Goodness gracious great balls of fire

dates and peanut butter energy balls

Hiya! Long time no see. Guess what? Eugenia is back in London taking care of business-as-usual (implementing her master plan to dominate the food world really…) and I get the chance to create another exciting entry for her blog: Dates and peanut butter energy balls!

  This time I’m joining the health wagon in an attempt to offset the loads and loads of sinful pleasures I allowed myself in my recent trips to Athens (if there ever was a city to enjoy unique ice cream flavours, then Athens is most definitely your destination!). A couple of weeks ago and just as I was about to head home (Greece), my dearest and sweetest friend Ayesha from Root Cause Organics (head off to Instagram peeps, chop chop…) gave me a big tin box with medjool dates. These dates are part of the #dates4Pakistan initiative to restore eyesight for Pakistani people.

Also, we’re in the middle of Ramadan (Ramadan Kareem everybody ) and energy balls are one of the best ways to break your fast (iftar) or have one…or three…before next day’s fast for that important fuel your brain will need during the day. If you’re not observing Ramadan, energy balls are amazing to kick off your day, as a midday snack or a pre/post workout source of good energy. The ingredients speak for themselves: dates, peanut butter, almond “flour” (ground almonds), shredded coconut, seeds and honey. Dates are a good source of energy, good sugars and fiber, with essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They also contain vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K.

The possibilities and diversity of ingredients are endless. You can use the recipe below as a base and add extras such as dark chocolate chips, chopped walnuts or pecans, flavoured protein powders, chia seeds, sesame seeds, oats…anything really. My recipe is based on research and what I believe makes this recipe quick, easy and yummy!!!

You will need a food processor to make these balls, one of the necessary “evils” I’m afraid but I suspect many of you will have one. When buying dates, go for soft, fresh ones. If they’re hard soak them for 10′ in warm water to reinvigorate their plumpness (a Nigella term, for sure!) and keep the liquid in case you need to moisten your mix.

The recipe for the dates and peanut butter energy balls

The recipe yields approximately 24 walnut-sized balls. For your date and peanut butter energy balls you will need:

Ingredients:

  • 120gr (½ cup) natural, smooth peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • 8 Medjool dates, cut in four with stones removed
  • 2 tablespoons honey, agave or maple syrup
  • 120gr (1 cup) ground almonds (or ground rolled oats)
  • 70gr (½ cup) sunflower seeds
  • 40gr (¼ cup) flaxseeds plus more for rolling
  • 50gr (½ cup) shredded coconut plus more for rolling
  • cocoa powder for dusting
  • a pinch or two of sea salt

How to make them:

  1. Put chopped dates, peanut butter and honey into a food processor and process until smooth.
  2. Next add all the remaining ingredients to the food processor and process again, or you can transfer the peanut butter and dates mix into a large bowl. Then add the remaining ingredients for mixing by hand. Hand mixing means your processor will not overheat as the dough can be very thick and sticky before adding the ground almonds and seeds.
  3. Roll the dough into 24 balls, divide in three groups and roll each group in shredded coconut, seeds and cocoa powder. Job done!
  4. Keep the balls in the fridge in a lidded container for a week. I doubt they’ll last that long. You’re welcome.

Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below. Happy rolling and Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends  ️

From London with love,

Konstantinos & Eugenia

PS: This is not a sponsored post, we honestly and truly love medjool dates from The Date Project. Wanna find out more? Head over to The Date Project.

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6 thoughts on “Goodness gracious great balls of fire

  1. atsioli says:

    Hi! I tried today the recipee but it was hard to roll the dough into balls. They were breaking into pieces, like breadcrumbs. Do I need to moisten the dough in that case? With plain tap water, maybe?

    • Eugenia says:

      Hi there, it’s a little odd they don’t stick, perhaps the dates were a little dry? Some dates tend to be drier than other, in this case you need to soak them for a while to soften. to fix the consistency, it’s best to add a spoonful of peanut butter and mix again. Add spoonful by spoonful until you get the desired, supersticky consistency.
      Let me know how it goes!

      • atsioli says:

        Hi again and thanks for the tip!

        The dates were quite juicy, so I think that was not the problem. They were not Medjool ones, though, so maybe mine were just smaller than yours. I also used almond-butter instead of peanut-butter and my oats were rolled but not ground. So I actually used the ingredients of your parenthesis.
        According to your suggestion above, I added more almond butter (2 spoonfuls, one at the time) and still hat to fight with rolling balls, but at the end I made it and they disappeared quickly (delicious!)…

        I have tried several recipes for this powerful sort of snack and with all of them I had difficulties with rolling. Maybe it’s just me, I guess one needs to have lots of muscles in the hand to be able to stick the dry ingredients with the creamy ones in order to form the balls. Another time, the “dough” was too soft and gluey and I could not roll either… Anyway.

        Thanks again,
        Angeliki

        • Eugenia says:

          Hi Angeliki,

          I’m glad they turned out just right! It’s normal for energy balls to come out a little crumbly, but you should be able to roll them without much difficulty. You need to work on the ‘dough’ quite a bit to incorporate all ingredients. the different seeds might make it a bit of a challenge too. I hope you found a favourite in this one and you will be making them again and again now that you know how to tackle disobedient doughs 😉

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