These nut-free energy balls are great for kids packed lunch boxes as they taste like a sweet treat, but without the refined sugar, and contain lots of nutritious goodness. They are also perfect to take to work as a snack, or just to keep in the fridge when you are at home.
The recipe below makes 10-12 balls depending on the size.
1 cup dates
1 cup oats
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp good quality cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2-3 tbsp water
1. Soak the dates and pumpkin seeds, in 2 small separate bowls, for 1 hour in a little water to soften. (This step is not essential and can be skipped, but it helps to soften the dates for blending, and also makes the seeds easier on the digestive system).
2. Place the oats in a food processor and pulse until fine. Remove and put to one side.
3. Drain the dates and pumpkin seeds if you have soaked them.
4. Blend the dates until smooth, then add the oats and the pumpkin seeds together with the cocoa powder and cinnamon, and blend until combined.
5. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to soften the mixture. It should be sticky, not crumbly, but not too wet either. If it gets too wet add a few more oats.
6. Take 1 heaped tablespoon of mixture and roll into a ball. Continue until all of the mixture is used.
7. Place the balls in the fridge to set for 2-3 hours then serve.
8. These will last, if kept in a container in the fridge, for up to 5 days.
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Francesca Grace Lancaster
Nutrition in Northwood, Rickmansworth and surrounding areas.