Protein Balls & Healthier Easter Treats
Easter brings back one of my most favourite memories – waiting for my gorgeous sister Jan to arrive with a tin of home made caramels, chocolate fudge, coconut ice, apricot balls and rum balls. I can still feel the excitement of waiting until the tin was passed to me so I could grab my favourite creamy chewy caramel…. heaven!!!! I tried to replicate this magical goodie box so my kids would have the same wonderful memory but getting caramels to be chewy is harder than you think!!!
It’s funny how you can stuff yourself silly with sweets when you are a kid, but I can’t see my stomach or my conscience keeping up with that these days (sugar is the devil don’t you know).
Thankfully my kids’ food sense is also changing. This year I am making Protein Balls for the boys to take to the Bridgetown tennis weekend (along with Usana’s Rev3 energy drink and supplements – winner!).
Protein Balls are a yummy and convenient way to get some protein, good fats and nutrients (Tip – it is best to consume protein within 30 minutes of exercise for optimum muscle repair).
Chocolate Protein balls – low sugar, low GI
I have played around with protein balls and have found you really can’t go wrong! Here is a guide to what I throw in.
Ingredients – approx.
- 2 cups nut of choice
- 1/4 cup Tahini (optional)
- ½-1 cup sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seed, linseeds or flaxseeds (or combination)
- 1 cup good quality protein powder
- 4-8 medjool dates (optional) You can play around with quantity for the desired sweetness, I find there is no need to add anything and although dates are low GI, sugar-free is what we are aiming for!
- cacao powder (optional)
- ½ cup desiccated coconut (optional)
- 2 or more Tblsp coconut oil
- Blend nuts and seeds until fine crumbs
- Add protein powder, cacao powder, coconut oil and tahini and blend further
- Add more coconut oil if needed until mixture is able to be squished and rolled into balls
- Roll into balls
- You can roll balls in coconut, chia, sesame or seeds of choice but I don’t usually bother
- Put in fridge to harden a little, but depending on weather they don’t need to be in fridge to enjoy
Vegan spiced Protein Balls
Here is a healthy vegan version made with pea protein powder, turmeric and other healthy stuff. As complete protein is hard to keep up in a vegan diet, these are a yummy way to add more.
How weird they look exactly the same as the benchtop!!!!
Date and Nut Treats
A simple way to have a decadent treat is to simply stuff medjool dates with your favourite nut.
- Even more fancy (thanks Melissa) – just split medjool dates and fill with nut butter. Melissa says they are even yummier when put in freezer and served cold.
Even though dates are lower GI, have vitamins, minerals and fibre and nuts provide healthy fats and some protein you still need to eat these in moderation if you are watching your weight.