My husband has often likened me to a Border Collie in my need to be taken out and run around a park to burn off steam every day to avoid becoming a complete pain in the arse and tearing the house apart. Ordinarily, it would take a very brave or stupid man to refer to his wife as a dog (and possibly invite a punch in the nuts) but in this instance he’s right. I’m one of those stay at home mums who doesn’t really stay at home all that much. I also own a small person who seems to have inherited my goldfish-like attention span and inability to sit still, so I find most of our days are spent out between the gym, parks, playgroups and other wild & crazy shit, because that’s how we bitches roll.
But if I’m a Border Collie in my need to move, I’m a labrador in my love of food and need to eat. Yes I probably will lick your plate if you look like you might be close to done…and your face if there’s food on it. It’s a very fine line between hunger and hanger with me so I never go anywhere without some sort of food stashed somewhere on my person, just in case I starve to death, which is of course a very real prospect. While nuts, fruit and veg are great sometimes I want something with a bit more oopmh and although I have to admit to being partial to the odd protein bar I don’t always love the list of ingredients that comes with them. Whipping up a batch of these bad boy balls means I can have a great, portable, nutrient dense snack on hand that has all the flavour but none of the nasties. With a base of nuts, added protein and minimal fructose they’re the perfect solution to keep my bloody sugar stable, satisfy my inner hungry dog and stop me biting strangers. Unless they piss me off.
Get this stuff
75 grams raw hazelnuts, soaked in water for at least 2 hours but longer is gooder, then drained
30 grams clean chocolate flavoured protein powder *
3 medjool dates
3 heaped T Mayvers Almond, Coconut & Cacao spread **
2-3 heaped T cacao
2 T rice malt syrup, or you can sub in maple or honey but be aware that strong flavoured honey will change the flavour of the balls a bit
1 T chia seeds
Dash of vanilla paste
Pinch of pink salt
up to 4T of almond milk if required
* By clean I mean minimal added unnecessary crap, read your labels please people. I used Bare Blends Dark Cacao, after too many unhappy experimental experiences this is the only brand I buy now (no I’m not sponsored but damn I wish I was).
** I appreciate this is an Aussie thing so I apologise to everyone who can’t get their hands on this due to geographic restrictions. The snakes and spiders and freaky fucking wildlife in this country I could do without, but as far as nut butter goes these Mayvers monkeys have got it nailed (again not sponsored but would lie down in traffic if it would help my cause!). However, that said, any nut butter will suffice. If you can get a clean chocolate flavoured one great (no this does NOT mean fucking store bought Nutella, seriously if I find out anyone uses that shit I will find you and kick your arse), if not, something like plain almond butter is fine but you may want to add and extra tablespoon of cacao into the mixture to up the chocolate factor.
Do this with it
Another incredibly complicated recipe from me so make sure you’ve had a good night’s sleep and got your wits about you for this one, for glob’s sake don’t fuck it up! Just kidding, relax. Seriously, you’d have to try pretty hard to cock these balls up (see what I did there…?).
Put everything except the almond milk in the blender and blenderise that shit until it’s all pulverised and combined. It will start to turn into a consistency similar to sticky breadcrumbs but probably won’t clump yet; this is when you want to add a teensy bit of almond milk, to make it all come together into a perfect delicious sticky blobby mixture. When I say teensy, I mean really fucking small, we’re talking 1 T at a time, don’t get all excited and go pouring it in or you’ll end up with a sloppy mess which while still delicious is no good for nice firm balls. When the mixtures starts to form one giant ball in the blender you’ve hit the sweet spot.
Now all that’s left to do is roll your balls. I know my weaknesses when it comes to anything remotely chocolate flavoured so I tend to go for large teaspoon sized balls of approx 20 grams to create a bit of portion control. Of course this doesn’t necessarily stop me eating four at a time but points for good intentions right? This batch makes about 18-20 of these 20 gram goodies but if you like your balls bigger or smaller then go nuts (ha, see that one too, I’m a fucking riot)!