Energy balls are an increasingly common sight at supermarket checkouts, where they are offered as a healthier alternative to chocolate bars and sweets. But you don’t need to spend a couple of quid every time you want a stamina sphere – they’re very easy to make at home.
This cocoa and almond energy ball recipe comes from The Runner’s Cookbook by Anita Bean (RRP £14.99, Bloomsbury) – but these bite-sized snacks are great for everyone, not just runners looking for a boost during long training efforts. Whip up a batch at the weekend and keep them in your work fridge to have as a snack whenever the afternoon starts to drag and you hear the siren song of the biscuit tin.
Cocoa And Almond Energy Balls Recipe
Ingredients (makes 16 balls)
- 125g ready-to-eat Medjool or other soft dates (you can use standard dried dates, just leave them to soak in boiling water for 10-15 minutes and then drain)
- 100g ground almonds (or cashews or hazelnuts if you prefer)
- 75g rolled oats
- 2tsp almond or peanut butter
- 1tbsp cocoa powder To coat the balls, your choice of cocoa powder, sesame seeds, finely chopped pistachios, finely chopped mixed nuts, desiccated coconut or chocolate chips.
- Place the dates in a food processor with the almonds, oats, nut butter and cocoa powder, and process for two to three minutes until you have a very stiff paste. You may need to scrape down the mixture from the sides of the bowl a few times.
- Take a small amount of mixture and roll it between your hands to make a bite-sized ball. Repeat until you’ve used it all.
- Choose your coating, spread it on to a large plate, then roll each ball around until nicely coated.
- Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge, where it will keep for up to a week – or in the freezer for up to three months.
Nutrition (Per Ball)
-of which saturates 0g
-of which sugars 5g