Dates, coconut, peanut butter, pumpkin seeds, a little sea salt, and a few chocolate chips - what’s not to love? A balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates does the body good. You know what else does the body good? Having a snack just like this to eat when you need a little something. Say it’s 3pm and you would usually have a cookie and a coffee, have an energy ball! Say you’ve just had a baby and you need calories, and you need them ASAP. Have an energy ball! Say it’s 4:30pm and your kid can’t wait until dinner and you want to give them something nutrient dense? Energy ball it is!
If there is one thing I’ve learned in over 8 years working as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, it’s that when it comes to eating well, it’s all about preparation. If you fail to prepare, you prepare to fail, after all. We all know what it feels like to get to that dire hunger, give me all the potato chips state, and it doesn’t feel good. What’s even worse, is the guilt many of us feel for mindlessly overeating said chips. Taking small steps each weekend to prepare some food for the week ahead, majorly pays off when you haven’t eaten in hours and you don’t want to stop for something fast and likely unhealthy. Preparation for the win! Enter, nutty seedy energy balls.
Nutty Seedy Energy Balls
1 cup pitted dates, packed
¾ cup coconut flakes, fine
2 TBSP chia seeds
½ cup pepita/pumpkin or sunflower seeds
½ cup creamy peanut butter, or any kind of nut butter
½ tsp fine ground sea salt
¼ cup water
¼ cup cacao nibs or mini chocolate chips, optional
Place dates in bowl of a food processor. Process for about a minute, or until dates are finely chopped. If they end up in a big ball, just use your hands to break it apart and process again for 10-15 seconds.
Add coconut flakes, chia seeds, pepita seeds, nut butter, sea salt, and water. Blend for another 30 seconds. You’ll likely form another big ball, so use a spatula to mix and process again until well combined.
Remove date mixture and transfer to a medium bowl. Add cacao nibs or chocolate chips and stir to combine.
Spoon mixture into your hand and roll into a ball, you choose the size. (I usually make them about a tablespoon each but never measure) Place date balls on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. One all of the balls are rolled, place into the freezer for one hour.
Store in either the fridge for 7-10 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months (I prefer to store them in the freezer, personally).
For higher protein balls, you can add 3 tablespoons collagen peptides to the recipe. Simply add the collagen when you’re adding the coconut flakes, seeds, etc.