(No) Energy Balls: Chocolate Banana Coco-Nut & Vanilla Almond Fig

(No) Energy Balls: Chocolate Banana Coco-Nut & Vanilla Almond Fig - HeDoesXrayIDoFood
All images & content are copyright protected. DO NOT use images without prior permission. To republish recipe, link back and use proper attribution such as “adapted from HeDoesXrayIDoFood.com”. Thank you.

 

(No) Energy Balls- Kid Friendly Food- HeDoesXrayIDoFoodThese addictive, protein rich bon-bon like balls are moist with great texture and very little sugar. Unlike most “Energy Ball” recipes, they contain no coconut oil whatsoever, keeping the fat content low. The crunch from rough chopped nuts is balance by the sweet chew of dried fruit and (quick cooking) oats. They satisfy the midday munchies with guilt free nutrition. And when kept in a sandwich bag in my purse, they make a happy girl out of my perpetually HANGRY niece!

These aren’t your average “Pinterest” Energy Balls

When I looked around for different snack ideas to support my husband Frankie in getting through his sometimes 12 hour days, I came across this new phenomenon of “Energy Balls”. It seems every Vegan-Vegetarian blogger has his/her personal recipe for them, none of which looked particularly appealing. To my confusion every single one I saw contained an excessive amount of fat, generally in the form of coconut oil. That is not an option for my style of cooking, which entails keeping things flavorful but heart smart. I had to find an alternative in adding moisture without that extra fat. Not to overextend my arm in a self-indulgent pat on the back, but I do believe I’ve succeeded in these two recipes.

In my Vanilla Almond Fig balls, using unsweetened organic applesauce added both moisture and fiber. Plus, as a bonus, applesauce is much less costly than your average organic virgin coconut oil.

For the Chocolate Banana Coco-nut balls, mashed ripe banana doesn’t merely add in moisture without oil/fat, it also packs in some natural sweetness. Oh, who am I kidding? If I were to fill a shoe with a mixture of chocolate and banana, my husband would go for it! Some classic combos just can’t be beat.

⊕ Organic Only! Trust me on this one 

Apple Sauce is one of the packaged food products on the “dirty list”, where the FDA found “nearly every one of the 19 pesticide residues they tested for appeared in jarred applesauce.” Check out Prevention’s article: 10 Packaged Foods You Should Always Buy Organic; Packaged doesn’t mean pesticide-free

(No) Energy Balls-Chocolate Banana Coco-nut- HeDoesXrayIDoFoodIs it still healthy with 1/2 cup of sugar?

Another drawback of all the Pinterest recipes was that they regularly call for a large amount of sugar. Typically they suggest low glycemic index agave or energy boosting honey. That’s fine if you’re a religious gym-goer… which I am anything but. (Plus, I prefer to have my healthy allotment of sugar in a piece of cake, rather than my midday snack.)

Again, the sweetness is covered by the applesauce, or mashed bananas. Using a measly 2 tablespoons of agave, which is significantly sweeter than sugar or honey, is just enough to enhance those natural fruit sugars and satisfy that 2pm need for something sweet.

(No) Energy Balls-Chocolate Banana Coco-nut- HeDoesXrayIDoFoodNot all protein powders are created equal

The reason using natural fruit sugars and that touch of agave is sufficient in these little nuggets of joy, is because I use a protein powder sweetened by stevia. Therefore, there’s already a bit of sweetness in the protein powder than doesn’t add any extra grams of sugar.

When it comes to protein powders, I am very picky. They can’t have that earthy (dirt-like) taste, a gritty wet sand texture, or an overly sweetened diet-sugar flavor. Oh! And they can’t cost a fortune making me feel I need to use them sparingly, rather than freely to add protein to my daily menus.

After doing some research, and speaking to my Doc, it became abundantly clear that selecting a vegan protein powder (even though I am a vegan), was of the utmost importance. Staying away from animal-based (whey) and soy based protein powders is most advantageous for our health. I could try to explain why, but I can’t sum it up better than Fitness Magazine’s Lauren Mazzo in her article 7 Vegan Protein Powders That Don’t Taste Like Dirt.

In it she explains how plant based proteins are much less processed and more easily digested. It’s also important to note that soy protein, particularly for men, can influence hormone levels. For us ladies that’s ample reason to block them from our diets without batting an eye!

So, given how picky I am about flavors, nutrition, and texture, I landed on Vega Protein & Green, in both Chocolate and Vanilla. Their plant derived protein offers 20 grams per scoop, and nutrients from spinach, broccoli, and … the Cali-hipster favorite: Kale! It has just enough sweetness with less than 1 gram of sugar. But I can’t go without mentioning that Vega is WAY more affordable than other vegan protein powders and available at places like TargetWalgreens, and Amazon. (Not just fancy-shmancy specialty natural food grocery stores.)

What’s so great about “Quick Cooking” oats?

As I intimated before, texture is a big deal for me. Old fashioned oats are great for making cookies or overnight oats, but when they aren’t being softened with heat or liquid from cooking, they can be a bit like chewing straw. That’s why for these raw (No) Energy Balls, I use Quick Cooking Oats. The moisture from the nut butter, banana/applesauce, and a touch of agave is enough to soften them up, while maintaining their structure to give body to the balls. This way there isn’t a need for flour or any unnecessary carbohydrates.

Are these not your favorite flavor combinations? Try my Blueberry Walnut (No) Energy Balls, 58cal each.


His: (No) Energy Balls: Chocolate Banana Coco-Nut 

Makes 20 balls

No Energy Balls- Chocolate Banana Cocoa-nut-HeDoesXrayIDoFood.com

Ingredients:

*Chef’s Note: Make sure that you select a vegan protein powder, whether or not you are a vegan. Take a look above at “Not all protein powders are created equal” above↑ for an explanation and recommendation.

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Using your hands, mash together until all the protein powder has been absorbed and the oats are thoroughly mixed in.
  3. Roll into balls and place them on a plate or sheet pan. Continue with remaining “batter”. Place all the balls into an airtight container and refrigerate. *I think they taste best once refrigerated overnight.

Hers: (No) Energy Balls: Vanilla Almond Fig 

Makes 20 balls

(No) Energy Balls-Vanilla Almond Fig- HeDoesXrayIDoFood

Ingredients:

*Apple Sauce is one of the packaged food products on the “dirty list”. Look above at ⊕ Organic Only! Trust me on this one   for an explanation why Organic is worth the few extra cents.

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Using your hands, mash together until all the protein powder has been absorbed and the oats are thoroughly mixed in.
  3. Roll into balls and place them on a plate or sheet pan. Continue with remaining “batter”. Place all the balls into an airtight container and refrigerate. *I think they taste best once refrigerated overnight.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s