We are having a bit of a ball this week at NorthernKarma HQ: it's the start of #yogadvent! No chocolate and cardboard advent calendar for us this year! You can join in too on instagram or facebook. It's also shaping up to be a busy end-of-the-week, the girls are off for a weekend of yoga workshops on Friday and need portable snacks to keep them going, and I have a team volunteering day with work colleagues doing some maintenance on the Trans Pennine Trail.
To keep us fired up for our challenges we can rely on my trusty standby of date and oat energy balls, inspired by a recipe kindly gifted to us by Swell, a fab vegan friendly cafe we encountered on our summer adventures in Tofino, Vancouver Island earlier this year. I’ve given the recipe a twist replacing some of the oats with barley and rye flakes and chopped nuts for an even more wholesome, nutty snack attack . These were fresh off the production line on Wednesday night with a slick of delicious dark chocolate for an added quick energy release for those volunteers toiling in the forecast grim weather today.
What do you think? Going to give them a try? Check the recipe below and send us your feedback, we'd love to hear how it goes!
What you need:
Use GF grains if needed and organic local ingredients when available or as you prefer.
1 cup of dates, soaked and smooshed
3 Tablespoons of coconut oil
3 Tablespoons of Rape Seed oil
1 Table spoon of maple syrup
3 Tablespoons of desiccated coconut
3 Tablespoons of sunflower seeds
2 Tablespoons of flax seedsplus 4 Tablespoons of water
6 Tablespoons of mixed dried fruit- I used cranberries, raisins, sultanas, sour cherries, cut any large pieces up
4 Cups of oats, rye and barley flakes –you can just use oats if you like and GF if you need to
2 cups of mixed nuts, I used cashews, almonds, hazelnuts and brazils ...use whatever you like or have in
Pinch of salt
What to do:
1. Have the sink free to rinse your hands.
2. Put flax seeds in water in a small bowl and leave to stand for 5-10 mins
3. Soak dates in hot water in another bowl for 5-10 mins if they are the hard type.
4. Whiz nuts in a processor or chop into small pieces, add to a separate mixing bowl
5. Whiz up mixed flakes to a medium consistency – not to dust, just to get rid of the big flakes as they won’t form good balls –add to nuts ( this is all getting a bit oooerr missus!)
6. Measure rest of dry ingredients into the mixing bowl.
7. Melt coconut oil.
8. Drain dates and pulverize/smoosh with a stick blender, or if you need to work off some irk or need a bit of exercise use a masher to create a smoothish date paste.
9. Add dates paste, melted coconut oil, rapeseed oil and maple syrup to dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and now the fun part...get your hands in to mix together really well making sure all the dry ingredients are coated with the wet sticky stuff...it is all very therapeutic. You’ll be totally Zen by the time you’ve done.
10. Rinse your hands and using wet hands to form dessert spoonful sized portions of the mix into balls squeeze and roll together to get a good solid shape. The wet hands help the ball- forming process, so scrape off any excess mix back into the bowl and re-wet hands between ball rolling, it really helps.
11. The mix makes 20-24 generous balls depending on portion size, obviously more if you make them smaller, whichever you prefer.
12. Place the balls on a plate, cover with cling film and refrigerate to set, preferably overnight.
13. When set firm, dip each ball into melted chocolate if desired ( kidding right..of course you desire chocolate) and leave to set on a cooling rack.
14. Store between leaves of greaseproof paper in a container in the fridge if eating within a few days, otherwise keep in the freezer and take out as many as you need at a time. They defrost really quickly and provide the perfect boost after exercise, mid-hike, or just self indulgently reclining with a nice cuppa.
Lot of love, Mama H x