Last weekend at Barnes Food Fair was a huge success, I adored every moment of it and thank you all so much for your supportive words of encouragement and to those who came along! I had completely sold out of everything by 4pm which was a wonderful feeling and my aubergine fudge brownies became a bit of a talking point with people queuing up to try them!
I trialled lots of new recipes whilst I was there and the one I am about to share was one of them and a best seller. One woman bought 4 and ate 2 before she’d even left my stall! Think Jaffa Cake meets brownie… It’s a no-bake, vegan friendly, egg free and very simple energy ball. The bulk of these balls are made with a combination of pecan nuts, chia seeds, almond butter and medjool dates. Although the balls are pumped with healthy goodness, the dates themselves are very sugary, be it natural sugar or not, sugar is sugar, so I thoroughly advise being sensible (ie. not eating 3 in a row!). I usually have one before I exercise, or when my blood sugar’s getting a little low to pick me up. They have a great balance of fat, fibre and protein which helps to keep you fuller for longer and not give you a crazy blood glucose high straight away. I would recommend using an orange for zesting and for the juice (only 1tbsp needed), or alternatively you can buy organic orange oils which also work well.
I love adding chia seeds to energy balls as not only are they a super-duper food but they add a lovely texture crunch to the balls. For this recipe, all you need is one blender and clean hands….that’s it! They can be stored in a sealed container and kept in the freezer for months. You can then take them out in batches and keep them in the fridge for when you might want one, or if you’re on the go pop it in a little grease proof paper. Feel free to make them as big or small as you want. I like to make mine about 20g each, which makes approximately 16 in total out of the mixture, just remember the bigger the ball the more of a sugar hit, so be careful!
So many of the so called “health” bars that are currently gracing the shelves of every supermarket are in fact the opposite to healthy. For someone who lives day in day out with calculating how much sugar they put in their own body, it makes me incredibly angry to see such false advertisement from multinational supermarket brands that literally dictate what we all put in our bodies. A lot of these health bars are not only using 2 or even 3 lots of dried fruit per bar but they are then using oats, fruit juice, vegetable oils and some even decorating the bars with chocolate! They then throw words like “packed with antioxidants” and “low sugar” to lure us in to a false sense of health security. A full-blown sugar overdose and certainly not worth your pennies. In order to keep your teeth as well as your health I throughly advise steering very clear of them and having a different snack to hand.
Health friendly snack ideas:
- One handful of (one of the following): Almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, mixed berries or olives
- Half an avocado sprinkled with sea-salt and chia seeds
- One boiled egg
- One tablespoon almond butter and carrot sticks or celery sticks
- One homemade chia pot (made with almond milk) with cacao nibs and some berries
- One tablespoon nut butter on 1/2 an apple or pear
- In to the food processor place the pecan nuts and dates, pulse for 1 minute until paste like consistency
- Now add in the orange zest, almond butter, chia seeds and cacao
- Blend until fully combined for about 3-4 minutes
- Once mixture is sticky, roll in to bite sized balls
- Optional: Add 1-2 sea salt flakes to the top of each ball
- Decorate accordingly. I like to roll half the batch in extra chia seeds and the other half I put a pecan nut on!
- Place in to freezer for 1-2 hrs to set, then remove and keep in the fridge in a sealed container (or you can leave them in the freezer until you want them)