This internship is flying by! I can’t believe I’m already done my outpatient rotation at the family health practice. I’m a bit sad to be done actually – I enjoyed it so much, and I’m pretty sure I can see myself working in a similar job in the future. Life there was unpredictable though. Sometimes 3/4 of our patients for the day were no shows. Other times we were booked back to back without a break until lunch.
So I’ve learned that I always need to have quick snacks on hand in case my day turns out like that. Forget yogurt or apples – those take too long to eat! I need something I can shove in my mouth between patients.
And so these energy balls were born. With tons of healthy fats from the coconut, flaxseed, hemp seeds, and almond butter, and an extra boost of protein from protein powder, they’re the perfect snack to tide you over on the go!
Blueberry vanilla energy balls
- ½ cup rolled oats
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 tbsp vanilla lucuma Epic Protein (or another vanilla protein powder)
- 1.5 tbsp hemp seeds
- ¼ cup dried blueberries
- ¼ cup natural almond butter
- 2-3 tbsp agave nectar
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, flaxseed, protein powder, hemp seeds and blueberries, and stir.
- Then add the almond butter, agave, and vanilla and stir until it it is evenly mixed.
- Use your hands to form the balls, packing them tightly. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
This week I get a bit of a breather because I’m on research week, so my days consist of just inputting our research study data into massive Excel spreadsheets. Sounds thrilling, right? Monday I’m starting a new rotation at a continuing care hospital though, and I’ll be back to my busy days. Guess I’ll need to whip up another batch of these over the weekend!
What’s your favourite fast snack?
This post is linked up to Healthy Vegan Fridays over at Hello Veggy’s blog. Hop on over there to check out all the other great recipes!
Looking for more energy ball recipes? You might like these:
Orange cranberry energy balls
Cacao mesquite energy balls
Gingerbread date balls
This week I started my diabetes outpatient rotation of my internship. I’m two days into it, and my brain is already feeling ready to explode. I have so much to learn still that it’s hard to believe in less than 8 months I’ll be a Registered Dietitian. I don’t feel even close to qualified yet!
But one thing I do feel qualified to talk about is energy balls. I whipped up these cacao mesquite energy balls last week and they’ve been the perfect snack to stash in my bag. With dates for carbohydrates, seeds for protein and healthy fats, raw cacao for antioxidants, and mesquite for fibre and iron, they’re full of nutrients to keep you going throughout the day.
Cacao mesquite energy balls
- 20 Medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp cacao powder
- 2 tbsp mesquite powder
- Add the dates to a food processor and process for a few seconds. Then add the rest of the ingredients all at once and process until the ingredients are mixed and the sunflower seeds have been broken into small chunks.
- Remove mixture from food processor bowl and roll into balls of your desired size. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy!
1. Make sure the dates are fresh and mushy - dried out dates won't work!
2. If you don't like their bitter taste, feel free to replace the cacao nibs with mini chocolate chips
What are your favourite ingredients to use in energy balls or bars?
It’s amazing how busy I am despite only taking one course at school this semester. I thought I’d be able to take it pretty easy for these next four months, but that’s not going to be the case at all. It looks like I may be taking on more responsibility at my job, plus I still have volunteering at my professor’s nutrition practice and my work as a Research Assistant on my plate. On the side I’m also doing a few nutrition-related projects for some family friends and former employers. I’ve got my hands full!
Since I tend to be all over the place on any given day, I need quick snacks that I can pack up easily and take with me wherever I go. And luckily I got a Christmas gift that has made that easier for me: a Cuisinart 12 cup food processor! I’ve been wanting one of these for ages because my mini 4-cup food processor just doesn’t cut it when it comes to grinding most foods. So far there’s nothing this baby can’t handle though.
On Wednesday I had a 45 minute break between physiotherapy and volunteering, so I used it to make a batch of homemade hummus. This has made a great packable snack with some cut up veggies and whole wheat crackers (although I should probably pack a toothbrush with me too – talk about garlic breath!).
I’ve also been snacking on my newest recipe creation: gingerbread date balls. Made with dates, oats, and almonds, as well as molasses and spices for gingerbread flavour, they’re like a healthier version of your favourite holiday cookie. I topped mine with a white chocolate drizzle for some extra decadence, but feel free to leave it off. Regardless, these are delicious!
Gingerbread date balls
- ¾ cup almonds
- ¼ cup rolled oats*
- 2 cups pitted dates
- 3 tbsp molasses
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp cloves
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/16 tsp salt
- ⅓ cup white chocolate wafers**
- In a food processor grind the almonds until they are chopped into small pebble-sized pieces.
- Then add the oats, dates, molasses, ginger, cloves, cinnamon and salt. Grind until it is mixed well and it is the consistency of a very thick paste.
- Use your hands to roll it into balls and place them in the fridge on a parchment-lined baking sheet for a few hours until firm.
- Then melt the white chocolate wafers in a double boiler on the stove and scoop it into a piping bag or a strong plastic bag with a small hole cut into one corner.
- Pipe the chocolate back and forth onto the balls, then place them back in the fridge to harden.
- Store your gingerbread date balls in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*To make balls gluten free, use certified GF oats.
**To make vegan, omit the white chocolate drizzle.
What’s your favourite thing to make in a food processor?
What snacks do you like to have on hand for busy days?