For a healthy energy boost or to satisfy your sweet tooth the nutritious way, try cacao and cashew nut energy balls.
Quick and easy to make, this nutrient-packed snack is perfect for keeping you from dipping into the biscuit tin or making bad food choices when you have a gap to fill.
Before we bring you the recipe, here’s a quick overview of the health benefits that some of the ingredients of this sweet treat will bring you…
With 17 times more iron than spinach and six times more potassium than bananas, cacao brings more than its fair share of nutrients to any recipe. Rich in antioxidants, magnesium and vitamin C, and packed with fibre and protein to boot, cacao will give you an energy boost together with a whole host of health benefits, in particular supporting the health of your heart.
Linseed is the richest source of plant based Omega 3 essential fatty acid. A rich source of nutrients, fibre, vitamin B1 and manganese, linseed could help improve digestive health, give you clear, healthy skin, lower cholesterol, stave off sugar cravings, balance hormones and support weight loss.
These little red berries are believed to help boost the immune system and brain activity. A rich source of vitamin C, vitamin B2, vitamin A, selenium and other antioxidants, many people claim to enjoy a feeling of well-being thanks to goji berries.
The great news about cashew nuts is that they are naturally cholesterol free and are rich in good fats that support good cardiovascular health. Packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, cashew nuts are a rich source of vitamins E, K and B6, alongside minerals including copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron and selenium which are key to healthy functioning of the body.
Bananas are a fantastic health food with many benefits. Packed with fibre, potassium, vitamins C and B6, bananas help to support overall heart health. Eating bananas helps us to maintain good digestive health whilst the high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into happy mood brain neurotransmitter serotonin, helps to tackle depression. Plus, bananas are packed with energy so they make a great pick-me-up snack.
Pumpkin seeds may be small but they are bursting with nutrients, from magnesium and manganese to copper, protein and zinc. They are also a great source of antioxidants and plant compounds known as phytosterols, giving your health a boost.
So now that we’ve shared just some of the amazing health benefits of the ingredients in our energy balls, here’s how to make them…
1 tbsp organic cacao powder
3 tbsp milled linseed (with Goji berries, sunflower & pumpkin seeds – available from health food stores)
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Cashew nuts 75-100g
Vanilla seeds or extract to taste
125g mixed nuts
How to make them
1. Blend the mixed nuts, cashew nuts, 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds and 3 tbsp of milled linseed using a hand blender.
2. Add a heaped tbsp. of cacao powder. Keep 2-3 tbsp of the nutty mixture to one side for later.
3. Next, in a separate bowl blend up the banana, raisins and dates until you have a sticky pulp.
4. Add vanilla seeds of a few drops of extract to your pulp.
5. Mix the pulp with the nut mixture.
6. Roll into small balls and coat in the leftover nutty mixture. Place on greaseproof paper on a tray and cook in an over at 190°C / Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes.
7. Leave to cool.
8. Store in an airtight container in a cool place. Your energy balls should keep for around seven days.