Bliss balls of a sort; not nearly as jaundiced IRL as this photo makes them appear!
Now that YoungB is working what might be considered more normal hours, he’s able to take better care of his health: he cycles to work a couple of times a week (weather and flat tyres permitting; remind to tell you about the day he used both his “one per day per parent” pick-up vouchers), and tries to take pre-packed lunches. Like many of us, he often has a little “mid-arvo-munchies” attack. Finding snacks that don’t contain life-threatening peanuts can be a bit of an ask. So what he did ask the other day was, “Mum, while you’re at home, would you be able to make me some protein balls, please?”
Luckily, YoungB is not bothered by other nuts. He and I discussed what should be in the protein balls. I did lots of googling, followed up on some recipes recommended by the Nieces, and – quite late last night – used this mix (it’s a combination of and/or substitution from several sources, largely dictated by what was already in the cupboard):
- 1 cup brazil nuts
- 3/4 cup walnuts
- 3/4 cup almonds
- 20 pitted dates (I used ordinary ones, which would have been better pre-soaked; and Medjool dates would be better still but you would use fewer)
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil (probably use at least 10; or use a good quality essence and your own judgment about when to stop)
Whizz all ingredients in food processor till smooth (or as smooth as it will ever be with that many nuts) and a little bit oily; then roll into balls. Makes about 25 small protein balls.
As counterintuitive as it might sound, the mix was quite crumbly – perhaps I needed another oilier nut like cashews rather than almonds but I had plenty of almonds and no cashews – so I couldn’t roll it. I had to squeeze the mix in my hand. This limited the size of the resulting product. Uuh, ok: small hands meant small balls. Right?
I would then have rolled them in desiccated coconut but (a) I couldn’t find any in the cupboard and (b) even if I had been able to find any, it would probably have been old and past it. So I sprinkled them with cocoa powder instead.
YoungB tried one this morning. He said thank you and that they’re very nice, but maybe to use a bit less peppermint next time. In that regard, I note only that I’ve also given one a test run, and the peppermint level is about right for me. Dr B also approves. Because I used essential oil rather than essence, there’s perhaps a little more bite than might otherwise be the case.
Let me just say that I hope your peppermint levels are always where you want them 😉