Anita Bean's Cocoa and Almond Energy Balls
These compact little snacks are perfect for fuelling during long runs over 60 minutes. Wrap in cling film or foil, pop in your pocket or belt, consume one after about 30 - 40 minutes into your run, and then every 15 – 20 minutes. They provide a healthy mix of carbohydrate and protein, along with iron, B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. You can substitute cashews or hazelnuts for the almonds if you prefer.
Makes 16 balls
100g (3 ½ oz) ground almonds
125g (4 oz) soft ‘ready to eat’ or Medjool dates *
75g (3oz) rolled oats
2 tsp nut butter
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
To coat: Cocoa powder, sesame seeds, finely chopped pistachios, finely chopped mixed nuts, desiccated coconut, or cacao nibs
Place the dates in a food processor with the almonds, oats, nut butter and cocoa powder, and process for 2 -3 minutes until you have a very stiff paste. You may need to scrape down the mixture from the sides of the bowl a few times.
Take a small amount of mixture and roll it between your hands to make small, bite-sized balls. Choose your coating, spread it onto a large plate, then roll each ball around until nicely coated.
Place in an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
*Or use standard dried dates: Leave them to soak in boiling water for 10 – 15 minutes. Drain.
Per ball: 86kcal, 3g protein, 4g fat (0g saturates), 9g carbs (5g total sugars), 1g fibre
Recipe taken from The Runner's Cookbook by Anita Bean