As I write this, I’m just outside of Taghazout – a small dusty town on the coast of Morocco. In July, Taghazout is apparently a hotspot for domestic tourists, making the most of their Moroccan summer holidays. From October to April it’s a mecca for surfers. How I ended up here, I’m not quite sure. I saw the name on a list of recommended cities for digital nomads, and Morocco has always held an allure for me… so here I am.
The hills surrounding our riad are picturesque; the locals friendly; the beaches sandy. But I haven’t yet fallen love with Taghazout. I don’t feel settled. I miss my kitchen – all I’ve felt like doing the last few days has been cooking. Or not-cooking, in the case of raw food. I’m hungry to create– my daydreams are full of vegan bolognese, raw cakes, smoothie bowls, taco feasts and big, bold, zesty salads.
Maybe it’s because vegan options in Morocco are scant (fancy another veggie tagine…?) Maybe it’s because I have more free time than usual and I’m spending too much of it on Instagram drooling over other people’s culinary masterpieces. But whatever the reason, damnit I miss my blender; I miss my dehydrator; I miss my sharp knives! Most of all, I miss the abundance of ingredients I have access to in Australia.
But limitations can lead to creativity when we open to it. I made a light, zesty salad for lunch a couple of days ago, featuring cannellini beans, dates (plentiful here!), cumquats (growing onsite at our riad), delicious sweet cherry tomatoes, cucumber, fresh mint, lemon juice and spices.
And I was granted access to the kitchen at the retreat centre where I’m teaching yoga this week, in order to make bliss balls for the guests. Bliss balls, I love you – so easily adaptable and substitution-friendly. I’ve never before made bliss balls with access to so few ingredients… and yet, the result was still absolutely delicious.
So here is my recipe for very simple, yet entirely satisfying bliss balls. Feel free substitute different kinds of nuts or dried fruit. In my experience, as long as the ratio is slightly more fruit than nuts (by volume) they’ll hold together nicely.
- 1 lightly packed cup pitted dried dates good quality such as medjool are best
- 1/2 cup pitted dried prunes
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 2/3 cup almonds
- Pinch sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 5 drops orange essential oil or substitute some grated orange zest
- 50 grams dark chocolate chopped or roughly grated (optional)
Throw everything in a food processor and blitz until finely crumbled. When you pinch some between your fingers, it should stick together.
Roll into balls (roughly an inch in diameter). If you want to get fancy (and if you have the ingredients) you could roll the balls in cacao powder, crushed nuts, or desiccated coconut.
Refrigerate for a couple of hours to firm up.
Ingredients do of course vary – some dates are really juicy; others are quite dry… so required quantities can also vary slightly. If your mix doesn’t hold together add a little more dried fruit or a tiny drizzle of coconut oil. If it seems too sticky, add a few more nuts.