Energy balls are incredibly popular at the moment, but apart from trying a Bounce protein energy ball once (which was very tasty indeed!) I’ve never actually tried making them myself. I did find myself wondering whether I could make an energy ball of my own creation with ingredients that I did have at hand, so I went ahead and had a bash. Thankfully they worked out very well!
The energy balls are stuck together using blended dates, but this is a high FODMAP ingredient for those who are sensitive to Oligo-fructans, so if you fall into that category I’d give them a miss. However, if you’re fine with oligos a portion of 3 energy balls would be a great low FODMAP snack for you to have.
I think the trick to good energy balls is to make sure the ratio of dry ingredients to wet is accurate. Too wet and they won’t hold their shape, too dry and they won’t form into a ball and will crumble apart. I also couldn’t have made these without my trusty food processor, although a Nutribullet or blender would probably do the same job if that’s what you’ve got in your kitchen.
When you bite into one of these energy balls the first thing that hits your taste buds is the smooth dark cocoa coating, but as you begin to chew, the sweetness of the dates merges with the pumpkin and sunflower seeds and bitter cocoa flavour to create the impression of a sinfully decadent, but ultimately pretty healthy, sweetie. The nutty crunch of the crumbled seeds only adds to the overall enjoyment of the blend of flavours.
That’s quite the description, but it’s as accurate as I can make it and you could easily adapt the ingredients to suit your own tastes, such as using cinnamon in place of ginger or adding more dried fruit into the mixture, such as dried cranberries. (You’d probably need to stick with using a base of dates though because it’s their fudginess which helps hold the energy balls together.)
This recipe makes around 24 energy balls and is well worth having a go at. If you do make them, let me know how you get on.
300g dates (pitted)
50g pumpkin seeds
50g sunflower seeds
2 tsps vanilla essence
4 tsps tahini
A pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. of ground ginger
1/2 a firm banana
2 tbsps of melted coconut oil (possibly more depending on how the mix sticks together)
4 tbsps cocoa powder
Sprinkle your cocoa powder onto a plate and leave to one side, then lay a sheet of greaseproof paper out on your work surface.
Put all of your other ingredients into your food processor and blitz until it forms a thick paste. If you find that it’s not forming a paste add a little bit of hot water to the mix until it does stick together.
Put the mixture in a bowl (so you’re not delving your hand into a food processor bowl and running the risk of having a finger meet a blade!).
Take a small portion (about the size of a marble) and form it into a ball before rolling it around in the cocoa and placing it on the greaseproof paper.
When you’ve made all of your energy balls put them in the fridge to firm up. Once firm, enjoy!