Walnut & Raw Cacao Nib Bliss Balls

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I love raw cacao nibs. 

Yesterday I was trying to think of what I could make with my stash of cacao nibs (which I got for my birthday), and I decided they’d be great in bliss balls. When you need a ‘pick-me-up’ type of snack, these are just perfect. The mixture of dates, nuts and raw cacao make these balls like mini ‘high protein power bars’ – but they’re much better for you than commercial power bars!  

So do you know why these are called ‘bliss balls’? Because raw cacao just makes you feel so good!! Know why? It’s not just the delicious taste… Raw cacao contains “naturally occurring phytochemicals like theobromine (considered an aphrodisiac), phenylethylamine (PEA – released when we fall in love), and anandamide (the β€˜bliss’ chemical).” (Quoted from the Power Super Foods website – you can order your raw cacao nibs here!) There’s some more info about raw cacao with my recipe for Treat Balls, which are another version you might like to try.

I ground up the raw cacao nibs in my Thermomix, then added the other ingredients. [Note: My original recipe included 20g Rapadura, but I don’t add that now. You can if you like.] After making half of them into balls, I decided they’d be nice with a little bit of ‘crunch’, so I added some more walnuts and cacao nibs to the rest of the mixture. Yum! My favourites were definitely the crunchy ones, but the smooth ones were pretty good too. So take your pick – crunchy or smooth. Enjoy.

Walnut & Raw Cacao Nib Bliss Balls
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  1. 85g raw cacao nibs
  2. 250g fresh dates, deseeded (eg. Honey or Medjool dates)
  3. 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  4. 1 Tbspn vanilla extract
  5. 230g fresh walnuts
  6. handful or two of walnuts
  7. handful of raw cacao nibs
  1. Grind up raw cacao nibs in Thermomix on speed 9 for 15-20 seconds, or until fine.
  2. Add dates, sea salt, vanilla extract and grind on speed 8 for 5 seconds, until dates are chopped up.
  3. Add walnuts and grind on speed 9 for about 1 minute, or until mixture comes together and is smooth. You could also use pecans if you'd rather.
  4. If you like these smooth, go ahead and roll them into balls. If you like them with a bit of 'crunch', add the extra walnuts and raw cacao nibs and mix in on speed 5 for a few seconds, until roughly chopped.
  5. Roll into balls and keep in the fridge.
Quirky Cooking https://www.quirkycooking.com.au/

I was really glad to find some of these still left in the fridge when I got home today from a demo – I desperately needed energy! Hope you like them


  1. Bliss balls are quite popular where I live, as we have strong communities of healthy vegans and raw foodists here on Canada’s “Left Coast.” I too have a stash of cacao nibs ready to be used, so will try and find the time to make your version Jo. Even though you are on the sweeter side of the fence and I am on the savoury side, I think we meet in the middle and share a real enjoyment of the satisfying (almost hedonistic) crunchy aspect of cacao nibs. It’s a double-barreled pleasure of pure, natural cacao for the brain. Thanks Jo!

    • Lyn Wade says:

      Thanks for the recipe Jo I just made these and they are yummy I found no need to add any sweetener as the dates and vanilla extract ensured enough sweetness. I too am on a a low to moderate carb eating plan but I have a sweet tooth and one or two a day I do not think will derail πŸ˜† me as I’m eating and living clean predominantly anyway

  2. Jo Whitton says:

    Hope you like them, Helene! I love how the raw cacao butter comes out of the nibs when you process them, so you get the cacao powder & the cacao butter at the same time, ending up with a lovely chocolate texture & flavour! Yum.

  3. I just made these with pecans. OMG, they are divine!!!

  4. Jo Whitton says:

    Aren’t they amazing? So close to ‘real’ chocolate!! Glad you liked them πŸ™‚

  5. Lisa says:

    Second batch in the fridge. These are amazing. Thanks Jo for sharing. Even hubby loves them!!

  6. Jo Whitton says:

    That’s great, Lisa! They’re so chocolatey, aren’t they πŸ™‚

  7. Laura B says:

    We have no chance of obtaining fresh walnuts at the moment, could we sub in fresh macadamias? What others nuts might you recommend?


  8. Lotta says:

    Hi Jo – these are amazing! I exchanged raw organic cocnut sugar for the Rapadura and I love it! My baby girl loves it also – she’s 8 months old and has already been exposed to nuts (courtesy of other family members) but in a way it has been a blessing as she can partake in such healthy pleasures.

  9. Hi Jo. Perhaps you can clear something up for me….. What is the difference between raw cacao nibs and CrioBru

  10. Jo Whitton says:

    Oops, missed a few messages here – sorry!
    Laura B, you could use macadamias, they should work – or I would use pecans. Almonds would be okay too, you just might need more dates for them to stick together.
    Lotta, so glad you liked them πŸ™‚
    Ray & Narelle, cacao nibs are just the cacao beens cut up roughly – Crio Bru is roasted I believe, and ground. πŸ™‚

  11. Anonymous says:

    So many reasons not to eat “old school” chocolate balls/rum balls! But one of the best reasons THESE TASTE SO MUCH BETTER!!! Thank you, now to hide them from myself!

