I have always loved carrots — raw, steamed, roasted, blended into smoothies, and as cake! In fact, I think carrot cake is one of my all-time favourite desserts. And these no-bake bliss balls deliver the flavours I adore in portable little refined sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free bites.
Carrot Cake Bliss Balls are naturally sweetened with Medjool dates and are absolutely loaded with protein, fibre, antioxidants, and healthy fats. They get an extra health boost from the stress-busting adaptogens maca & ashwagandha. Let’s take a closer look at some of the ingredients.
Carrots are rich in fibre, minerals, and vitamins including A, C and K, as well as beta-carotene and other disease-fighting phytonutrients.
Studies suggest that carrot consumption can help cleanse the body of toxins, improve vision, reduce the signs of aging, ward off cancer, stroke and heart disease, and protect the skin from sun damage.
Dates are super yummy and make a great energy booster and natural sweetener. They are rich in dietary fibre and antioxidants, as well as several essential minerals including iron and magnesium.
Collagen is a natural protein found predominantly in skin, bones, joints and ligaments as well as the digestive tract. Our bodies make collagen using specific amino acids that we consume through food. Unfortunately, as we age, our bodies produce less and lower-quality collagen. This contributes to the wrinkles, joint problems and reduction in bone density and metabolism that many of us have already started to experience! Fortunately, studies suggest that oral collagen supplements may help to reduce joint pain and arthritis symptoms and have anti-aging benefits for the skin.
Adequate collagen is also necessary to balance the gut microbiome and maintain a healthy digestive tract. In addition to acting as a prebiotic, collagen is believed to reduce inflammation and support the integrity of the mucosal barrier or gut lining. Click here to read more.
Of note, the collagen can be omitted for a vegan version.
Native to Peru, maca has a slightly earthy, butterscotch taste and is rich in vitamins and minerals. Touted as the "Incan superfood", it has been used for millennia to increase stamina and endurance. Maca is also a wonderful natural "adaptogen". This means it is believed to help the body regulate and deal with stress. Consumption may also reduce anxiety while boosting energy, concentration, and even libido. Here, I have used gelatinized maca since it is easier to digest.
Ashwaghanda is native to India, Northern Africa and the Middle East. It has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for millennia and is sometimes called "Indian ginseng" because of its ability to reduce the effects of stress and restore a sense of wellbeing. Ashwaghanda is believed to reduce anxiety, support the immune system, and improve energy, concentration, and even sexual potency!
As with other medicinal herbs, maca and ashwagandha can have side effects, so it is helpful to discuss with your nutritionist or health care provider if considering regular use.
Carrot Cake Bliss Ball Recipe
Ingredients for approximately 12 balls:
1 cup raw walnut pieces
1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 scoop Nuzest Clean Lean natural or vanilla protein powder
2 Tbsp gluten-free flaxseed meal
1 Tbsp gelatinized maca powder (optional)
1 Tbsp ashwagandha root powder (optional)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp sea salt
1.5 cups shredded raw carrots
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (10-12 dates)
1 Tbsp MCT oil or coconut oil, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
optional: unsweetened desiccated coconut or coarsely-ground walnuts or Swerve sugar-free icing “sugar” for rolling
Note: For a vegan option, omit collagen and use an additional scoop protein powder or 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds.
Preheat oven to 400F.
Spread walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven to toast for approximately 10 minutes, tossing halfway through so they brown evenly. Allow nuts to cool to room temperature.
Put walnuts, coconut, protein powder, collagen, flaxseed meal, maca, ashwagandha, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, nutmeg, and sea salt into food processor or blender container. Blend until well-chopped.
Add the carrot, dates, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Blend until a uniform paste is created, scraping the sides and bottom with a rubber spatula as needed. The dough is thick and you may need to scrape into a bowl and finish mixing by hand.
Scrape mixture onto a plate or parchment paper. Roll into balls.
Roll formed balls in shredded coconut or ground walnuts (optional).
Carrot Cake Bliss Balls can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week, or the freezer for up to 2 months.