Posts tagged Snack
Power protein chocolate balls

I'm so excited to share this recipe with you all. These little power balls meet all my top criteria for the perfect snack:

- They have no junk, only real ingredients that are easy to find at most supermarkets.
- They are delicious but satisfying thanks to good amounts of protein and some healthy fats.
- They remind me of childhood treats. I was inspired to make a healthier version of a super popular treat in Sweden "Chokladbollar" (English: chocolate balls). However, those are usually made with oats, lots of sugar, chocolate and butter and if you get the store bought ones, they are most likely full of with additives and preservatives.

These are completely vegan, dairy-free and are naturally sweetened with dates and a little maple syrup.  They can also be made gluten free by choosing GF oats (oats are naturally GF but most oats are packed in facilities with gluten foods).  


Power protein chocolate balls (makes around 15)

1 cup (100 g) rolled oats
1/4 (50 g) cup protein powder (I use hemp, this brand)
1/2 cup (38 g) desiccated coconut (+ extra for rolling)
20 pitted dates
2 tbsp raw cacao powder (I use this brand)
1 tbsp almond butter or coconut oil
4-6 tbsp filtered water
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp fine salt

Add the oats to a food processor and mix until it resembles a coarse flour. Now add the dates (make sure there are no pits), protein powder, desiccated coconut, almond butter (or coconut oil), maple syrup and salt. Mix until crumbly. Slowly add the 4 tablespoons of water while mixing. Depending on the dryness of your dates, you may need to add more water until the dough is sticky but not wet. To test whether it's ready, pick up some dough with your fingers and try to shape into a ball. It should come together easily. Roll each ball in desiccated coconut and store in the refrigerator or freezer. 

The story of chia

What once used to be a relatively unknown little seed, causing my already quite health trend savvy customers at Whole Foods Market to go, Chia - what?... has today become so popular it's even carried by big supermarkets such as Tesco.

I first learnt about chia when reading Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. In his book, he tells the story of the Tarahumara Indians who he companions in the depth of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyon valley in order to learn the secrets of the world's best distance runners. He finds out that the Chia seed is one of the staple foods in the diet of these incredible endurant runners, who also live with an uncanny health and serenity.

So what's so special about these little seeds? Well, they have an impressive nutritional proflle. They are high in essential fatty acids, are loaded with antioxidants (more than blueberries), they contain many vitamins and minerals (including more calcium than milk), and they also have lots of fibre and protein. And according to this Huffington post article, chia seeds have the perfect balance of fatty acids, with 30% of their fat coming from omega-3 and 10% from omega-6. Bam!

And what do I do with them? 
I like to sprinkle them on salads or smoothies, but whenever I can - I try to soak them. This makes them even more filling and it helps your body to benefit from this powerhouse of a seed. 

You've got two options here, you can either soak them in water making a drink known as "Chia Fresca", or you can make the renown "Chia Pudding".

Chia Fresca
For one person

1 big glass of cold water, still or sparkling
1 large lemon or lime, sliced
1 teaspoon chia seeds

To taste, a natural sweetener of choice - stevia, honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar + refreshing herbs like mint or basil.

Stir together all the ingredients. Leave in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to allow the chia seeds to soak up water. Stir occasionally so the seeds don't settle. Enjoy!

Chia Pudding
Serves one person

2 tbsp chia seed
1/2 cup (120 ml) plant milk (I often use almond, hazelnut or coconut milk)
a pinch of vanilla powder
a few fresh berries
1/2 tsp cinnamon

I usually prepare my chia pudding the night before I want to eat it, or in the morning before leaving for work. That way, it has time to soak well in the fridge. If you prepare it first thing in the morning, place it in the fridge while you get ready for work or school, and then pop it in your bag. 

To make the pudding, place two tablespoons of chia seeds in a bowl or container. Pour half a cup of the milk on top, and add vanilla. Use a chopstick or fork to stir the chia so that it dissolves evenly in the milk. If you use a container, you can also place a lid on top and shake it. 

Let set in the fridge for 20 minutes and leave up to 48 hours. Add berries and sprinkle wth cinnamon before serving. Enjoy!