Energy Balls

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I’ve made a version of these healthy gym snacks before, but this is taking it to the next level. They are so easy to make it’s almost embarrassing! For me, the best part of these energy balls is the chocolate coating that I put on some of them. The coconut really lifts the richness of dates. The golden linseeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, so you can feel virtuous as you eat these! They work out at about 133 calories per ball. The recipe comes the Waitrose weekly newspaper March, 2015.

 

Ingredients

Date balls

 (Makes about 20)

100g hazelnuts

250g soft pitted dates

2 tablespoons golden linseed

 

Apricot balls

100g cashew nuts

250g soft, dried apricots

2 tablespoons golden linseeds

Coating

200g dark chocolate (70%)

100g toasted chopped hazelnuts

75g desiccated coconut

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To make the date balls

  • Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  • Add the dates and the linseeds and continue to blitz until the mixture has bound into a paste.
  • With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls and place on a tray lined with baking parchment.

To make the apricot balls

  • Place the cashew nuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
  • Add the apricots and the linseeds and continue to blitz until the mixture has bound into a paste.
  • With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls and place on a tray with baking parchment. For the coating

To make the coatings

  • Gently roast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan.
  • Blitz in the food processor until coarsely chopped, then put on a plate.
  • Put the desiccated coconut onto another plate.
  • Gently melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Ideally, you don’t want the bowl to be touching the water. (I chop the chocolate and put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds)
  • Dip each ball into the melted chocolate, then roll in the coconut or hazelnuts. Return to the tray lined with parchment paper and allow to set. Store in an airtight container.

 

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Cashew, Kale and Lime Nacho Bowl

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Ok, so after all the madeleines I ate, here is the recipe for a really good salad. I actually eat a lot of salad in order to balance out the number of cakes! I had this salad just on its own as the tortillas make it fairly substantial but my partner had it with a piece of salmon. I’m not usually a fan of sweet corn, but this corn of the cob was sweet and crunchy, nothing like the tinned stuff. I loved the avocado, but the surprise star of this dish was the cashew nut cream. I used a red chilli in mine as I didn’t have a green one. The kale made me feel very virtuous before the melted cheese brought me back to reality. According to the recipe information, this salad has 500 calories per serving, just in case you are counting! You can find the original recipe in Sainsbury Magazine, August 2015.

 

Ingredients: serves 6

100g unsalted cashew nuts

6 soft wholemeal tortillas

  4 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

200g curly kale

2 limes, plus extra for serving

2 green chillies

30g fresh coriander

2 sweetcorn on the cob

1 ripe avocado

100g mature Manchego cheese

just salad

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/ Gas Mark 7. Fill and boil a kettle.
  • Put the cashews into a bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside.
  • Stack tortillas and cut them in half, then into quarters, then into eighths, to make the tortilla shapes. Put them onto a large baking tray, making sure they don’t overlap too much, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Toss to coat evenly.
  • Remove any tough stems from the kale. Spread it out on another large baking tray, grate over the zest of one of the limes, drizzle over the remaining oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Put both trays in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the kale is crisp and the tortillas are browned.
  • Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. Drain the cashews and put them into the blender with the juice of the zested lime and a good pinch of salt. Roughly chop the chillies and add to the blender with the coriander stalks.
  • Pour in 125ml water and blitz on high for 2 minutes to a smooth cream. Taste; add more salt and lime juice if it needs it.
  • Cut the kernels from the cobs of corn with a sharp knife – rest it in a mixing bowl to do this. Stone and slice the avocado and squeeze over half the remaining lime juice.
  • Preheat the grill to high. On your heatproof serving platter, scatter the crispy kale over the tortilla chips and grate over the cheese. Grill for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is beginning to bubble.
  • Spoon on the cashew cream, scatter over the avocado, corn and coriander leaves. Serve with extra lime wedges.

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