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David Atherton’s recipe for banana energy balls | Food

There are endless variations on date-based energy snacks, but I think this version ticks all the right boxes for a pre-gym snack. Unlike others, these balls do not contain unnecessary fat through the addition of ground nuts, but the main difference is that they are not too sticky. Most energy snacks use the dates to bind the other ingredients together. They are rich, caramelly and chewy, but they can also be a bit grainy and sticky. These energy balls are smooth and glossy due to the emulsifying effect of the melted dark chocolate. More importantly, they give you theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffeine and abundant in chocolate that has a high cocoa-solids content. I credit the dark chocolate with giving me that second wind to carry me to the gym after work.

Makes 9 or 10 balls

30g banana chips
40g chewy banana chips
60g porridge oats
50g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids)
70g regular dates (ie deglet noor)
70g prunes
1 tsp vanilla paste

Blitz the banana chips to a powder in a food processor. Set aside. Roughly chop the chewy banana chips.

Pulse the oats in the processor until broken down, but not powdered.

Melt the chocolate over a bain marie.

Blitz the dates, prunes and vanilla paste in the processor until they make a rough paste. Continue to blitz as you add the melted chocolate until smooth.

Transfer to a bowl with the oats and chewy banana chips and knead until it becomes a smooth dough.

Divide into 30g balls and roll in the powdered banana chips.

Eat within a week if not refrigerated.

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