Nutella Bliss Balls Covered with Nutella Chocolate

Nutella Bliss Balls Covered with Nutella Chocolate
Nutella Bliss Balls Covered with Nutella Chocolate

 

Looking back to when I was a child, I really am quite surprised that I was not fat, as one of my fondest memories was the times I had a spoon in one hand and a big jar of nutella in the other hand, ready to dig into the chocolatey gooey goodness. Let’s just say I was quite a messy child with nutella all over my face, on my clothes and sometimes even in my hair (you may laugh but I am sure that a few of you are guilty of this as well). My poor mum who had to put up cleaning me and chasing after me as I was all hopped up on sugar.

nutella-start-the-day
During my primary and high school days, my breakfast generally consisted of either a bowl of fruit loops with full cream milk or nutella on toasted white bread. My lunch box was filled with a variation of fruit roll ups, packet of chips, uncle tobys muesli bars, salami sandwich made on white bread, an apple, and pre-packaged mini muffins, to name a few. Whenever I had the opportunity to buy lunch from the school canteen I normally opted for either a meat pie, sausage roll oe lasagna, which now I look back on it was probably filled with ‘mystery meat’ (yes this was WAY before my time as a vegan.)

My sisters and me were provided with these food items not because my mum secretly wanted to kill us with all the sugar and food that contained nearly 0% of nutritional value, rather because there was not as much research, information and forward thinking organisations/individuals that made the wider population aware of the dangerous health effects that these items have on children and adults alike.

No wonder that the epidemic of obesity within Australia is on the rise, with ‘a quarter of Australian children obese or overweight…Evidence from International systematic reviews shows that food advertising can influence children’s food preferences and behaviours and should therefore be addressed as part of any potential solution to childhood obesity’ (Roberts, M. Pettigrew, S. Chapman, K. Miller, C. and Quester, P. 2012). This is astounding to see how the growing size of our population (and I do not mean with the joy and happiness of more babies entering the world) is persuaded so heavily by the media and marketing and how this is so cleverly devised.

There are numerous studies based around ‘unhealthy’ food advertising on television, especially targeting children. From 2007 to 2008 research was conducted on a global perspective across 13 countries; Australia, Asia, Western Europe, North and South America. This investigation was between the times of 06:00 and 22:00, focussing on 3 channels during this period of time that was predominantly watched by children. The findings were very interesting, as it discovered that food advertisements that were promoting foods that contain highly undesirable nutrients or energy were more dominant during children’s peak viewing times. It was further discovered that across all sampled countries, children were continuously exposed to high volumes of advertising on unhealthy foods such as fruit loops and nutella that had child-orientated persuasive techniques affecting their consumption preferences (Kelly, B. Halford, J. Boyland, E. and Chapman, K, 2010).

When I was younger, Nutella was one of the breakfast spreads that was always in the cupboard (I may have influenced this slightly). From the above two studies this clearly demonstrates the clever marketing of Nutella and how slogans such as ‘Spread the Happy’ and ‘Start the Day with Nutella’ in images surrounded by other healthy foods firstly appealed to me as a child as I just saw CHOCOLATE and my mum was made to believe that this products was good for us. This was not only achieved through food advertising on the media, but also the actual label on the jar of Nutella, which states ingredients such as Hazelnuts, sugar, milk, etc but does not clearly say the percentage of each item, especially the ratio between the healthy ingredient (hazelnut) as opposed to the unhealthy ingredients (sugar and vegetable oil).

nutella slogan

In the Guardian, September 2007 issue, the advertising watchdog placed the spotlight on a nutella commercial which makes the claim that nutella is part of a balanced diet for children, but does not mention the high concentration of sugar and fat content in every spoonful. From this investigation, the advertisement said each jar of Nutella contains 52 hazelnuts, the equivalent of a glass of skimmed milk and some cocoa, it does not make any reference to the amount of sugar and fat. According to Which? the spread is 55% sugar and 31% fat” (Jones, S, 2007). This is why I have taken the liberty to still satisfy my taste buds for nutella with my creation of Nutella Bliss Balls covered with Nutella Chocolate (recipe below). I even sometimes just make the Nutella Chocolate by itself and use this as my alternative spread (yes I do still indulge my inner child…but this time the healthy and nutritious way).

