Whip up a quick batch of these Chocolate Trail Mix Power Balls to have on hand for your busy, healthy lifestyle. Not only will they give you sustainable energy to get you through even the toughest of workouts, but they’re also delicious and a well balanced source of nutrients to snack on during the day. Before your next big run, gym sesh, or outdoor adventure swap these over your processed snack bar and be ready to feel like 60 million bucks.
If you live in or anywhere near America, chances are you’re probably sick of the words “power” and “ball,” but I promise you these aren’t as hard to come by and banking on these won’t be a waste of your money. Is it sad that the inspiration for this recipe came from the lottery? While everyone was talking about what they’d do if they won 60 million dollars, the Powerball was just making me hungry.
For this power ball recipe, but it was really important for me to use the best possible ingredients keeping in mind both taste and energy.
In college, I was very active, but fueled my body differently than I do now. I would go hiking just about every weekend with my boy friend and on the weekends we weren’t trekking up the mountains, we were usually climbing them. I was always in charge of snacks, which usually consisted of some sort of processed chips or crackers, a couple CLIF bars, and some candy disguised as trail mix.
At the time, I thought everything was healthy. I never thought of big brands manipulating our food by stripping it of quality ingredients, making it taste unnaturally appealing all to make us want it more, but be even cheaper to manufacture. I rarely ever looked at sugar content, ingredient lists, or thought about the best types essential nutrients to best fuel my performance.
It would be easy to eat nearly the entire bag of trail mix because various chocolate chips mixed with dried fruit and a few nuts isn’t very sustainable or filling. It would leave me exhausted at the end of the day, constantly bloated, and still hungry.
I wanted these energy bites to be the exact opposite. I made these with ingredients I would crave while hiking that were rich in both flavor and dense with the nutrients that make you feel good. Dates are a good source of sugars and carbs, but they are also full of fiber which slows down their metabolizing in the body, proving you with more steady energy over a longer period of time. Hazelnuts and unsweetened coconut flakes are one of the best sources of monounsaturated fats and the seeds are all great sources of natural energy.
They are also addictive. They are more like traditional trail mix than the overly sweet variety I use to eat, but they can always be modified with an added tbsp of honey or coconut sugar for those of you looking to satisfy your sweet tooth. For me, they still taste like dessert with the dates and cocoa power and don’t need an ounce of extra sweetness. I already have enough trouble stopping myself from eating the whole batch in one sitting.
They are also made with paleo, vegan, and Whole30 compliant ingredients, which make them naturally gluten and dairy free.
- ¼ c pumpkin seeds
- ¼ c sesame seeds
- ¼ c sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup hazelnuts
- 8 dates
- ¼ c almond butter
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- ¼ c unsweetened coconut flakes
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp water from soaking the dates (see instructions)
- 1 tsp additional cinnamon for garnish (optional)
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish
- Remove the pits from the dates (cut down one side, open them up, take out the seed, and discard)
- Soak the dates in a small cup of warm/hot water for a couple minutes (keep a little bit of the water)
- In a food processor or blender, add the pumpkin, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds with the hazelnuts and chop to a ground consistency (not quite to make a flour, maybe about 30 seconds to 1 min)
- Add dates, almond butter, coconut flakes, ¼ tsp cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and process until a dough forms.
- Add a tbsp of the water from the dates and stir down the sides as needed
- Roll into 1 in balls
- On a piece of wax or parchment paper, sprinkle a tsp of cinnamon (optional) next to a tbsp of sesame seeds and roll each ball around to garnish and add an extra crunch
- Store in the fridge or long term in the freezer
What’s your go-to pre-work out snack?
Do you do a lot of other activities outdoors?
What’s your favorite way to exercise besides running?