Friday, 18 July 2014

My take on a tasty new trend…

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)
1.7g protein
9.2g fat
1g saturates
6.2g carbs
5.6g sugar
1.5g fibre
0.1g salt
15mg calcium
0.6mg iron
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.

1 comment:

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