The hazelnuts, themselves that give traditional Nutella and also my creation of Nutella Bliss Balls with Nutella Chocolate, their delightful and distinctive taste are in fact recommended to be included in a healthy diet for lifelong health. Whilst, nuts in general have a high-fat content and can be perceived as unhealthy if these are over consumed, on the other hand, hazelnuts in particular plays a major role in human nutrition and health. This is due to its unique fatty acid composition (predominating MUFA-monounsaturated fatty acids), fat soluble bioactives, vitamin E, essential minerals such as selenium, essential amino acids, soluble dietary fiber, and phytochemicals” (Akgul, E, et al. 2015). So do not run away from these delicious tree nuts that can even be just a healthy snack on the go, just be mindful on the consumption of these by themselves and within food items as they are still high in calories which can naturally lead to weight gain if you do get carried away.

Research and the changing nature of society has progressed quite significantly which has become more evident in the recent years.Today, there are many more healthy options in the supermarket, cafes and restaurants that are easily accessible. There is also more information being revealed on the harmful effects of processed foods and sugar and easy options for those that are time poor (parents, students, and also the working population) to create fresh and healthy meals through companies such as Hello Fresh that deliver fresh ingredients and the recipes to go with it straight to your door. There are even free meal planners with videos, information on nutrition, and cooking tips all based around healthy living such as Cook Smarts. No excuses now!

In schools it is also very exciting to see how there are more initiatives and social movement towards creating a healthier environment which becoming more widespread creating the connection between good nutrition and education. Through leaders such as Michelle Obama, who has devised “Let’s Move”, a program dedicated to the health of the future generation in how they think about food and nutrition, and solving the issue of obesity in the younger generation so that they are equipped with the information from an early age to make those conscious healthy decisions to take forward with them for the rest of their lives (Let’s Move, 2015).

However, this does not stop at the individual children as  it filters onto the families to have more accessibility to information on nutrition and access to healthy affordable food and physical activity. The movement also impacts the broader community, as through having children (from primary school to higher education) in a healthy school environment this will lead to improved school achievements and graduation rates, improvement in the wider population with a reduction in chronic diseases and the economic benefits that comes with this, and also an important note is the increased mental wellbeing of children themselves which affects their families and how they enter society as a functional individual. We all know that kids can be quite cruel and a lot of bullying centers around physical appearance, which affects their psychological well being, their self image, how they view food/nutrition, and how this can result in disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder to name a few (Ruglis, J and Freudenberg, N, 2010).

I personally have a passion in empowering and educating those around me to take ownership for their own nourishment. I encourage this whole heartedly in a holistic approach through physical exercise , mindfulness and nutrition. So put down that nutella jar (preferably in the bin), take a step away from it, and start preparing these scrumptious Nutella Bliss Balls covered with  Nutella Chocolate.


 

Nutella Bliss Balls Covered with Nutella Chocolate

NUTELLA BLISS BALLS

This recipe makes 6 bliss balls

Dietary

Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Course

Energising Breakfast and Delightful Desserts

Preparation & Total Time

10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup of dates
  • 3 tbs raw cacao
  • 5 tbs rice malt syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbs tahini
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbs melted coconut oil

Equipment Required

  • Stove
  • 1 x small sauce pan
  • 1 x wooden spoon
  • 1 x measuring spoon
  • 1 x food processor
  • 1 x measuring cup
  • 1 x plate

Instructions

  1. Soak the dates and hazelnuts over night
  2. Melt the coconut oil over the stove on low heat
  3. Add the Hazelnuts to the food processor first and blend so that they are crushed
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend together so that they create a nice smooth, and well combined mixture
  5. Scoop out the mixture and roll the bliss balls
  6. place these in the fridge to harden while you move onto making the Nutella Chocolate

NUTELLA CHOCOLATE (cover)

This recipe makes 100ml

Dietary

Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free

Course

Energising Breakfast and Delightful Desserts

Preparation & Total Time

10 minutes to make and 30 minutes standing time

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of melted cacao butter
  • 2 1/2 tbs of hazelnut meal
  • 1 tbs of raw cacao powder
  • 4 tbs of rice malt syrup
  • pinch of celtic salt
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil

Equipment Required

  • Stove
  • 1 x small sauce pan
  • 1 x wooden spoon
  • 1 x measuring spoon
  • 1 x nutri bullet

Instructions

  1. Break chunks of the cacao butter and place this in the sauce pan
  2. Add the coconut oil to the sauce pan
  3. Heat the cacao butter and coconut oil over low heat making sure you mix this continuously so it does not burn and melts evenly
  4. Pour the melted cacao butter and coconut oil into a nutri bullet
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients and blend
  6. Take the Nutella Bliss Balls out of the fridge and coat them with the Nutella Chocolate
  7. Place these back into the fridge and let them sit for 30 minutes
  8. Take them out of the fridge and get ready to indulge in some chocolaty goodness. Bon Apetit!

Tips: 

  • Feel free to alter the recipe if you want a slightly different taste. Cashews go nicely with this as well and add to the creamy texture

References:

 

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