Thursday, May 17, 2012

VEGAN ENERGY BALLS (a.k.a. Buzz's Sweet Sticky Balls)

I was rummaging through the pantry this afternoon trying to find a quick, healthful and portable snack to take to the local Hershey Track and Field Meet today.  (My son took first in the 400m.  Woot-Woot!)  I couldn't find anything that looked like a good snack for the kids.

I've been looking for a good energy ball/bar for a while for my son to use at swim meets but I'm never too impressed with the recipes I find on the internet. I figured I could just start making it up and we would see what turned up. So I started pulling random items off the shelves.  Then I grabbed the food processor and went to town. 

And the end product turned out pretty good.  They were a big hit at the track meet for the kids (6 out of 7 ate them like crazy).  A couple adults tried them and commented on how good they were.  And my husband LOVED them. Like really loved them.  So I've decided to name them after my amazing husband, Buzz.

I hope you enjoy eating Buzz's Sweet Sticky Balls!  I know I do.  They are actually kind of hard to resist.  I tried to eat just one, but I had to have the second one too.
They're that good.

And the recipe is super easy.  Throw everything into the food processor and let her run.  I have a really good processor, so it worked fairly quickly.  Remember that your machine is meant to work, so don't quit before they come together.  It may take 3-4 minutes of pulsing it. Work that machine.  Work it hard.  Work it until it gets hot.  Yeah, baby.  That's how you do it. Work it. These balls end up more chewy than crunchy, so keep that in mind as you are pulsing the nuts.

Okay, that's enough. I'll get on to the recipe.  I made one batch with raw almonds and then another batch with roasted cashews.  I liked the cashew one better, but you can decide for yourself. I used a smaller size cookie scoop to shape them and got 2 dozen out of a batch.  Keep them in the frig and use them for pre or post workouts, or just for an afternoon pick-me-up.  I rolled the balls in powdered sugar just because I didn't want them to stick to each other at the track meet.  If I was eating them at home I would skip that step.  Enjoy my husband's sweet sticky balls!

1 c. almonds or cashews (raw or roasted)
12 prunes (or dates)
2 T. vegan chocolate chips
1 c. sweetened flake coconut
1 t. vanilla
2 T. maple syrup or agave nectar
1 c. oats

1/2 c. powdered sugar (optional) for rolling in after shaped

Put everything except the powdered sugar in the food processor and pulse until it comes together.  These end up more chewy than crunchy.  Roll into 24 quarter-size balls.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Serve as is or roll in powdered sugar to serve.

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