Middle eastern energy balls

Middle eastern energy balls

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HAPPY 2016!

Whilst most people are in full swing with the latest fad diet I stand by what my mother has always said to me… “Everything in moderation”. Just because the christmas and new year celebration season is over doesn’t mean you have to banish the goodies for the next month, which isn’t healthy for you physically nor mentally. These heavenly bites are so exotically, festive I even made them on christmas day for my after dinner treat, they are that good!

Not only will these satisfy your sweet tooth but they are the perfect healthy kick start that I always need. I’m not a fan of the new year and having to start again but these are perfect to boost anyone’s sluggish momentum after hibernating over the winter. These would be great to reenergise post workout, or to beat the mid afternoon energy slump and even an after dinner sweet treat. They are so chewy and truffle like people would find these delightful after a dinner party as a light, sweet morsel succeeding mains.

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The cardinal ingredients all originate from the middle east hence the name of this recipe. These balls are made from cedar, buttery pines and earthy pistachios which are offset by the honey due sweetness of dried figs. A final smidgen of black pepper intensifies and unites the three flavours in a brilliant, fiery warmth. You simply blitz all the ingredients, roll into balls and store in the fridge and then that’s you fully charged to start the new year all energised!

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(This recipe makes around 18 energy balls but, it obviously depends how big you choose to make them)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 30g pine nuts (roasted)
  • 70g pistachios (roasted)
  • 250g pack of dried figs (roughly chopped in cm cubes)
  • pinch of black pepper

METHOD:

1. Blitz the nuts in a food processor until you have a texture similar to bread crumbs. Add the figs and black pepper and pulse until the figs are mushed and all the ingredients start to bind together. Pour the mixture into a bowl and place a large chopping board or plate on a work surface.

2. Spoon 3 teaspoonfuls (I like to use a 25ml coffee scoop to get balls exactly the same size to satisfy the perfectionist in me!) of the mixture into your palm and squeeze it together. Roll the mixture in-between your hands to form a ball. You may find that some pieces of the mixture fall as you roll them but simply use the ball like a sponge to collect all the loose pieces and continue rolling. Once you have made a ball set aside on the board or plate and repeat with the remaining mixture. You will have to wash your hands every now and again as they will get sticky and it will make it harder to roll into balls.

3. Place the balls in an airtight container and leave them to chill in the fridge for around an hour or so to allow them to firm up. Depending on how you like to eat them you can either take them out the fridge and store them in a cool dry place or leave them in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them. They will last around a week stored outside the fridge or 2 weeks if stored in the fridge. This recipe is dangerously simple but so gratifying you will find yourself making millions of these!

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