I love protein balls, they seem to be the on-trend thing to eat at the moment, up there with avocado!! My kids adore the balls I make for them, most of the time consisting of dates, almonds, and a nut butter.
I recieved a healthy eating newsletter from their day care centre today and there was quite a long list of banned foods for safety, and to promote healthy eating. I realised that I couldn't send their normal protein balls in their lunch boxes as nuts are banned in the centre, for understandable allergy reasons. So today I set about making the balls using maple syrup as the core binding ingredient, and milled chia seeds and sesame seeds in place of my usual nuts.
I'm sure it's easy enough to chop and change ingredients according to availability and preferences. For example tahini paste could be used in place of the usual nut butter. or maple syrup Anyway, these protein balls went down a treat. There was a spoon of cacao powder (which hopefully isn't frowned upon in the centre). This powder was gifted to me my a very dear friend when he came to stay with us during the summer. This is a highly prized powder from a chocolatier, Hazel Mountain Chocolate the Burren in Co Clare, so I use it very sparingly. It's chocolate in it's purest unrefined form.
- 10-12 pitted dates (depending on size)
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder Buy Hazel Mountain one here (not an advert, just adore it)
- 3 tbsp of milled chia seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp of desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth.
- Put the mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes to stiffen up.
- Roll the mixture into bite size balls, and then roll the balls in either extra sesame seeds and/or coconut.
- These keep great in the freezer and I recommend storing them there, to keep them firm, but not frozen.