Four homemade energy balls

Save yourself cash and time by making these delicious and easy treats

Superfood Booster Balls

Fed up with expensive, sweet and sickly energy bars? Then why not make your own energy balls instead? On the bike, at work, pre- or post-workout, or just a speedy breakfast before you rush out of the door, these no-cook bite-sized balls of deliciousness are guaranteed to give you a lift.

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All they take is a few pulses of a food processor and a couple of minutes to roll the mixture into balls. Dried fruit – rich in dietary fibre, vitamins and essential minerals and packed with natural sugars to revitalise the body with a quick nutrient-rich energy boost – are mushed up with seeds and nuts, rich in protein, carbohydrate and heart-healthy omega-3s.

Superfood Booster Balls

Naturally sweet and a fabulous source of no-heme iron and potassium, apricots are mushed up with a nutrient-rich blast of seeds and pecans, packed with heart-friendly antioxidants and oleic acid (the healthy fat found in avocados).

As a good source of vitamin B3, which helps us access the energy in our food, pecans are also great for fighting fatigue (see main pic above).

Ingredients

■ 100g pecan nuts
■ 120g apricots
■ 30g milled sunflower, pumpkin and flaxseed mix, plus 2tbsp more to coat
■ 20g milled chia seed
■ 2tsps runny honey
■ 20g dark chocolate chips

Step one

Place the pecan nuts in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer to a bowl.

Step two

Place the dried fruit in the food processor and pulse again, until the mixture starts to stick together. Return the pecans to the mix, add the milled seed combination, the chia and the honey and pulse once again.

Step three

Finally, add the choc chips and give one last very quick blast of the food processor to combine.

Step four

Take small handfuls of mixture, about 12g each, and roll into balls in the palm of your hands.

Step five

Pour the remaining milled sunflower/pumpkin/flaxseed mix into a bowl and toss the balls in the mix to cover.

Ginger Zing Balls

Simple, but effective, these balls will get your taste buds tingling as well as giving you a boost of minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron, and vitamins A, E and K. With just three ingredients, these are simplicity itself to make.

Ingredients

■ 2 pieces of stem ginger, chopped finely
■ 100g dried figs (the soft, partially rehydrated ones are best)
■ 50g roasted chopped hazelnuts, plus 2tbsps to coat

Step one

Place the ginger and the figs in a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to stick together.

Step two

Add the chopped roasted hazelnuts (keeping some back to coat) and give the mix a quick blast to combine.

Step three

Take small handfuls of mixture, about 12g each, and roll into balls in the palm of your hands.

Step four

Spoon 2tbsps chopped hazelnuts into a bowl and then toss the balls in the mix to cover completely.

Step five

These will keep for a couple of weeks, stored in a plastic bag or airtight container.

Read on for our recipes for Date and Coconut Balls and Spicy Peanut Balls (2/2)

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We continue our guide to making your own energy balls at home…

Date and Coconut Balls

Packed with natural sugar, dates are a great source of vitamin B6, fibre and a whole host of minerals which, combined with sustaining oats and coconut, will boost your energy and your immune system and will help replace depleted glycogen and mineral stores after a workout (see main pic above).

Ingredients

■ 120g dates
■ 80g jumbo mixed raisins
■ 20g desiccated coconut, plus 2tbsps to coat
■ 20g porridge oats
■ A few drops coconut oil

Step one

Place the dates and raisins in a food processor and pulse until the mixture starts to stick together.

Step two

Add the coconut, oats and coconut oil and give the mix a quick blast to combine.

Step three

Take small handfuls of mixture, about 12g each, and roll into balls in the palm of your hands.

Step four

Spoon 2tbsps desiccated coconut into a bowl and then toss the balls in the mix to cover completely.

Step five

These will keep for a couple of weeks, stored in a plastic bag or airtight container.

Spicy Peanut Balls

We love these spiced peanut balls. They’re perfect for those who crave savoury foods rather than the standard sugary on-the-bike feeds. Plus, they’re particularly effective in hot weather to replace some of the electrolytes that are lost through sweat.

Ingredients

■ 100g skinned unsalted peanuts
■ 20g milled chia seed
■ 160g crunchy peanut butter (Whole Earth works best)
■ 40g porridge oats, plus 2tbsps extra to coat
■ ½ tsp salt
■ Pinch cayenne pepper
■ Pinch chilli powder

Step one

Place the peanuts in a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Add the chia seed, peanut butter, porridge oats, salt and spices and give the mix a quick blast to combine.

Step two

Take small handfuls of mixture, about 12g each, and roll into balls in the palm of your hands.

Step three

Spoon 2tbsps porridge oats into a bowl and then toss the balls in the mix to cover completely.

Step four

These will keep for a couple of weeks, stored in a plastic bag or airtight container.

(Images: Ewelina Karbowiak)

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For lots more recipe ideas head to our Nutrition section