Cocoa Almond Energy Balls

I was recently asked if I would like to provide a healthy snack for an event to celebrate International Women's Day at Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre. I wanted to make something that tasted great, but that would be just right for all the women in the audience.  When I thought about the yoginis in my life, I started thinking about their commonalities.  Many of them are very active, very busy and don't have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.

So, I decided to make Energy Balls.  These are such a fantastic treat for a few different reasons.  One is that they taste great.  Let's be honest, it's pretty hard to go wrong with nut butters and cocoa.   But all those nuts and seeds provide healthy fats, which means they'll provide sustained energy.  Fats take longer to digest, so these little balls will keep you going for hours, where a sugary treat or a caffeine filled beverage might perk you up quickly, but make you crash back down just as fast.  Another reason I love these balls is they are easy to make and to store.  You can whip up a batch in under 15 minutes, store them in the freezer and take them out during the week as needed.  No baking, no big clean up.  Finally, it's so easy to substitute in this recipe.  Swap out for whatever nuts, seeds and their butters you have on hand.  If you want something a touch sweeter for your kids, use raisins instead of goji berries.  Add a touch of lemon rind, or throw in some frozen raspberries, add a superfood for an even bigger nutritious punch, (I've added maca powder, spirulina, matcha, . . . ).

Here's the recipe I used for the event and thanks to everyone who came.  I feel so blessed to be a part of such a beautiful community and to be asked to celebrate the women who surround me.  Thank you to all the mothers, daughters, sisters, partners, friends.

Me and my beautiful mama

Me and my beautiful mama

Cocoa Almond Truffles (makes 18-25 balls)

1 cup dates ( I use Medjool as they are more nutritious than other varieties and I like their stickiness for this recipe)
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 cup cashew butter
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp goji berries
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Shredded coconut to roll balls in.

-Add sunflower seeds, cashews, berries, cacao and coconut to food processor and blend until broken down, but chunky.  Add dates, nut butters, maple syrup and vanilla and process until smooth.  Add hot water to desired consistency, then roll into bite-sized balls. If the balls are too sticky to roll easily, you can put them in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes, (although it is really fun to lick your hands). Roll balls in shredded coconut to coat.  Store in freezer until ready to enjoy!

Photo by Kate McDonald Walker

Photo by Kate McDonald Walker