Before I mixed the ingredients in kind of a trial and error experiment I hardly anticipated them to be so addictive! I have always been drawn to a nice box of chocolates and had the hardest time not to eat the whole box in one go. These energy balls are similarly moreish – they even look like chocolate truffles! They have a slightly sweet touch due to the sweeteners sucralose and maltodextrin from the protein powder and the added rice syrup, because I didn’t want them to taste too bland. The advantage of creating your own energy boosting snack is that you can control the amount of sugar you want to consume as opposed to a store bought one which contains most of the time at least two sources of dried, sugar-dense fruit and another source of sugar such as agave syrup which is very high in fructose. Certainly, if you crave something sweet, a certain amount of sugar is unavoidable but in my recipes I generally tried to stick to very few sugar sources: Rice syrup, bananas, sweet potatoes, apples and squash. If you’ve done your own research on health benefits and risks of sugar and sweeteners and you feel that rice syrup is not a “safe” sweetener for you to use, try a small amount of stevia instead. If you try to avoid sugar alcohols such as the sucralose added to the protein powder, leave it out and maybe add some almonds instead, finely chopped or ground, as another protein boost. You don’t have to stick too much to the recipe below, but use it as a guideline for measure. Play around a bit with your favourite healthy ingredients and try out as many flavour combinations as you like. For instance, why not swap the almond butter for peanut butter (without added sugar, of course)? Swap vanilla essence for orange and you have created chocolate orange energy balls! Or combine almond butter, ground almonds, bitter almond aroma and rose water with the rest of the ingredients (leave out the cocoa powder) and you’ll have a nice substitute for marzipan!
For 12 balls
- 1 tbsp. chocolate protein powder
- 1 tsp cocoa powder
- 3-4 drops vanilla essence
- 2 tbsp. almond butter (no added sugar)
- 40g whole oats
- 1 tbsp. rice syrup
- 2 tbsp. flaxseeds
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- Desiccated coconut
- In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. The coconut oil should be liquid. For that you can leave the jar in a warm corner of the kitchen or on the heater. Alternatively, melt it in a separate container in the microwave for just a few seconds.
- Using a tablespoon mix the ingredients for several minutes until the texture is homogeneous.
- Take a teaspoonful of the mixture and form into balls.
- Take the balls and roll them in desiccated coconut (I store the coconut in a plastic container and then dip the balls in there, alternatively scatter some desiccated coconut on a plate or in a bowl to turn them over).
- Store the balls in a small container in a dry place and consume within a week.
Author: Danica Utermohlen
Picture credits: Danica Utermohlen
Disclaimer: This recipe has been edited. It was first published on 02/03/2015 for GloTIME, http://glotime.tv/spring-boost-chocolate-almond-energy-balls/