With the kids back at school, and the Nelson summer holidays now just a memory, it can mean only one thing… School lunches.
It can be hard to come up with things that the kids will want to eat, and that won’t come back in the lunch box, but are still nutritionally beneficial and wholesome. Dates are a good source of protein, fibre, magnesium and zinc, along with other important trace elements, but not everybody is a fan of dates in their natural state. Energy balls are a great way to incorporate dates with other delicious ingredients; all packaged into a truffle like treat, that is full of goodness to fill hungry tummies of all ages. All sorts of other ingredients can be used to flavour energy balls, if you’re feeling a little naughty add some dark chocolate too.
Don’t forget to check out the bulk bin buys at Fresh Choice, Nelson for your ingredients!
These two recipes are perfect for school lunches.
Date & Apricot Energy Balls
- 1 cup raw, unsalted almonds
- 1 cup dried apricots
- 1/2 cup pitted dates
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Place the almonds in a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped.
Add the apricots, coconut, dates, lemon zest and cinnamon, and pulse until the mixture forms a ball and sticks to itself.
Roll into golf-sized balls.
Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Add to school lunches as necessary!
Date & Peanut Butter Energy Balls
- 1 cup pitted dates
- 3 tbsp all natural salted peanut butter, (The Grocer recommends Pic’s!)
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp chia seeds (or subflax or hemp seeds)
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
Pulse dates in a food processor until it forms a ball. Add oats, chocolate, chia seeds and peanut butter, then pulse or mix until just combined.
Roll into golf ball sized rounds, using the warmth of your hands to mould them together.
To set, pop in the fridge or freezer for 15 minutes. Keep stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Add to school lunches as necessary!
Thanks to local chef and guest Blogger, Grant Dicker, for this article.