Little balls of happiness

It’s mid afternoon and that familiar feeling comes creeping in – the slump. Tired, lethargic and craving something sweet, particularly if lunch was a meagre, hurried affair. A few hours later, your body is demanding something satisfying, and now!

A cup of tea and a slice of cake – that’ll do nicely! Whilst there’s nothing wrong with a mighty fine cake on occasion, consuming something that’s packed full of refined sugars, fats and flour (plus various additives if it’s not home made) whenever the slump hits is not sustainable in the long run. It may hit all the pleasure spots, but that quick release of sugar won’t last, and before long you’ll be hunting for more sugar satisfaction. As for biscuits, they may be even worse as it’s tempting to keep cramming them in until the end of the packet!

You need balls to deal with this problem – energy balls! Packed full of nuts, dried fruit, seeds or oats, these little lovelies are filled to the brim with healthy fats, complex carbs and soul soothing sweetness that will satisfy your cravings, boost your energy and see you comfortably through to dinner time. And because they’re full of whole foods rather than refined products, they’re super filling so there’s only so many you can eat at one time.

Not only that, they’re quick to make, store well and being raw, they are nutrient dense and packed with fibre, so keep your gut happy and working well. The nut based ones are gluten free too and of course they’re all dairy free and plant based.

The recipe for my original energy balls can be found here – http://foodiesensitive.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/sweet-treat-raw-and-dairy-free.html. These are still a firm favourite. But if you need a nut free version because of allergies or school lunch box restrictions (kids love these – honest!) then try these oat based ones.

Oat and seed energy balls
1 cup oas
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup stoned dates
½ cup dried cranberries
>½ cup raisins
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
dessicated coconut
Put sunflower seeds and dates in food processor and chop until fine. Add oats, cranberries, raisins and blitz until chopped. Add orange juice and blitz again until combined and sticking together (not too much juice)
Take a teaspoon of mix and roll into a ball then roll the ball in the coconut. Repeat.

Finally, for a slightly less dense and fresher flavour, try these lemon and nut wonders that are deceptively filling and so satisfying.

Luscious lemony balls
1 cup cashew nuts
1 cup desiccated coconut
Grated rind of one lemon
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
pinch of salt
Put the cashew nuts and desiccated coconut into the food processor and whizz for a few moments until broken down. Add the remain ingredients and blend until combined and sticking together. Take out a teaspoon of the mixture and roll into a ball – this mix is slightly drier than the others so needs a delicate touch.

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