Chocolate and raspberry energy balls
By Emily Morgan
Another day, another celebrity food craze. And, yay, this one turns out to be super-tasty and nutritious. Edible energy balls are all the rage with model Daisy Lowe, TV star Millie Mackintosh, and health-food fan Gwyneth, et al. The HFG team was already smitten with ready-made, protein-packed Bounce balls, so I set about devising a tasty home-made version, taking inspiration from Snog (the frozen yogurt kind!).
I based my recipe around dates and pecan nuts. Dates for energy, as they’re 70% carbohydrate, mostly in the form of natural fruit sugar. They’re also a good source of minerals, namely potassium, which may help to control high blood pressure, and copper, which boosts the immune system. Pecans are a source of fibre, and also contain lots of other essential vitamins and minerals, including potassium, phosphorus, iron, copper, zinc, magnesium, manganese, selenium, vitamin E and several B vitamins.
The prep bit
To make 24 balls, you will need: 300g pecans, 120g pitted medjool dates (about 12), 4tbsp maple syrup, ½tsp vanilla extract, 50g cocoa powder, 24 fresh raspberries.
Per ball (based on making 24)
LOW CAL, LOW SALT, VEG, GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE
How I made them
Place the pecans into a food processor, then blend until they form a fine, breadcrumb-like consistency. Add the dates, maple syrup, vanilla extract and cocoa powder, then blend again, until a sticky, dough-like mixture is formed. This takes 1-2 min. Wet your hands and shape the mixture into small circular balls. Place on a tray lined with clingfilm. Press your finger into the middle to make a small dent in each one, then place a raspberry in each hole. Chill for a couple of hours before serving with a fresh raspberry.
How did I rate this?
It was difficult to stop myself eating the mixture as I was shaping the balls – they’re very moreish! They’re a great alternative to chocolate bars, cakes, cookies and brownies and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. Unlike many sweet treats, they’re packed with fibre, antioxidants and vitamins, so will keep you fuller for longer. They make a great snack before or after an exercise class or workout, too.
The tool kit
Simple, as no cooking is required, you just need a good food processor.