If you’ve never made energy balls before, the first thing to tell you is that you will be amazed at how easy they are. The second thing is that they’re something everyone should try making at least once, because when you realise how quick and simple they are to make, you may never go back to shop-bought snacks again.
As long as you have some kind of sticky binding agent in the mix, you can pretty much go nuts with the rest of your ingredients. And indeed nuts are a common pick, thanks to being high in energy and protein – and very tasty to boot.
If you’re using energy balls to fuel your exercise, then a sugary ingredient is also key, and sticky fruits like raisins or dates are ideal. This recipe comes from Raisins South Africa (opens in new tab), which represents raisin producers in the Cape, so – as you’d expect – it recommends South African raisins. But once you’ve made your first few batches of balls, you can start looking beyond recipes and picking out your own ingredients.
Ingredients (Makes 10 Balls)
- 150g South African raisins
- 50g ground almonds
- 50g whole almonds
- 4tbsp crunchy or smooth almond or peanut butter
- 2tbsp maple syrup
- 30g mixed seeds (eg sesame, pumpkin, sunflower, linseed, chia)
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- Put 100g of the raisins into a blender or mini processor and blitz until very finely chopped. Tip these into a bowl and add the remaining raisins and ground almonds.
- Blitz the whole almonds in the blender or food processor until finely chopped. Add to the raisin mixture with the almond or peanut butter and maple syrup. Mix thoroughly, using your hands or a fork, then shape and roll the mixture into 10 balls.
- Heat a frying pan, then add the seeds and cook over a medium heat for about a minute, shaking the pan often. Tip into a bowl and leave until cooled. Roll the balls in this seed mixture. That’s it! Keep them a sealed box or bag in the refrigerator and eat within a week.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.
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