We all need a little sweetness in our lives. The trick here is how to indulge in special occasions without ruining our health or wellness plan. As a mum and a nutritionist, I think about how to prepare guilt-free desserts and treats to enjoy and share with my family and friends.

Therefore, I will share with you my favourite nourishing and delicious recipes for energy balls. This dessert works well for  special occasions like Eid when we often eat more sweets than usual.

Energy balls are raw, healthy, and convenient snacks made of natural ingredients that do not need to be baked. As we all know, the long cooking or baking times for food at high temperatures may destroy or reduce some vitamins and minerals. These balls contain a variety of raw nuts, seeds, dried fruits, superfoods, nut butters and flours and healthy carbs.

All of these are unrefined, natural, and provide generous amounts of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, proteins, slow-release complex carbohydrates and fibres. Energy balls are an excellent way to indulge without feeling guilty while satisfying our sweet tooth and gaining energy.

Chocolate Fudge Energy Balls

Store bought chocolate fudge cookies are popular sweets, but they are not always the healthiest option, as they can be packed with saturated fats and refined sugars. While this recipe is full of vitamin C-rich dried fruits (cranberries), antioxidants nut butter (almond butter), high omega-3 fatty acid rich seed (flaxseed) and slow releasing complex healthy carbohydrate (rolled oat).

Serve chocolate balls as part of a dessert with fresh fruit or serve them with coffee at the end of a meal.

Ingredients: (make 24 balls)

·       2/3 cup of rolled oats

·       1 cup dried cranberries

·       6 Tbsp desiccated coconut + extra for rolling.

·       2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

·       4 Tbsp cocoa powder

·       2 Tbsp peanut butter or can be substituted with Tahini if you are allergic to nuts.

·       1 Tbsp coconut oil

·       2 Tbsp maple syrup or honey

·       2 Tbsp water or more to make the mix more wet

Instructions:

·       Place all the ingredients in food processor and combine until smooth like fudge.

·       Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the mixture into your palm and roll to form a ball, each ball should be around 1 inch round.

·       Roll in desiccated coconut.

·       Repeat with remaining mixture.

·       Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Recipe Note:

·       Make sure you choose a good quality cocoa and peanut butter that is lower in salt and sugar.

·       Store the balls in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 2 weeks or freeze them for up to 2 months. When putting balls in the freezer, ensure they are placed in a properly sealed container and labelled with expiry date.

Apple Pie Energy Balls

Apple and cinnamon are a dream duo, so it is no wonder that the apple pie remains our favourite treat. In this recipe, the cinnamon is not added just for its aroma, but it will boost your immunity and stabilize your blood sugar levels. The dates also make these balls sweet without adding sugar, and the healthful fats from the almond butter and chia seeds make them really filling.

Ingredients: (make 20 balls)

·       1 cup rolled oat + extra for rolling

·       1 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates

·       1 cup coarsely grated small Pink Lady or Gala apple

·       ½ cup homemade apple purée or more to make the mix more wet

·       1/2 cup almond meal

·       2 Tbsp raw almond butter or peanut butter

·       1 Tbsp chia seed

·       1 Tbsp ground Saigon cinnamon + extra for dusting

·       ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

·       ¼ tsp ground clove

·       1 tsp vanilla essence

Instructions:

·       Place all the ingredients in food processor and combine until the mixture starts to come together.

·       Using a small cookie scoop, scoop the mixture into your palm and roll to form a ball, each ball should be around 1 inch round.

·       Roll in oat or in ground cinnamon.

·       Repeat with remaining mixture.

·       Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

Eating healthily is one of the most important things you can do for yourself, and your family. I also believe that a little deliciousness occasionally is important …

Stay safe everyone!