I love the idea of snack balls. The thought of something quick and easy that can give you an instant energy boost when you’re hitting that mid-morning/afternoon slumber. It was something that I wanted to try for a really long time, but I had this misconception that they had to be protein balls. Super healthy, devoured of all sweeteners, filled with artificial protein powder and a load of nuts. Not really something that I was too keen on, or could actually eat! I had success making my tropical bites, but wanted to branch out with a completely new flavour.
After a little research (mainly Pinterest!), I discovered a little something called ‘date balls’. It seems that dates can be used as a major binder to form a paste like mixture, which can be rolled into balls. Naturally, this made me ridiculously excited. Yep, I’m that cool that something like a snack can make me crazy excited! But, the more I researched it, the more disappointed I became. It seems like there’s one ingredient that is fundamental to making a successful date bite. You’ve probably guessed it by now… Nuts!
Whether it be nut butter, grounded, or just chunks. Nuts seems to be in all of them, in some major way or another. These are the moments that I find it really hard. I love all this different food, and want to make it so badly but find myself so restricted with my allergies. It seems that I’m forever hunting for replacements and ways that I can make food suitable for me.
Saying that, I do love finding nut replacers, and making food available for us unlucky sufferers. I seem to take it as a personal challenge, and enjoy experimenting until I can find the perfect alternative. I’ve heard before that seeds can act as certain nut replacers, specifically peanuts. That’s why sunflower seed butter can be used as a great nut free alternative to peanut butter.
I kind of pretty much made this whole thing up as I went along. I got the basic ideas from a range of different places and just kind of went for it. The whole thing was pretty much just a big experiment. I added a bit of this and a bit of that along the way, and threw it all in my blender, with no idea what type of outcome to expect. I knew what I wanted the end result to be, and what I wanted them to look and taste like, but whether or not they’d turn out that way, I was clueless.
The first batch only had a few ingredients; oats, sunflower/pumpkin seeds, tahini, salt and of course dates. I’m slowly becoming slightly tahini obsessed. Previously only using it homemade hummus, I noticed that it had a slightly nutty flavour. I started looking it up and realized that people were using it in salads, having it for breakfast and even as a dressing.
At first, I’ll admit that I thought that it was really wrong. It was always something that I’d solely associated with hummus, so the idea of using it like this kinda threw me. But the more I started to think about it, the more that I completely loved the idea. Now I wonder why I ever thought that it was so wrong? After all, it’s just ground sesame seeds. Once I got over that, I couldn’t wait to start experimenting. And this is where the love began. I was using it on everything… And completely loving it!
Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
When I made these I really didn’t know what to expect. I was getting nervous, convinced that they wouldn’t work, after all, I pretty much madeit up as I go along. So, when it was time to roll them, I couldn’t believe that they’d actually worked! I had a dough like texture, that I could shape and mould, and turned it into a perfect little ball!
I tried coating it in a few different flavours, just to see if it greatly altered the final taste, and there was a definite winner. One of my all-time favourites… Coconut of course! I’m not normally a fan of desiccated coconut, because I don’t really like the texture, but in this case, it was completely perfect! You didn’t get the horrible bitty texture in your mouth, and it gave the balls a major taste boost.
I am completely in love with these. I have them in the morning, afternoon, for breakfast, pudding… Pretty much just all the time! To make them I used khudri dates which are a great source of slow realising energy, and really help you to keep going once you’ve reached that dozy moment during the day. The sunflower and pumpkin seeds are an absolutely perfect nut replacement, and the tahini help to give the balls a slight peanut taste. Personally, I really like this flavour, but if you find it too much then simply replace a little bit of tahini with water.
Time to get rollin’!
Date Truffle Energy Balls
Based on my healthy salted caramel recipe, these are a power snack in disguise as something completely delicious! I usually make quite large balls, but of course they can be made smaller, into discs, or any other shape of choice. These are a real favourite in my house, and loved by absolutely everybody. I’ve tried a few variations, but I always end up coming back to this one. I have a big batch of these made up in the fridge all the time; ready to take to work, or just to give me a little boost. I would suggest allowing them to reach room temperature before eating them, so that you can really get the true flavour, and savour every delicious bite!
Yields: Approx. 8 Large Balls
- 250 g Khudri Dates
- 50 g Oats (I use Certified Gluten Free)
- 25 g Sunflower Seeds
- 25 g Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 Table Spoon Chia Seeds
- 1 Large pinch of Salt
- 1 Table Spoon Coconut Oil (Melted)
- 1 1/2 Table Spoon Tahini
- 1 Tea Spoon Milk (I use Coconut)
- Desiccated Coconut (To Coat The Ball)
- Firstly, place the oats into the blender/food processor, and grind them down into a flour.
- Next, add all other ingredients to the flour mix, and blend it until it forms a thick paste.
- Remove a small amount of the mixture from the blender/food processor and roll it between your hands to form a ball shape.
- Place some desiccated coconut onto a plate or flat surface, and roll your date ball through it until thoroughly coated.
- When completed, store the finished date balls in an air tight container in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Keep in the fridge for up to a week. I recommend allowing them to warm up before eating them, so that the taste can really be enjoyed!
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