It’s 3 p.m. and the afternoon slump hits. You’re at work and the well-stocked break room is just down the hall. You begin to fight with yourself about it…but you know the craving is going to win. You start thinking about which treat would make you feel less guilty (cookies or chocolate) and give you the  burst of energy you need to finish out the work day. If only you had something more healthy and satisfying…

I get cravings just like everybody else…and sometimes…I even give in.  That’s where a super snack like protein balls come in. There are heaps of protein balls on market shelves at the moment, but many contain loads of sugar and additives and quite frankly, they often carry a hefty price tag! What I love about making these little morsels is knowing exactly what’s going in to them (and what’s not!). This basic recipe isn’t too sweet but still has a richness that means one or two is plenty to satisfy. They’re a lot of fun for kids to make too—who doesn’t enjoy playing with food like it’s playdough? You can choose a variety of coatings for the final product—my favs are pumpkin seeds and goji berries!

The recipe if also flexible for those with allergies—just replace the almonds with a mix of seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, etc. For all you salt cravers, add a pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt or Murray River Salt for a more savoury treat.

330 g raw whole almonds
60g protein powder (I used Vital Protein)
6-8 fresh organic dates, pitted
1 tablespoon raw organic honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons raw cacoa powder
2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract (or 1 tsp extract + Loving Earth Organic Vanilla powder)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
coconut, goji berry, cacao, pumpkin seeds for coating

Combine almonds with cinnamon, chia seeds, protein powder and cocoa in a food processor (or Thermomix) and process until the mix looks crumbly. Add dates, vanilla extract and honey and process again until the mix starts to come together (add a splash of water if the mix seems too dry).
Form into balls by rolling bits of the mixture in your palms. Roll protein balls in the coatings suggested (or be creative with your own) and store in the fridge. This recipe tends to make about 26-28 balls. Will keep for 3-4 weeks.