Studying for exams really brings out the worst in me when it comes to looking after myself and eating healthy. When I started studying for my exams to qualify as a solicitor in England a few months ago, I unfortunately found myself trying to combat exam stress, dips in energy levels and mental exhaustion by reaching for sweet snacks that were loaded with processed sugar. While these sinful snacks satisfied my sweet tooth, I noticed that they also gave me a sugar rush after which my energy levels often came crashing down, leading to even more sluggishness afterwards. Coupled with exam stress, these snacks also began wreaking havoc with my weight and skin, causing me to feel even further unnecessary stress.
One afternoon, after a particularly exhausting session of revision (bail application procedures are no joke!), I was taking a break and came across an article on energy balls. They looked absolutely delicious and seemed like such a great idea for a healthy snack. After doing some quick research and ransacking the kitchen for ingredients which I could use to make my own energy balls, I came up with my own simple concoction, which took me only about 10 minutes to make.
Given my limited stock of ingredients at the time, these Date and Nut Energy Balls consist only of 6 ingredients but are chock full of protein (dates and pistachios) and antioxidants (almonds and cocoa). They are also a very good source of vitamins and minerals as dates are rich in calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, folate and vitamins A and K. As dates are also high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose, these energy balls are a wonderful way to boost energy, not to mention that they make this snack so incredibly delicious.
Since this first experiment a few months ago, I now always have a batch of my Date and Nut Energy Balls in the freezer. They are the perfect mid-afternoon snack with a cup of coffee and I even eat one or two of them before a workout to give me a burst of energy. As I tend to travel quite often as well, I feel these will be the perfect snack to carry along on long road trips when healthy food or snacks may not always be easily available.
Without rambling on further, here is my simple and easy recipe for my Date and Nut Energy Balls.
Ingredients (for a batch of 30-35 energy balls)
– 1 cup dates (seeds removed)
– 3/4 cup almonds
– 3/4 unshelled pistachios
– 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
– 1 tablespoon protein powder
– 1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder
– Mix the dates, almonds and pistachios in a food processor and grind them until they form a crumb-like texture
– Add the extra virgin olive oil, protein powder and raw cocoa powder (you can also add chia seeds if you wish) to the mixture and give all the ingredients another whizz in the food processor until they are mixed evenly
– Take the mixture out into a bowl and roll the mixture into balls with your hands (1 heaped teaspoon worth for each energy ball)
– Put the rolled energy balls into a box or lay them in a tray and pop them into the freezer to set
– The energy balls should be ready to eat in 2-3 hours
As I am still experimenting with a few more recipes for energy balls and healthy snacks, I would love to hear from you about some of your favourite healthy snacks. Please leave me a comment below or get in touch on Instagram or Twitter.
Happy (Healthy) Snacking!