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If you follow my blog, you know that I’m currently doing a Whole30 challenge. I started January 1, so I guess you could call this a New Year’s resolution!
For those of you unfamiliar with the program, the Whole30 is not just a diet. It’s supposed to help you form new habits, train your body to not crave the “bad-for-you” stuff, and hopefully pinpoint exactly what kinds of foods don’t work well with your body. So I think my New Years resolution is instead to develop healthy habits, starting with the Whole30, so I can continue them for the rest of the year (and beyond!).
Starting with adding mid-afternoon tea time and healthy snacks like these AMAZING ENERGY BALLS to my daily routine!
These delicious chocolate coconut energy balls are the perfect edible pick-me-up in the middle of the day, and are 100% Whole30 and Paleo approved. They are sweet, decadent tasting, and energy boosting, and pair so well with Green Tea. Normally, I would put honey in my tea to sweeten it up, but you don’t need it when it’s paired with something this sweet and tasty! And, they are the perfect healthy thing to contribute to a party or potluck.
So often, people limit their New Year’s resolutions to those revolving around physical health- more exercise and a better diet. Many people forget to take care of their mental health as well. How about taking care of both at the same time?
Taking care to relax and upkeep my mental health, in addition to my physical, is why I want to start to have tea and a snack in the middle of the day (Isn’t this appropriate for the premier of Downton Abbey last night?) I find that a midday break/light snack is super beneficial for me. Here’s why:
- It helps fight the post-work hanger. When I get home from a long day at work, I’M STARVING. That means going in for the tortilla chips before I even think about making dinner, no matter how quick and easy that dinner is. And don’t even try to stop me. With a snack like these energy balls, I should be able to make it!
- It enables a brain break. My brain gets so tired at this point. I need a mental break from work (I’m a high school teacher in “real” life, as well as a blogger). The ritual of taking a break, making tea, and sitting down for a fifteen minute break to sip, munch, and maybe read my favorite magazine or a few pages from my book is unbelievably rejuvenating during a work day.
- Tea is super healthy! Bigelow Green Tea is my tea of choice for this venture. Full of antioxidants, green tea has tons of health benefits and just a little bit of caffeine for that mid-afternoon slump. I love its fresh, light, and slightly bitter flavor paired with the sweetness of these energy balls. And if you aren’t on the Whole30 like me, a little addition of pure honey to green tea takes the bitter edge off for a delicious treat.
Luckily, I was able to stock up on my tea for a very inexpensive price at Walmart. That store has changed so much since I was a kid. They have an impressive selection of good-for-you groceries, and this tea was super easy to find right in the aisle with the coffee!
Now. Back to these energy balls. Oh boy, are these delicious! And SUPER easy to make.
And this may be a little dangerous to say out loud, but they taste EXACTLY like Almond Joy candy bars. Smooth, creamy, chocolatey, coconuty, nutty, and sweet… but only sweetened with dates! That’s right- pure, natural dates. These little bite-sized morsels really are a nutritional powerhouse to completely satisfy you. All you need is one, and you’re set!
And they couldn’t be easier to make.
Just add some pecans to your food processor and pulse until roughly chopped. Feel free to use almonds, cashews, or other nuts if you want.
Add chopped dates, some unsweetened coconut, coconut oil, cocoa powder, a pinch of salt, and just a little bit of water to make it all come together. Turn your food processor on until it is well-mixed and holds together when you press it.
Using a tablespoon measure, roll the mixture into uniform ball shapes and roll in some more unsweetened coconut. Place on a parchment covered sheet and refrigerate until more solidified (because coconut oil melts at room temperature, you’ll need to keep these refrigerated so they stay together).
After about thirty minutes, you can transfer the energy balls to a container or plastic bag to keep stored in the fridge.
Now for the last and final step- pour yourself a hot mugful of Bigelow Green Tea (or tea of your choice), sit down in a comfy chair, nibble on one of these energy balls (or three- I won’t judge!) and have some relaxing time for yourself. You deserve it!
Recipe below. Enjoy :-)
|Chocolate Coconut Energy Balls (with Pecans and Dates)|| || |
- ½ cup pecans (or other nut)
- 15 medjool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
- ⅓ cup shredded unsweetened coconut (plus ¼ cup for rolling)
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1½ tablespoons cocoa powder
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon water
- Put pecans in food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
- Add remaining ingredients, turn food processor on until well mixed.
- Using a tablespoon measure, spoon out mixture and roll in balls.
- Coat each ball in the remaining ¼ cup shredded coconut.
- Place on a parchment covered baking sheet and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes, until they harden.
- Store in the fridge in a container or plastic bag for up to two weeks.
- Pour yourself a mug of tea, eat an energy ball, and enjoy an afternoon pick-me-up!