For Easter this year, rather than chocolate, my boys brought me a brand new cookbook. Not just any cookbook, it was the cookbook I had been yearning to get my hands on for months. Now, did I need another cookbook? Probably not, considering my cookbook collection is slowly but surely taking over my pantry space, but did I want another cookbook? Absolutely.
I had yearned for this particular cookbook since it had been released, but never had any luck getting my hands on a copy. So when I opened my delightful little package on Easter morning I was beyond excited that there in my hands was my very own copy of ‘The Happy Cookbook’ by Lola Berry. This book is not like other cook books. Contained within the pretty covers of this book, Lola Berry, one of Australia’s most loved Nutritionist, shares her passion for wholefood recipes along with some gentle reminders of how we can nurture ourselves on a daily basis by just enjoying the simple things in life like getting outdoors every day and basking in a little ‘biophilia’, the healing powers of mother nature….love this word. Wedged between pages of amazing recipes are little snippets of pure gold advice on how we can be kind to ourselves and get out there and live the best life possible. It really is a ‘happy cookbook’.
Since receiving this beautiful book, I have made almost every single recipe (120 and counting) and many of them more than once, read it from cover to cover countless times and devoured my fair share of the creations inspired by Lola. One of my favourite recipes so far has to be the sensationally moreish ‘Nutella Balls’. They are a mind blowing taste bomb sensation for Nutella lover. And really, who isn’t a Nutella lover at heart? Unfortunately though, Nutella is not the greatest nutritional choice for those trying to reduce their intake of refined sugars and artificial ingredients, so these little gems are a perfect substitute being made from wholesome healthy ingredients combined with being a real cinch to make. So why not swap that spoonful of Nutella from the jar, with a bite-size ball of wholesomeness from the fridge instead? I always have at least half a dozen in my freezer for when the Nutella munchies hit.
Lola, very kindly allowed me to share this recipe so I could share the happiness of this creation with you.
Makes about 12 balls
- 1.5 cups of hazelnuts (preferably soaked for at least 2 hours, then rinsed)
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup raw cacao, plus extra for dusting
- 1 vanilla pod, split and scraped, or a dash of vanilla extract
- ¼ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- Pinch of salt flakes
- Pop everything into a food processor and blitz until the mixture is well combined and starting to stick together.
- Use damp hands to roll the mixture into balls, then roll them in raw cacao powder or crushed hazelnuts.
- Pop them into an airtight container and store them in the fridge or freezer.