  12. Jo Whitton says:

    Don’t they?!! Glad you liked them πŸ˜€

  13. Anonymous says:

    Would Turkish apricots be ok instead of dates?

  14. Anonymous says:

    Hi – I was wondering what the nutrition content is…I’m meant to be eating low carb…. And am wondering if 1 of these per day would be ok for me????? Ie how many calories in each one, how many carbs etc?

  15. Jo Whitton says:

    Turkish apricots would work okay, but maybe wouldn’t be quite as sweet or creamy – not sure.

    Sorry, I have no idea about how many calories these would contain, or carbs! Good luck just eating 1 a day… Lol!! πŸ˜€

  16. scone says:

    I don’t have any cacao nibs, could I just use cacao powder?

  17. Jo Whitton says:

    Scone, you could but they’ll need either more dates, or a little coconut oil, as they’ll be drier. πŸ™‚

  18. Anonymous says:

    I have been following all of your recipes for a month or so now, since I got my thermo, but these are the first thing I have made. OMG, they are divine! My kids devoured them for dessert tonight, and I am looking forward to enjoying a couple with a cup of tea once all the cherubs are in bed soon. Thanks for sharing :). Kylie

  19. Nicole says:

    I just made these, and, oh wow, the kids will be lucky to get some!! I only had cacao powder so I used more dates as well as some coconut oil and they are divine.

  20. Klara says:

    Hi Jo, I just made these Blissballs and they are out of this world. I used Crio Bru as that’s what I had at home. I also did not have quite as much walnuts as needed, so I used about one third brazil nuts. Also added another handful of brazil nuts at the end for some more crunch. Fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. Cheers, Klara

  21. Leoni says:

    Made these many times already kids love them! Today i made a version with cranberries i/o dates because my husband doesn’t like dates much (only used 40 grams dates and rest cranberries) and they are turned out so good!! After I “rolled” them into balls i put them through some whizzed up shredded coconut. YUM!

  22. suzukisinger says:

    Have just made these with the addition of goji berries and chia seeds. I also used mixed nuts-just whatever was in the cupboard. Will roll in coconut to absorb some of the extra oil. Delicious!!!
    Thanks Jo!!

  23. Alice Koch says:

    Hi Jo love the sound of these as with so many of your recipes, I have a daughter with severe nut allergies so was wondering whether the nuts in this recipe and others could be substituted? Many thanks

  24. Jo- I love these. Made my first batch on Monday- I think I will make a batch a week to help with sugar cravings..they are so good!!

  25. CassP says:

    Hi Jo, are these a fridge only ball or would they be alright to send to school in lunch boxes? I currently make apricot balls but I am wanting to completely gluten free the kiddies lunch boxes. (Sorry if I missed a message and response from earlier answering this question) cheers Cass

  26. Hi Jo, made these today with the Cacao Crunch nibs, added a little more Rapadura to compensate for the bitter taste and rolled them in organic shredded coconut at the end. OH YUMMMMY!!!!!!!! Thanks again for the recipe. πŸ™‚

  27. Jude says:

    Do you know how many calories these have?

  28. La says:

    Mine came out really oily. ..any ideas? Ta πŸ™‚

  29. Acacia says:

    Yum I will defiantly get my mum to make those (even though we have a thermomix and I can make one myself)

  30. Natalie says:

    I just made these for the first time using Cacao Nibs i bought on holidays from Bright Chocolate and OMG they turned out beautifully. Will be making these again.

  31. Kathy says:

    Hi Jo, I am allergic to dates. Can you recommend an alternative in recipes?

  32. Clara says:

    Wow, these are delicious! I had almonds and macadamias so used those in place of walnuts. So tasty. Just enough sweetness from the rapadura. I was surprised how much oil came out of the mixture! Not that it matters because its all good stuff! Will definitely make these again.

  33. Yum!! We are definitely going to have to try this recipe out! You can never have too many bliss ball recipes on rotation haha We did a Cacao & Date Bliss Ball recipe on our blog, please check it out if you get the chance πŸ™‚ xoxo http://beautifulbedlamblog.com/?p=61

  34. Laura says:

    What can be substituted for medjool dates for fructose intolerant? Dates full of fructose!

  35. Ashley says:

    Do cacao nibs take a bit of getting used to? I bought some but they are so horribly bitter on their own I’m scared to use them in a recipe in case we can’t stand it.

    • QuirkyJo says:

      They are not really nice on their own – it would be like eating cocoa powder πŸ™‚ In bliss balls you have the sweetness of the dates, plus all the other ingredients, to add to the flavour. These are delicious, try them!!

  36. Anne says:

    Absolutely delicious!! Thanks so much Jo!

  37. Dina says:

    Hi. Thank you for the recipe.
    What is rabadura??

    • QuirkyJo says:

      Hi Dina,

      Thanks for your comment. Rapadura is one of the purest forms of sugar cane that is minimally processed (just dehydrated). This means it still retains its original nutrients, which are usually lost with refined sugar. It has a slight molasses-type flavour and it’s a great sweetener option for use in baking, desserts, etc. You can order through Changing Habits here.

  38. Carlie says:

    Hello, Any chance these would be ok to freeze and pull out for lunchboxes? x

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