In ENERGY, FOOD, HEALTH & WELLNESS, HEALTHY EATING, RAW, RECIPE, SNACK, VEGAN

A long time ago, when I was beginning to do more distance running and was training for longer races, I started buying and consuming energy cubes. If you shop at co-ops or health food stores with a bulk goods section, you’re probably familiar with these energy cubes. They come in all sorts of flavors and varieties, with various superfoods and powdered energy boosters in the ingredients. I loved the idea of these little snacks to help fuel my running or give me a little boost before an early morning race, when I couldn’t really eat much of anything or else see it come back up very quickly.

I also figured that they must be relatively easy to make. At the time, however, I was happier to just buy them in service of convenience.

Turns out they’re ridiculously easy to make and they taste much better when the ingredients are fresher. Go figure.

I came up with my own 3 favorite recipes for energy balls. They each have the same basic framework but have distinct flavors and benefits. Each recipe has its own unique attitude.

I’m not big on snacking in between meals, which is what these babies might have been intended for when picked up in the bulk foods aisle. They’re really dense and pack a powerful punch. Have them in between meals and you’ll feel too full to eat your actual lunch or dinner. Instead, I prefer to have them as accompaniment to my breakfast smoothie, if I had a particularly challenging morning workout. I also like having one right after lunch if I know I’m not going to have dinner at my usual time or I need a little extra boost with my meal.

If you do use them as a snack, go easy. One or 2 will go a very long way!

Recipe #1: Goji Delight

(pictured above)

5 figs (or dates)

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/8 cup sesame seeds

1/8 cup sunflower seeds

1/8 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup dried goji berries

1/3 cup oats

1 Tbs hemp seeds

1 Tbs maca powder

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbs maple syrup

dash of salt

Recipe #2: Cacao Madness

5 figs (or dates)

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/8 cup sesame seeds

1/8 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/3 cup oats

1 (or 2) Tbs raw cacao powder

1 Tbs maca powder

1 tsp vanilla (optional)

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbs maple syrup

dash of salt

Recipe #3: Turmeric-Coconut Tasties

5 figs (or dates)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup flax seeds (or flax meal)

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1 Tbs coconut butter

1/3 cup oats

1 Tbs hemp seeds

1 Tbs maca powder

1 Tbs dried turmeric

1 (or 2) tsp dried ginger

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup coconut oil

1 tbs maple syrup

dash of salt

Directions:

Combine all dry ingredients in a high speed blender. Mix or pulse for a minute or so on low to start to break them down. Then add in the liquid ingredients. Blend together thoroughly until you have a sticky mixture of the ingredients. It might still be a bit crumbly. That’s ok. Not all of the seeds will be broken down, but you should have a good consistency to work with.

When the seed mixture is ready, start scooping out (very) heaping tablespoon sized lumps. Depending on how sticky or oily your mixture is, rolling these into balls might not work so well. I find that when the mix is very oily, I actually have to squeeze the oil out a bit and form a ball by gently squeezing into a rounder shape. Then I can roll it a bit in between my palms. A perfect ball is not necessary. Especially since some of these might not even make it to ball form but could go directly into your mouth as is.

These recipes should make anywhere between 12 and 16 balls, depending on how many you taste test in advance.

Enjoy!

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