Hiking or any vigorous outdoor adventure usually requires a snack at some point, you can’t be running on empty! Although energy bars are handy to pick up at the nearest store, they are often expensive and contain mysterious ingredients. This recipe for Date Energy Balls is super easy, fast, healthy and taste so delicious you won’t be able to stop at one. You can easily make a few dozen and keep them on hand in the freezer for any future endeavours. I was reminded of these amazing energy boosting snacks in one of Trail Forked’s recent posts. Different to Trail Forked’s, my energy balls are gluten free and instead of peanut butter and bananas, they use dates and raisins for their body. Overall this is a fantastic and healthy snack; no refined sugars, high in protein and fibre and low in fat. Here’s how to make them, it’s so simple you won’t know what to do with the rest of your afternoon!
1 1/2 cups of dates
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of sliced almonds
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup of shredded, unsweetened coconut (for rolling)
Method of Madness:
1. Soak the dates and raisins in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes. This softens them up and makes them easier to puree.
2. In a blender/food processor/hand blender (I used a hand blender for this recipe) chop up the pecans, almonds, cocoa powder and cinnamon until fairly fine, chunks are ok. Set aside in a small bowl.
3. Blend/puree the soaked dates and raisins until a near pureed consistency. You might need to add a couple tablespoons of water to facilitate the pureeing.
4. Add in the nut mixture to the dates and raisins and blend until uniformly distributed. Set aside in the fridge or freezer for about 15 minutes. I find the mixture is easier to handle when it is cooled.
5. Roll pingpong sized balls of the puree mixture into shredded coconut until entire surface is coated. DONE! Store the leftover energy balls in the freezer in easy grab to go containers or bags.
For the above proportions I made 18 balls, which works out to about 87 calories, 4g of fat, 10g of sugar, 2g of protein and 2g of fibre for each ball (estimated using Calorie Counter). Now you have a gluten free snack for the trail that you know what’s in it, it tastes fantastic and will boost you up to the summit and back in no time! Happy hiking!