Apologies. I know I have not posted anything in quite a while. I have a good excuse though… I am happy to announce that Gracie Rose Millichamp was born on December 17th. Gracie has been keeping me really busy these last twelve weeks (I can’t believe it has been that long already!). I’ve had to learn a whole new profession – being a mum – and with that I now have a new respect for all mothers who have gone before me. We have had a few bumps along the way as well with lots of breastfeeding hurdles to overcome (I’ll share more on that in a future post) that have devoured large chunks of time and energy. I am pleased to say though, that Gracie is a happy, healthy, hyper, boob-loving baby.
Anyway, I digress…. These balls are perfect for all new parents and anyone else who has a busy lifestyle. They are super easy to make from pantry ingredients, don’t need cooking, ingredients are flexible and best of all, they can be eaten one handed at any time of the day or night… oh yeah, and they are pretty damned healthy too. You will need a food processor with a decent motor and a pair of hands that don’t mind getting messy!
I made this batch in about 6 stages… in between settling, resettling, changing nappies (I promise that I washed my hands afterwards), tummy time, feeding and settling again. I love that about these balls – interruptions to the preparation process do not matter because there is no cooking involved and none of the ingredients require refrigeration. Once made, they keep in the fridge for about a week or even freeze well for having snacks on hand when time is short. Perfect.
For those of you who are interested in nutrition and energy information, these snacks are energy dense as they are packed full of healthy oils and protein from all the nuts and seeds and extra virgin coconut oil (my latest favourite ingredient!), as well as natural sugars in the dates and honey. This means that these are a great on-the-run snack for active teenagers and adults, as well as for breastfeeding mums who need approximately 500 calories per day on top of their usual energy requirements.
Feel free to mix up the ingredients with whatever you have on hand. For example you could swap the macadamia butter for natural peanut butter or sunflower seed butter; or, add in sesame seeds or flaxseeds; or, mix and match fruits such as currants, dried apricots, cranberries, prunes or goji berries. I’ve even made a more decadent version using chopped dark chocolate. Let your imagination run wild.
Tasty nut, seed and date balls
Preparation time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking time: None
Makes: About 30-40 balls
1 heaped cup raw cashews
1 heaped cup pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 cup pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup traditional oats
1 cup desiccated coconut, plus extra for rolling balls in
4 heaped tbsp macadamia paste
4 tbsp honey
4 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
3 tbsp dutch processed cocoa
3-4 tbsp water
- Pile all ingredients except for water into a food processor and blend until chopped. Add water slowly to achieve the desired consistency. You may need to add more water to achieve the consistency that allows the balls to stick together without falling apart. Taste the mixture and adjust flavours to suit yourself. You want them to be sticky but not gloopy, with very small, but still visible, pieces of seeds and nuts. You will need to scrape down the sides of the food processor bowl occasionally to help get it all mixed evenly.
- Roll mixture into balls about the size of a ping pong ball (or smaller if making for little kids)
- Roll balls in desiccated coconut
- Store in an airtight container for one week in the fridge OR freeze OR eat immediately!