nut butter (almond butter, tahini, peanut butter...)
  • 1/2 cup liquid sweetener (maple syrup, agave, honey for non-vegan balls)
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut manna (this is coconut butter without the oil)
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • a dash of hot (not boiling) water
  • vanilla powder (the raw, unadulterated stuff is amazing)
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • salt

Directions:

  1. First things first; make sure your coconut manna is melted and ready to go. You can melt it in the jar by placing it in a pot of boiling water. Unless you live in California in the summer, in which case, you simply need to wait for the sun to rise.
  2. Next up, toast the sunflower seeds in a small pan on low heat. Stir occasionally and pay attention so they don't burn! This should take about 15 minutes.
  3. Mix nut butter and sweet syrup in a big mixing bowl. Add cacao powder and mix, adding the dash of hot water to incorporate. Then add coconut manna and sunflower seeds.
  4. Next, flavor your concoction to your preference. Salt and vanilla are essential flavorings, but play around with the proportion of your other spices. I like it spicy so I add a generous amount of ginger. Faye likes to add lots of cinnamon. I suspect that cardamom, cayenne or maca would be fun flavors to experiment with, too!
  5. Now for the fun part! I love getting my hands all chocolatey and mushing my mixture into medium-sized balls. 
  6. Once your balls are formed, fill a small mixing bowl with coconut shavings. Drop chocolate balls into the coconut one at a time and roll them around so they are fully coated.
  7. To firm your bliss balls, let them rest in the fridge for an hour at least. They will last in the fridge for up to a week, but I doubt you'll have any left by then!
Lily's vegan chocolate bliss balls vegan dessert recipe fayelessler.com Faye Lessler

If you would like to connect with Lily, you can find her on Instagram and Twitter.

Earth Day Tips from Elena Kocherovsky

I said Earth Day was every day, didn't I? Just to remind you that leading a sustainable lifestyle can be super easy and exciting, I'd like to share some Earth Day tips from my friend Elena. The following is all from her, I hope you enjoy!

Today we celebrate our stunning Earth. It's so easy these days to disconnect with this bigger system we are all a part of. And understandably so, we've built man-made barriers between ourselves and the natural world both physically and literally. So today (and every day) I hope you take some time to reconnect with what makes us human, and ponder the totally intelligent, beautiful and mind-blowing system that is our Earth. Not the politics, not the media scare-tactics, just your personal connection to it and what it provides for you. In honor of Earth Day, I'm sharing a few things I've learned from working actively in the Environmental space around things we can all do today to live in better harmony with this magical planet of ours. Yes, we all can, in fact, make a difference!

Photo taken while adventuring through Torres del Paine in Patagonia.

Photo taken while adventuring through Torres del Paine in Patagonia.

Earth Day Action #1:

Did you know it takes 2000 times the energy to create 1 plastic bottle of water than to produce tap water?! That's the equivalent to 50 million barrels of oil to produce total annual US water bottle consumption. Want to make some good impact in a simple way? Stop purchasing bottled water! Tap water is just fine, or you can get a water filter if you'd like, or a sweet glass/metal reusable water bottle.

Earth Day Action #2:

You've probably heard this one before - please try to hear me out before you scoff. Raising and slaughtering beef produces 5 TIMES the amount of pollution than the average of all other meats and animal products. I'm not asking you to stop eating beef...read that again. I'm not. Just consider cutting down on how often you do choose to eat beef! It's one of the BIGGEST ways to improve your impact on our Earth (and it also comes with health benefits). Ya!

A question from a friend: "Won't they still produce the same amount of cows even if I stop eating beef?"

My response: "Totally legit question! So in the short term, sure, the same will still be produced, it's true. But the idea is that you're "voting" with your dollars over time, aka sending signals as to what you do or don't value. So if you stop spending your money on beef, and I do too, and all my other good friends out there do it too - that starts incrementally shrinking the beef market, which will eventually lead to less beef. Individually it's easy to feel like you don't have impact, but that's pretty much why I'm putting these suggestions out there - in the hopes that more of us band together to vote with our dollars for better products that are more Earth (and people) friendly."

Earth Day Action #3:

Energy - it's the biggest piece of the pie in terms of climate pollution. The systems generating our current energy haven't changed or improved much over the past century and are just plain dirty. Turning off the lights, unplugging, and getting energy efficient appliances goes a long way when you add it up over the course of the year. Oh, and it saves you a good chunk of change!

Earth Day Action #4:

Get outside and play!! Reconnect with the beauty and mystery of nature and quiet your noisy mind. Be a kid again. Breath sweet fresh air, roll around in the grass, take it all in. Break down those barriers we've built and wake up. Bring a friend or 10, and enjoy this AWESOME place that's our home.

At Torres del Paine in Patagonia.

At Torres del Paine in Patagonia.