Easy waste-free bliss balls recipe

Need a use for the leftover nut pulp from homemade nut milk?

Whatever your reason for making your own nut milk – you’re vegan, you live Zero Waste, you’re allergic to dairy, or you just think a cold brew coffee tastes rad with a splash of nutty goodness – one thing is certain: if you strain, you’ll have leftover nut pulp.

A portable, packaging-free snack

I like to use the pulp to make packaging-free bliss balls. They’re an alternative to packaged granola/energy bars, and ideal for surfing, hiking and wandering around the city. Packed in a reusable container, they are really the perfect snack for on the go.

The benefit of using the nut pulp is that we’re using waste from one process as the input for another. It also means our bliss ball recipe is uber simple – we don’t even need nut butter, which is a common ingredient in this genre of snack.

Making these on a Thursday or Friday means they’re as ready for weekend adventures as you are. Or make some on the weekend to take to work for when 3pm rolls around.

If I’ve made nut milk and I’m not going to make these energy balls right away, I’ll chuck the nut meal in the freezer for later, Sarah Wilson styles. This saves me from avoidable steps like dehydrating the pulp.

The base of the balls is the nut meal + dates (not too many). I usually add some coconut too, and then whatever I feel like or have on hand, like: chocolate // chili powder // lemon zest // mesquite powder // walnuts // pistachios // hazelnuts // macadamia nuts // peanuts // sesame seeds // chai spice flavouring // tahini // peanut butter // cardamom // sea salt.

I can shop for all of these ingredients packaging-free at the many bulk refill stores in my city.

Easy bliss ball recipes

Here are two of my go-to combinations:

Chocolate brownie

  • nut meal from one batch of nut milk
  • dates (2 or 3)
  • coconut
  • cocoa powder
  • cinammon
  • lemon zest
  • walnuts
  • vanilla
  • salt
Donut holes

  • nut meal from one batch of nut milk
  • dates (2 or 3)
  • coconut
  • oats
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • vanilla
  • salt

Instructions // add everything to a food processor or high powered blender (which you likely have if you’re making nut milk) and blend until you’re happy with the consistency. It should look a bit like the texture of cookie dough. Roll into balls in whatever size works for you.

If the mix is too dry – try adding some coconut oil, lemon juice, nut milk (ha!), another date, or just water. Too wet? Add some oats or coconut to bring it all together. This isn’t baking, so you don’t need to measure so much as estimate and recalibrate as you go, which is perfect, since why bother measuring how much nut meal you have leftover. You have as much as you have, right?

I store mine in the fridge or the freezer until I’m ready to use them.

Zero waste hints

These energy balls can are only packaging-free if you store them in something reusable…like an old jam jar, or some beeswax cloth covers, or an old plastic container.

It’s also useful to consider the way the ingredients come packaged (or not). If you live in Sydney, check out my list of waste free shopping options to find a bulk whole foods store nearby.

Bonus points if you use locally grown nuts for your nut milk. Here in Australia, we are lucky that many varieties are grown in the country, if not locally. Here is a list of where nuts sold in Australia generally come from. I personally have dramatically reduced my almond intake after learning that 80% or so of the world’s supply comes from drought-stricken California. I never say never, but do treat them as a ‘once in a while’ food, not a staple, and look for Aussie grown.

Easy, healthy, cheap….impressive.

I love these because I still can’t bear to eat a Cliff bar after eating way too many on a months long road trip. Even if I could, I would still chose to make my packaging-free version instead. I haven’t done the math, but assume with me for a moment that these are way cheaper than Cliff bars too!

Making packaging free snacks involves some pre-planning, because if we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail, but it’s definitely not difficult. It’s actually fun. And people will be impressed with you.

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