Lemon & Turmeric Bliss Balls
2 cups of dessicated coconut
1 cup raw cashew nuts
1 cup almond meal
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp fine pink sea salt
Zest and juice of two lemons
Extra coconut for rolling
Natural and unrefined is how Kin & Coast’s Bodie Pierce likes her desserts.
The Capel Sound local grew up in the tight-knit town of Healesville before moving to the Mornington Peninsula in 2014. After stints at wellness-focused Store Fifteen and Plover Wellbeing, she set up her wholesale raw desserts business and renovated a 1950s caravan (with the help of her brother-in-law), converting it into a sustainable — and portable — plant-based café and botanical bar for weddings and events.
“I’ve always been passionate about health and wellness, and noticed there was a gap in the market for consistent, high-quality raw desserts,” Bodie says.
“I began supplying one cafe, and ended up in the cabinet of a dozen different cafes and yoga studios across the Peninsula.”
This year she’s put Kin & Coast’s wholesale business on hold to focus on her first ebook, featuring a collection of raw, vegan and refined sugar-free recipes for dessert lovers to recreate at home.
Tell us about the recipe book and how it came about?
It’s a work in progress! Essentially it will be a collection of plant-based recipes, based on those I developed for local cafes. Wholesale products need to have a longer shelf life; which is no easy feat when it comes to raw desserts! There has been lots of trial and error involved. Expect bliss balls, raw slices, tarts, raw snickers slice, bounty bar, lemon tart and carrot cake – along with other favourites.
Are people surprised when they find out your desserts don’t contain sugar or dairy?
I’ll often test new recipes on my young nieces, as well as on our vegan-averse friends and family — so far I’ve had no complaints! I like my recipes to appeal to a wider audience rather than just those who follow a plant-based diet. I love recreating well-known and well-loved recipes and making them work without all of the gluten, dairy and refined sugar that is usually loaded in. I find it best to ease people into raw desserts with a caramel slice or lemon tart, as they’re classic, approachable flavours.
Is it hard to make sweet treats without sugar?
Creating the recipes and balancing flavours takes time, but once you get your head around substitutes, it becomes easier. Swapping processed white sugar for unrefined coconut sugar, for example, is usually a 1:1 ratio and an easy alternative. I often use pure maple syrup in my recipes as it has a beautiful sweetness and a light and silky texture. Rice malt syrup is also fantastic as it is lower in fructose and gentle on the digestive system, with a texture similar to honey or molasses.
What are the benefits of eating raw, vegan and sugar-free?
I’m not a nutritionist, but I strongly believe in the benefits of eating foods in their most natural, unprocessed state. Whole natural ingredients retain the precious vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are often lost during heating and processing, and are naturally free from chemicals, additives and refined sugars. Put simply, it’s real food and tastes amazing.
What are some pantry staples everyone should have on hand if they want to try out vegan, sugar-free cooking?
Nuts: almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, walnuts and peanuts.
Seeds: chia seeds, flaxseed, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds.
Grains: oats, buckwheat, puffed brown rice and quinoa flakes.
Cacao: raw cacao powder and pure cacao butter (for making raw chocolate).
Sweeteners: vanilla, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, medjool dates and coconut sugar.
Fats: coconut oil and coconut cream.
Natural food dyes: spirulina, matcha, turmeric and beetroot powder.
Where do you shop for ingredients?
The newly opened Foundation Bulk Food Store in Dromana has a fantastic range of plastic-free dry goods and health foods, as does Thrive Bulk Wholefoods in Mornington. For fresh local produce, I love stopping by Torello Farm or King’s Market Garden. Transition Farm in Fingal also grows the most incredible organic and biodynamic produce, and they offer seasonal CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscriptions for weekly vegetable boxes.
Beyond adopting a plant-based lifestyle, what ways can we be more ‘conscious’ eaters?
We can all become more conscious cooks and consumers by shopping locally at fruit and vegie markets, wholefood stores and farmgates; by bringing our own produce bags and reducing our wastage in and out of the kitchen. Research the food you eat; how it’s grown, produced and packaged and the impact it has on the environment, and inside your own body. It’s not about being perfect, but trying to slowly improve our habits and attitudes towards food.
BODIE’S RAW AND PLANT-BASED RECOMMENDATIONS:
Lemon & Turmeric Bliss Balls
How to make them
Place the cashews into a food processor and blitz until you achieve a crumb-like consistency.
Add the remaining ingredients into the food processor and pulse to combine, scraping down the edge of the food processor as required to ensure ingredients are well mixed.
Roll a heaped tablespoon of mixture into a ball, then toss in desiccated coconut to lightly coat. Repeat with the remainder of the mixture. Place the balls into an air tight container.
Refrigerate until firm. Balls can be stored in the fridge for several days or for a month in the freezer.
Recipe tip: For simple variations, add the pulp of two passionfruit, or substitute the lemons for limes and turmeric for matcha powder.