We're all human and sometimes you have no choice to prioritise pressing matters over spending the time to make sure the food your putting in your body is nutritious. But what if we can get in the routine of whizzing things together that we know will benefit and help us in busy times? Recently my own diet has slid - so many great things have been happening with work but it's keeping me on my toes, literally. I've been slumping down at 10pm to catch up on emails and tweets and it's not really how I like to do things - I prefer to try and stick to working hours and make some time for myself. So I suppose in an attempt to feel like I'm getting some relaxation in I've been reaching for the wine. With that came sugar cravings the next day and suddenly I'm grabbing shop bought fruit and nut bars or oat biscuits on the go. Granted, it's not like I'm grabbing a Wispa every time I need an energy boost but these things are still processed and high in simple sugars (that's not a good thing) and bad fats.
I used to make energy balls when I was studying nutrition to keep me alert during lectures and as I picked up a shop bought one the other day and paid almost 2 quid for it it occurred to me I should probably just start making batches again - I know what's going in them, they're super easy to make and they keep me on point for shoots and meetings. They last around 3 weeks in the fridge and you make a surprisingly high number of balls in each batch. I usually make a batch and roll half into balls then add a tablespoon raw cacao powder so I have some that have a chocolate hit too for when the wanting should arise.
While dates are fairly high in naturals sugar, they are low on the GL index and together with the proteins of the nuts and seeds will slow down the absorption of sugars into the blood. This means this lovely little balls won't cause dips in your blood sugar making you feel tired and lethargic. Add optional hemp protein to make these utterly righteous.
The joy of energy balls is that you can really throw things you have in the cupboard - swap and change the recipe for what needs using up. Seeds, nuts and even cacao powder can go it. You can go super healthy and get powdered spirulina or maca powder to add in. Just be aware you will need some sort of dried fruit to bond it all together - pitted dates work perfectly.
Here's my favourite combination for lemony energy balls.
Recipe // Easy grab lemon energy balls
- 200g organic pitted dates
- 100g nuts - I use walnuts
- 100g mixed seeds
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsp chai seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp protein (optional)
- Juice of 1/2-1 lemon (to taste)
- Pop your nuts, seeds and hemp protein in a blender and whizz until becoming more a dust. Now start adding some dates to the mix whilst blending. When all the dates are blended in, add the lemon juice. If you find you still need a little more binding you can add a spoonful of coconut oil or hemp oil.
- Now roll into little balls in your hand and then roll in a bowl containing your coconut. Keep in the fridge and grab each day on your way out the door.
- You will feel like you get a wonderful hit of energy and these will definitely help with 4pm slumps!
Formally Emma Gutteridge