To keep me going between classes, I used to have a Nakd bar. But at £2 a box for 4 wee bars, I couldn’t sustain that snack habit as a poor student. I looked up recipes for homemade Nakd bars which were delish but a little crumbly.
The likes of Deliciously Ella have amped up the popularity of her gluten-free energy balls. The problem with some of her bars and balls is that they feature gluten-free oats, but if you’re allergic to avenin, a protein found in all oats, then they’re no good for you.
The Internet is full of different variations of energy ball recipes, and here’s mine.
These balls take only 15 minutes to prepare (assuming you have popped amaranth already) and boast 3g protein and 2g fibre per 2 balls, ideal for a mid-morning or afternoon snack. I have tried to make energy balls without cocoa powder but I just don’t like them as much. When I want something sweet, I’m definitely a chocolate person. You can adjust this recipe to omit the chocolate flavour if that’s not your thing, but I need it.
This recipe is naturally sweetened using dates which are full of essential vitamins and minerals like calcium and iron, as well as providing a source of fibre that refined sugar lacks.
The popped amaranth adds a popcorn-y, toasted flavour to the balls, which differentiates them from most other energy ball recipes. I used almonds in this recipe but you can play around with it and use another type of nut (or seeds like pumpkin and sunflower if you need to eat nut-free) instead, just keep the ratio of nuts intact.
These balls are perfect as snack, dessert, or a topping for smoothie or yoghurt bowls.
- 70g/ ½ cup of almonds
- 175g/ 1 cup of soft dates (soak in hot water for a few hours if too dry or hard)
- 1.5 tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ cup popped amaranth
- Blitz the almonds in a food processor until they are finely ground. Pour this into a separate bowl.
- Pulse the dates in the food processor until they form a thick paste. Scrape down the sides of the processor if necessary.
- Add the now ground almonds back in alongside the cocoa powder. Pulse the mixture until well combined.
- Add the popped amaranth in and pulse the mixture together again. To test if the mixture is firm enough to make the balls, break off some in your hand and squeeze together. If it sticks together, it is ready. If it is crumbly, you need more dates or a little bit of hot water.
- Get a plate and spoon. Scoop out half a tablespoon worth of mixture and roll it into a small bowl. Repeat until you have approximately 16 small balls.
- Keep in an airtight container in your fridge or freezer. I find mine last a month in the fridge.