Well, tonight is yet another case of Corine getting distracted and doing everything BUT what she planned on doing. I had plans to make another crock-pot soup with the 10 bean mixture I bought last week, and then floating away to a blissful yoga for athletes session using YogaVibes.com as my guide. Instead, I got on the computer to check some emails and Facebook and BOOM. All downhill from there. (I’m a lot like the dogs in the movie UP when they see a squirrel.) The world wide web for me is like a creepy walk through a scary forest of gnarled branches and limbs. The curiosity of what I may find, keeps me going in deeper and deeper even though my sixth sense is telling me to turn back before it’s too late. Something peaked my interest on a blog called Happy Being Healthy; a delicious looking recipe for Coconut Chia Protein Balls. What a fantastic idea! Balls, not bars? I loved it and immediately found myself drawn into the lion’s den of the scary forest. There would be no 10 bean soup or yoga tonight my friends – only delicious, tasty, experimental energy bites. (If I said balls right there it would have been too weird…)
Remember the almond butter I made that had the consistency of cookie dough? OH YEAH. I found the perfect use for it; these bite-sized nuggets of deliciousness. 🙂 I’m excited to try these before my next run – which happens to be tomorrow morning. 🙂 Yay! (UPDATE: I took one before my run and I honestly think it may have made me more hungry. : Maybe these are better as a snack AFTER my run!)
To make, simply combine all the below ingredients in a bowl and mash together with your hands. Place in fridge. (See slideshow for more instruction, too.)
1/2 c. homemade (preferred) almond butter (store bought is A-OK too, just not sure of the consistency)
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 Medjool dates, pitted and cut into tiny pieces
1/4 c. unsweetened coconut shreds (I used reduced fat)
1/4 c. + 1 tbsp popped amaranth* amazing stuff, but hard to find (or coarsely ground up, quick-cooking oats)
2 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
While the above blob of dough sets a little in the fridge, you can get your outer toppings ready.
1/4 c. almonds, finely chopped
1/4 c. pepitas, unsalted, finely chopped
1/4 c. unsweetened, reduced fat coconut shreds
Distribute the above ingredients into 2 – 12 cup muffin pans (see slideshow below), just enough to cover the bottom of each muffin cup.
Remove the dough ball from the fridge and start dividing it up into bite size pieces. I used a teaspoon to measure and ending up making each ball, 2 teaspoons worth. It produced 23 balls this way. After each ball is measured and shaped, plop one into each muffin cup. Once you have a ball in almost every cup, you can shake and move the pan to swirl the balls and coat them! Super fast and easy… which is good since the measuring took some time! Place the pans in the freezer to harden up for about an hour.
Once firm, you can either wrap individually, wrap 3 to a baggie or just throw them all in a bag.
Since I’m planning on using these as fuel for runs (before and possibly during) I wanted to figure out the nutritional value, to see what sort of impact they had.
Nutritional info per ball (based on 23 balls, 2 tea. each): Calories = 61, Carbs = 6 g, Fat = 4 g and Protein = 1 g (this does not include the outside coating)
These turned out REALLY good and I will be making more soon, as I’m sure they will disappear fast!