Ciara’s Cacao Protein Balls

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Ladies and gents, I have finally done it. I have created my own version of a classic – the humble (and highly notional) energy ball. This recipe exploded all over the health and wellness scene a couple of years ago now, and initially I definitely shied away from working on my own for the blog – purely as there were just SO many versions out there, and nothing really felt original. But recently, having picked up some dates for my Tahini Caramel Squares recipe, I figured ‘waste not, want not’, and what better use of dates than an energy ball? I was also inspired by the gorgeous Near To Nature Turmeric Bar I tried at Wellfest – I loved the sweetness of their bar combined with the little hint of turmeric, and wanted to create a similar vibe at home! A gingerbread-style energy ball is another variation I would love to try – but for now, I’ve gone for a turmeric and cacao blend, and a coconut espresso combo!

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Recipe (Makes 16 Energy Balls)

Ingredients

  • 200g of pitted dates
  • 100g of raw cashews
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp agave sweetener (or honey)
  • 2 tbsp of tahini (you could sub nut butter either!)
  • 30ml of water
  • 2 tbsp Hemp Protein Powder (I used Linwoods Hemp Protein Powder but you could try oat flour instead!)
  • For the Turmeric Flavour: 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • For the Coco-Espresso Flavour: 1 tsp ground coffee + 1 tbsp dessicated coconut

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Method

  1. Add the dates, cacao, sweetener, cashews, tahini and water to a blender cup or food processor, give it a shake, and then blend. I used my Nutribullet, but it does stick a bit, so you have to blend, then unscrew the cap and stir around the mixture, then blend again!
  2. Blend until the dates and cashews are 90% combined. It’s fine to have very small little cashew chunks in the mix – or you can blend further if you like.
  3. Spoon the mixture out into a bowl, add 2 tbsp of the hemp protein or oat flour, and mix it in.
  4. Depending on which flavour you want to make, add the appropriate additional ingredients to the bowl, and stir in. If you want to do a batch of both, just transfer half the mixture to a separate bowl and go for it!
  5. Take a plate, and add a spoonful of the hemp protein or flour onto it – this is to reduce the stickiness of the balls when you roll them. If you’re doing the coconut flavour, just spoon out some dessicated coconut onto the plate instead.
  6. Scoop a ball size lump of the mixture out of the bowl and roll it in the protein/flour/coconut on the plate until coated, and then roll the ball between your palms to create a more circular shape.
  7. Repeat this for each energy ball, and transfer each one onto a tray or tupperware lined with greaseproof paper.
  8. When you’re ready, transfer the balls to the freezer, and leave them for a couple of hours or overnight to harden.
  9. When you need to take them on the go, wrap one or more up and you’re snack sorted for the day!

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Enjoy guys! I really hope these perk you up as much as they did me – they are a bit messy to create but a lovely little wholefood snack packed full of goodness to fuel you on the go! Tag me if you try them out – @theirishbalance on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook!

Ciara 🙂

2 thoughts on “Ciara’s Cacao Protein Balls

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