Apricot Seed & Nut Snack Balls
(makes about 10-12 balls)
10 dried apricots (unsulphured if possible – these are the dark ones and they have a richer flavour)
60g pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp hemp protein powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp cinnamon
grind of sea salt
sesame seeds to coat
Pour just enough hot (just boiled) water to cover the apricots, almonds and pumpkin seeds and leave to soak for at least 10 minutes. This makes the mixture easier to blend but also easier to digest.
Get a plate of sesame seeds ready for the rolling at the end
Put all the ingredients (except the sesame seeds) in a food processor and blend until the nuts and seeds are broken down and the mixture starts to stick together.
Scrape the mixture off the sides of the blender and give a good stir. Then take about 1 tbsp mixture in the palm of your hand and roll to make a ball.
Gently roll the ball in the sesame seeds to coat and tap to ensure any that haven’t stuck fall off.
Continue to make balls until all the mixture is used up
Place on a plate and refrigerate for approx. 30 mins so they harden up
Store in an airtight container.
You can freeze them and take them to work, by the time you want to eat them they will have defrosted.
These energy balls are nutrient and energy dense. You only need one or two at a time. The nuts, seeds and coconut oil are a rich source of unsaturated fats, the hemp powder adds protein and the apricots add some sweetness and carbohydrate.
These seed and nut balls are not as sweet as shop bought bars. Some ‘natural’ bars have around 4 teaspoons of sugar in and some cereal bars even more, whereas each one of these balls has only around ½ tsp sugar from the apricots. Cinnamon adds a lovely flavour and research has shown this spice can help improve insulin sensitivity, which in turn helps keep blood sugar at a healthy level.
Nuts and seeds can also be hard to digest for some so make sure you chew them well and don’t eat too many at once. In moderation these little power balls can fill the gap between lunch and dinner or satisfy after your workout without all the sugar in shop-bought bars.