Post number 100! What a milestone, isn’t it? And what better way to celebrate than sharing a healthy recipe with you? It is one of my favorite snacks ever and pretty versatile – Protein Balls. Today’s variation is especially amazing, since it is vegan, raw (if you are using a raw protein powder) and full of health benefits.
Almond Fig Protein Balls
- 1/4 cup figs (tightly pressed)
- 2 generous T almond butter ( I used earthalmond butter, but I would prefer the normal one)
- 1 scoop vanilla protein (I used soy, for raw variation use an alternative)
- dash of salt, vanilla and cinnamon
- 1 T cacao nibs*
Mix the figs in a food processor or magic bullet until you got a homogeneous paste. Add them to all the other ingredients in a bowl and start kneading. Don’t worry – the dough will be crumbly at the beginning. But it gets better while kneading.
Finally form 5 ping pong sized balls – you might want to wet your hands, to get an even shape.
And done. Keep them in a closed box in the fridge – they should be keeping for at least a week. (Probably longer, but mine were always gone by then.) If you want to bring them to work/class, just wrap them up in some foil or take a smaller box.
*Hint: Of course you could substitute the cacao nibs with dark chocolate chips – but following I would like to present you a list of benefits of raw cacao nibs, that will probably change your mind.
- cacao nibs contain phenylethylamine, the chemical your body releases when you fall in love
- they also increase the amount of endorphins in your body
- and anandamide, which triggers a very slight high
- and tryptophan, which is known to increase the brain’s production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to reduce stress, relieve anxiety and fight depression
High in Antioxidants:
- Promote cardiovascular health
- Protect from environmental and metabolic toxins
Rich in Essential Minerals:
- Magnesium, helps building strong bones and regulate the heartbeat and blood pressure
- Sulfur, known as a beauty mineral, builds strong nails and hair, promotes beautiful skin and detoxifies the liver
- contain oleic acid, a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, that may raise good cholesterol
- plus, substances found in cacao are known to help reduce appetite
So why not just use dark chocolate chips?
You can, and I make my protein balls often with dark chocolate chips. Dark chocolate is great for you – don’t get me wrong. But if you want to have a clean, unprocessed food, without added sugar, using raw cacao nibs is a great option. They do have a quite unique taste, which I like, and they are crunchy!
Regarding a completely different topic:
Pour Lou was operated yesterday. She got neutered – and what was the first thing she did coming home? Exactly what the doctor forbid: lick all the silver spray from the wound and bite the seam. So first thing we are doing this Saturday: visiting the doctor again and getting a collar. And I can tell you: she is not amused. Promises to be a fun weekend around our flat. Me and boyfriend studying while Lou is going nuts.
Have you ever made your own snack bars/balls? What is your favorite kind?
Do you like cacao nibs?