HAPPY NEW YEAR! What better way to kick off 2018 than with another mouth-watering and nutrient-dense recipe? When I was training for my Half Marathon a couple of years ago and was constantly hungry, I became obsessed with making my own energy balls, since they’re the perfect pre- or post-workout snack. Ever since then, I’ve been experimenting with different flavour combinations and must have tried at least a hundred varieties (mostly because I never strictly follow a recipe, I prefer to just throw whatever I have on hand into the food processor!)
Out of all the energy balls I’ve played around with, these ones are hands-down my favourite, plus they’re packed to the brim with ingredients that will nourish your body. The malty-caramel taste of maca powder, coupled with the nutty macadamia butter and sweet Medjool dates, come together to form a melt-in-your-mouth treat. Maca also works really well in my Salted Maca Caramel Ice Cream.
The gooey, chewy texture gets a little extra crunch from the dark chocolate chunks, as well as from rolling half the balls in chia seeds at the end. This recipe is incredibly easy to adapt, so feel free to switch up the nut butters or dried fruit. Alternatively, swap chocolate chips for cacao nibs or pumpkin seeds.
Let’s talk nutrition…
- Maca is a Peruvian root which was originally consumed by the ancient Incas before battle.
- It has been scientifically proven to balance hormones and boost cognitive function, due to high levels of vitamin B, C and E.
- It increases endurance and stamina since it’s rich in iron and zinc.
- It also contains high levels of essential minerals, including copper, potassium and manganese.
- Maca is an adaptogen, meaning it adapts to the needs of your body
- It has been prescribed by traditional practitioners as a natural mood enhancer and antidepressant.
Maca Macadamia Energy Balls
Now that you know about maca’s impressive nutritional profile, it’s time to incorporate this superfood into an incredibly tasty recipe for these grab-and-go energy balls. I’ve used maca powder and maple syrup from Indigo Herbs.
Yields: 22 balls
Prep time: 10 minutes
1/4 cup (130g) macadamia nut butter
1 cup (180g) dates, pitted and soaked in water for 2 hours
1/2 cup (60g) ground almonds
4 tablespoons (30g) maca powder
5 tablespoons (60g) maple syrup
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (or finely chopped chocolate, 75% cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
- Add the dates, macadamia butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract to a food processor and pulse until a smooth mixture forms.
- Add ground almonds, maca powder and salt to the food processor and pulse until a thick cookie dough consistency is reached. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.
- On a baking sheet, divide and evenly roll into 22 rolled balls – each ball should be about 1 level tablespoon of mixture. Don’t be afraid to get your hands sticky!
- Spread the chia seeds onto the baking sheet and coat half the balls in chia seeds.
- Place the baking sheet with the balls in the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving.
Don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @elibrechernutrition if you make this recipe – I LOVE seeing your re-creations and will repost my favourites!