I’m partial to a snack. I love breakfast but it’s usually over by 7:30am leaving a little window for something healthy, tasty, energising but not too filling around 11:00am. A handful of almonds used to do the job, but that got boring, really boring. So enter this bundle of goodness! A delicious combination of energising nutrients that are easy to make and make a beautiful, transportable snack. A bonus with these is that my little boy loves them. Since they’re virtually exploding with healthy fats, protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre, I’m happy for him to eat them too.
- 1/2 cup* of madjool dates, pitted, packed in tightly.
- 1/2 cup of walnuts.
- 1/2 cup of almonds.
- 1/2 cup of desiccated coconut + 1/4 cup for rolling.
- 1 tablespoon of ground flax (optional).
- 1 tablespoon of chia seeds (optional).
- 2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder.
- 1 tablespoon of maca powder (optional).
- 1 tablespoon of almond butter.
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, softened.
Makes approximately 23 balls
*I use standard kitchen measuring cups, which you can get here.
- Put the nuts, seeds, coconut, flax, cacao and maca into a blender and pulse until you get a course flour.
- Soften the coconut oil and almond butter in a pan over a low heat and remove when melted.
- Add in the dates, almond butter, coconut oil to the dry mixture and blend again. You’re looking to get a doughy mixture that will stick together when pressed.
- Now form into balls. I make them quite small, but you can decide your perfect snack size. If once you’ve made a ball (and tested it) you feel it’s not sticky enough then add in some more (melted) coconut oil to the mix, stir thoroughly and continue to make the rest of the balls.
- Roll the balls in the desiccated coconut so they’re evenly covered.
NOTE: I realise that these are pretty expensive snacks if you haven’t got all the ingredients in your cupboard. I’m lucky in that I tend to always have these in stock. If you’re buying everything from scratch you don’t have to spend a fortune, leave out the maca, chia and flax and you’ll save a lot! You can also switch from almond butter to organic smooth peanut butter. This will compromise their energising capacity but they’ll still be a nutritious snack.
Why are they so energising?
- They contain a range of vitamins and minerals that are involved in turning fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy. These include a range of B vitamins and iron found in the pretty much all of the ingredients (nuts, seeds, maca and cacao).
- They contain a combination of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The fats and proteins slow the release of the sugars from the carbohydrates, which translates to better and more balanced blood sugar/energy levels.
- The B vitamins, magnesium, omega 3 fats and nutrients found in maca are all helpful for adrenal function. The adrenals are known as the ‘stress glands’ as they react when the body perceives it is under stress and produce a range of hormones that help us to deal with the stressor. However due to high levels of stress in many peoples lives these glands can become overworked and become ‘fatigued’. One of the resulting symptoms is tiredness and low energy. These energy balls will not cure adrenal fatigue but they will provide many of the important nutrients that help these glands to recover and work effectively.
I don’t only limit these to being a snack option – they also do a great job of rounding off breakfast (with a smoothie or juice) or can be a tasty and nutritious dessert. I also find it’s a fantastic way of getting in tones of foods that my little boy would not normally eat.
I hope you enjoy them as much as me and my family do.