One of the hardest things most people face throughout the day is those cravings for a little snack in between your big meals. Fruit, biscuit and nuts have for years been the go to snack for most people but in recent years I’ve seen something new pop up: energy balls. Usually made of a mix of nuts, protein powder and cocoa powder these little snacks have a good portion of protein and are a healthier option to biscuits. There are a lot of variations you can make, some go for oats, others use other kinds of grease to make it stick together. So let me go over some of the choices I made for these energy balls, but i’ll be trying out more versions in the future!
When it came to the mix of nuts, I ddin’t go for the more common almonds, as I’m intolerant to them and I loooove pecans and walnuts. Dates and cranberries were added to give it a sweetness. I used cocoa powder for a nice chocolate hint and chia seeds and protein powder to give you an energy boost and some extra protein. When it comes to the hemp protein in particular, I chose it over whey protein as this one is vegan and has heart-healthy unsaturated fats and fiber. Whey protein does have more protein per scoop though.
I also added a tablespoon of Chia seeds, which are considered a superfood and are rich in fiber, omega-3 fats, protein, vitamins and minerals. To make it all stick together I used coconut oil, however if you are already using a lot of coconut oil in your diet, I would recommend you replace it with peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower butter or simply water as coconut oil can be bad for your heart and cholesterol if you consume too much of it.
Makes: about 20 balls
- 125g pecan nuts
- 125g walnuts
- 150g dried dates
- 50g dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons of hemp protein powder*
- 1 heaped tablespoon of chia seeds
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 50ml coconut oil** or peanut/almond/sunflower butter or plain water
*you can leave this out, do not add it when making these for children
** coconut oil tends to turn into a solid mass, it’s about 3 tablespoons of hard coconut oil
Add pecan nuts, walnuts, dates, cranberries to a food processor and mix. Add cocoa & protein powder along with chia seeds and mix again.
Heat up your coconut oil in the microwave so it becomes liquid, add it to your bowl and mix again.
Now take out a scoop of the mixture and softly kneed it with your hands. You won’t be able to roll these into balls as it’ll break but if you just give it a bit of a squeeze with one hand and then gently shape it with the other you’ll get perfect bite-sized energy balls.
Set out a bowl of desiccated coconut and roll the balls around so the coconut sticks to it. Place in a fridge for 30-60 minutes so they firm up. You can keep them refrigerated for 1 week.