Bite-sized Bliss Balls Offering Natural Sweetness

Yomiuri Shimbun Photo
Various bliss balls are served on a plate.

People tend to reach for something sweet when they feel tired. Vegetable cooking specialist Izumi Shoji recommends bliss balls, which promise soothing, natural sweetness, for those moments.

Mix random dried fruits and nuts, blend them in a food processor and roll the mixture into bite-size balls, and you have your bliss balls. Since no sugar or additives are used, bliss balls are growing more and more popular as a guilt-free sweet.

“They are also called energy balls because the sugar in the fruits is an instant source of energy,” Shoji said.

She showed how to make three different types of bliss balls. Each recipe makes six to seven balls.

The first one is made of almonds as well as pitted and dried prunes.

“You can either keep the almond’s crunchy texture or pulverize them,” Shoji said, adding that nuts should be crushed first as it is difficult to blend uncrushed nuts and dried fruits together.

All the bliss balls have a natural sweetness that melt inside your mouth and lifts your spirit. They are also nutritious. Each bite brings you more energy.

Yomiuri Shimbun Photo
Yomiuri Shimbun Photo
A bliss ball is rolled by hand.

Almond and prune bliss balls


50 grams almonds

50 grams prunes (pitted)


1. Grind almonds in a food processor.

2. Add prunes to the ground or powdered almonds and blend them together, until the mixture thickens.

3. Put the mixture in a bowl and roll into bite-size balls. Adding a little bit of water or oil to the mixture will help if you are having trouble rolling it into balls.

4. Sprinkle the balls with green matcha powder, white coconut flakes or ground coconut albumen, to add some color.

The next bliss balls, made of cashew nuts and dried figs with coconut oil and cocoa powder, resemble chocolate truffles.

Chocolate truffle bliss balls


50 grams cashew nuts

50 grams dried figs

1/2 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tbsp coconut oil


1. Grind cashew nuts in a food processor.

2. Add all of the other ingredients and blend them together.

3. Put the mixture in a bowl and roll into bite-size balls.

4. Sprinkle cocoa powder on the balls to make them really look like chocolate.

For the third type, walnuts, dried dates and slightly rosy cranberries are mixed. These bliss balls look cute, with a pale-pink part visible here and there.

Rosy bliss balls


50 grams walnuts

50 grams dried dates (pitted)

10 grams dried cranberries


1. Grind walnuts in a food processor.

2. Add dates and mix together.

3. Add cranberries to the mixture and lightly crumble them.

4. Put the mixture in a bowl and roll it into bite-size balls.

To make your bliss balls colorful, sprinkle each ball with a 1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon of matcha powder, coconut flakes or dried and powdered vegetables, such as purple sweet potatoes or pumpkin.

If you have leftover dried fruits after making the bliss balls, you can use them to make a salad dressing, according to Shoji.

Yomiuri Shimbun Photo
A salad with a dried-fruit dressing

Finely chop 20 grams of dried fruits and 30 grams of onion. Add just over one tablespoon of vinegar, a little less than one tablespoon of olive oil and a half tablespoon of soy sauce. Blend them in a food processor, and it’s done.

“It goes well with any vegetable and adds a subtle sweetness to them,” Shoji said.