Monday, 20 April 2015

Apricot and Muesli Bliss Balls

This week autumn has well and truly arrived with gale force winds and driving rains. Unfortunately the wild weather has arrived at the same time as my holiday week but on the bright side I am lucky to be staying inside whilst the rain pours down outside!

I've just finished my second placement which was my community nutrition/public health placement. I was placed at a not-for-profit charity that aims to promote healthy eating in schools. They do great work including helping canteens to have healthy menus and implementing fruit and veg programs in schools. Indeed the food environment in schools these days has come a long way! I had a fantastic time on placement - I was lucky to do quite a bit of hands-on work, I got to work at a couple of school canteens, and I learnt a lot about the challenges of implementing public health policy.

I made a cardboard cash register - harder than I thought!

Of course, as usual, Mr Duckie and I had our fair share of emergency and drama. A few posts ago I wrote about the breakdown of our old car Jeeves during my first placement. That was a pretty big scare, so what else could happen right?

We were shown what could in fact happen on only the second day of my placement. That morning, Mr Duckie was having a shower and I needed to duck into the bathroom to grab something. As I pushed open the door I thought, why does the door knob feel funny? I kept jiggling the door knob and it felt stiff and unmoveable. Then, for goodness knows what reason, I decided to close the door. Big mistake, as lo and behold, I had locked us into the bathroom.

I had never been in this situation before. My brain took some time to adjust to the situation. The reality took some time to sink in, as I thought that perhaps if I shook the door knob hard enough, it would move. Then I thought I could break the door down. When I realised we were stuck, hysteria started to take hold. Luckily Mr Duckie stayed calm and he tried to figure out a solution.

Luckily the bathroom had windows, albeit very small windows. So I was sent forth to climb out of the window and get help. With a bit of a leg-up from Mr Duckie, I managed to get out, with a few scratches on the way. Now the next challenge - the fence to the front garden was too high for me to climb, as were the fences to the neighbours on both sides. Luckily I found a way to get into my back door neighbour's garden and eventually I got through and knocked on her door!

Give as a gift to those who have been good help!
My back door neighbour, whom I had never met before, turned out to be a very kind and generous lady who was more than willing to help. She helped me to call a locksmith and so eventually we managed to get back into the house and open up the bathroom door. What a relief!

Anyway, in times of unexpected dramas, something sweet is always good to help give an energy boost. Whilst I was on placement, I looked up a number of healthy sweet treat recipes to pass on to schools and parents, and I became quite familiar with the concept of bliss balls!

These balls are very easy to make and only use a few basic ingredients, pretty much just dried apricots, muesli and sesame seeds. Whilst many bliss ball recipes contain nuts, this recipe is nut-free, so can safely be taken to school. They also smell amazing whilst cooking from all the lovely spices added in!

Hope you enjoy this recipe! I'm off to my food service placement next so we shall see what happens then!

Apricot and muesli bliss balls

Adapted from

100g dried apricots
3/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
60g sesame seeds
3 cups natural (untoasted) nut-free muesli

1. Combine apricots, water, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until apricots soften. Uncover and set aside until cool.
2. Place sesame seeds in a pan and toss over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until golden. Place into a bowl to cool down and set aside.
3. Place muesli in bowl of food processor and process until finely chopped. Add apricot mixture and process until a stiff dough forms - you may need to add a bit of extra warm water. Transfer to a bowl.
4. Use teaspoonfuls of mixture to roll into small bowls. Roll in toasted sesame seeds. Place in fridge to firm up a bit then serve.

Makes approx. 30 balls


  1. Oh dear! Yes you would want something to calm your nerves after that!! :D

  2. Yes, the weather is appalling and it's so wet I've been bunkering down and not wanting to leave the house. Your apricot and muesli balls look really tasty and healthy and like the perfect snack xx

  3. Oh dear Julie what a time you have had of it! I am sure these lovely looking bliss balls helped calm your nerves :D

  4. What a drama! I'm just glad you had your clothes on - could have been worse! What a shame about the weather on your holiday! Yes, the autumn weather has truly set in but the sad reality is that it's actually a lot more like winter xx