• Nicola Zaina

Health Balls

It is that time of the year when we seem to be pushing ourselves harder, chances of skipping a meal or coming unstuck when we are running around can lead us to choosing a really unhealthy sugary treat to keep us going.

There are lots of delicious healthy treats out there now and we pay for that convenience but it does come at a price. If you have the time and the passion to take control of your own health then you can make your own balls. There are plenty of recipes out there just take a look on the internet.

These are two of my favourites, one is a take on the classic date ball but I like figs so have more fig that date and that helps to mellow out that date flavour.

The other is really more of a seed and nut halva treat, they both need to be kept in the fridge so storing them in the car may be a bit of a disaster but taking them to work and keeping them in a cool place is doable.

They are gluten free, dairy free and the Indian balls are suitable for vegans. The Seed & Nut Balls are low in honey so are suitable for Paleo and Low Carb Diets.

Indian Fig & Date Balls

I use By Nature dried fruit because it is preservative free and the quality is always excellent.

Dates and dried figs are rich in vitamins and minerals especially potassium, they both contain good amounts of fibre dried figs more than dates and we all need more good quality fibre in our diets. Figs also contain anti-oxidants that can fight free radical damage and slow the signs of ageing. They are an integral part of the Mediterranean diet.

10 dried figs

6 pitted dates

1 cup dessicated coconut, plus more for rolling the balls

1/2 teaspoon cardamon powder

Soak figs and dates in hot water until soft, drain and place in food processor. Add coconut and cardamon and whizz together until it forms a clump. Take out small pieces and roll between hand until they form a ball and then roll in coconut. Keep in fridge.

I sometimes add 2 drops of orange essential oil to give a fresh orange flavour.

Seed & Nut Butter Balls

Nuts and seeds are rich in protein, healthy fats and vitamin and minerals. I particularly love sesame seeds and tahini which is a paste made from sesame seeds because they are rich in minerals including calcium. I use nuts from By Nature as his quality is the best.

1/3 cup raw cashew nuts or Brazil nuts

1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/3 cup sesame seeds plus more for rolling

4 tablespoons tahini

1 tablespoon raw honey

Place nuts and seeds in a food processor and blend until finely ground, add tahini and honey and blend until comes together. You can add more honey if you would like them to be sweeter. Take teaspoon size amounts and press together in your hand otherwise they fall apart, then roll into balls and roll in sesame seeds. Place in the fridge to set, they do get very soft if left out of the fridge.

If you have any favourites recipes that you would like to share then please let me know.

#dateballs #figballs #tahiniballs #healthytreats #plantbasedtreats #glutenfree #paleotreats

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