Ask anyone who knows me well and they’ll tell you that exercise isn’t really my thing. The closest I’ve come to organised sport is a rather inappropriate Saturday job at JJB Sports whilst I was in the sixth form, not sure what I was thinking there.
If it wasn’t for the massive amount of cake involved in writing a food blog I doubt I would ever exercise at all. As it stands, there are only 2 things that get me through a painful gym session: an old episode of Downton Abbey on my iPad (new series starts tonight!!) and one (or maybe two) of these scrumptious energy balls.
Pop a stock of these chocolatey, coconuty, almondy balls in your fridge (or freezer) and you’ve got yourself some bite sized bursts of energy at your finger tips, just the ticket for a post-work workout. They’re also perfect for that afternoon slump, when you just can’t go on without something sweet. Just keep in mind that they’re not chocolate truffles, they’re packed full of dates, and if you get too carried away you may be spending a little more time in the smallest room of the house than you’re used to! (apologies for lowering the tone!)
These little babies are simplicity itself, all whipped up in a food processor, squeezed into balls and rolled in extra coconut, they’re also endlessly adaptable. You can use whatever nuts you fancy, you could add some chia seeds or spices, or you could roll them in cocoa or chopped pistachios. Some people even coat theirs in goji berries, but I wouldn’t recommend it given that goji berries taste like crap. In my opinion, they’re healthy enough without resorting to that!
Date, Almond, Coconut & Chocolate Energy Balls
Adapted slightly from Francoise La Prune
Makes roughly 28, depending on size.
1 cup of dates
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup desiccated (unsweeted shredded) coconut, plus extra for decorating
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
4 tbsp almond butter
Start by soaking the dates in warm water for about 15 minutes to soften them.
In the bowl of a food processor whizz up the almonds, coconut and cocoa powder for about 15 seconds until roughly chopped. Next add the maple syrup and almond butter and process for a further 15 seconds until fully combined.
Next, squeeze out the dates and pop them into the processor and whizz the whole lot again until the dates are fully chopped and incorporated (30 seconds).
Tip the mixture into a bowl and then form it into small truffle sized balls. You’ll find that the dry looking mixture is actually very sticky and the balls will come together quite nicely, but squeeze them gently rather than rolling them as they have a tendency to fall apart if rolled. Top them off with a little extra coconut.
Pop them in the fridge for half an hour to firm up. I tend to keep enough for the week in the fridge (they’ll last for about 2 weeks in there) and store the rest in the freezer until needed.