Monday, 2 May 2016

The "Energy" Ball


My attention towards soil-like energy snack balls has increased lately. Bite sized and promising "lots of protein" or being "packed with energy", these power balls seem like a healthy way to eat tasty food that fuels my body. The more I looked into recipes, the more I realized that these come with a bit of "health food" whitewashing but that doesn't make them any less delicious. The unexpected addition of dates to my pantry meant I could make my own!
Let's not kid ourselves about these balls. Super helpful for die-hard cardio fans but for us regular 9-5 seated folks, these are still dessert in disguise. If you're really looking for a protein packed snack, eating turkey meatballs or deli-slices might serve you better. But what do I know; not a nutritionist.

I came about owning dates in an interesting way...


David's colleagues were closing out a restaurant they managed/owned and everyone was invited for one last party. At the end of the night, we ended up with a massive influx of spices, weird fancy foods and lots of grains as the owners gladly gave away what they couldn't return or sell. I now own more Amaranth, spices, grits, and liquor than I know what to do with and included in my bounty were a small pack of dates. (There's also a 4L ice cream tub full of oats which will be converted into granola. The recipe will be hopefully be captured here, at the request of Stephanie)


Surprise dates means trying an energy ball recipe!
I slightly adapted a recipe from  The Endless Meal and ended up with 20 delicious snacks.

Ingredients
Base:
8 Medjool Dates
1/4 cup natural peanut butter
2 Tbs maple syrup

The recipe called for 8 dates but I only had 7. I also don't know if my Dates where Medjool. This resulted in a slightly crumbly mix when processed. I added in a Tbs of coconut oil thinking it would help but more peanut butter might have been the better way to go.

Additions:
1/2 Pecans
1  Tbs Cocoa powder
1 Tbs Ground Flax Seed
1  Tbs Hemp Hearts

The recipe suggests using any combination of nuts or seeds. They used walnuts, sunflower and chia seeds but I only had pecans and the items above. I think you can really add in whatever you'd like so I wouldn't be too worried about it.

Method
This is easy.

1) Pulse everything a food processor.


2) Roll into small balls.


3) Freeze for 15 minutes. And eat! 
(Take them out of the freezer and store in the fridge).


Comments:
Though the recipe says to blend the base ingredients until smooth, mine never made it anything past crumbly. Even so, the mix combined together when pressed with my hands into wobbly balls. I couldn't roll them but pressing worked fine.

I decided to add cocoa powder into the mix and that was a great addition! I also wanted to roll the balls in some of the additions and this worked really well too. The cocoa powder coating makes these look like truffles.

All in all, these are quickly getting eaten up and I would defintely make more (in smaller batches perhaps to discourage too much over eating). These are nutty, chocolatey and dense! A great post lunch sugar fix. 



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