Elissa Joy— With all the yoga and running that goes on around the office and at our neighbourhood stores, we get mighty hungry. Snacks that are natural, portable and delicious are always in high demand. Ever get hungry for a little healthy competition? We do.
Many people here are either kitchen-savvy or have goals to be. What better way to encourage everyone in the pursuit of their goals than to host an energy ball cook-off? We scouted around for people's favorite recipes and hosted a taste test after an afternoon yoga class led by Tedi Martin.
- Bev nominated The Four o'Clock Bar, courtesy of Baker's Balance.
- Tedi nominated the Chocolate Earth Ball recipe by Whole Foods.
- Pam suggested the Energy Ball recipe from Shelley Adam's Whitewater Cooks At Homecookbook.
- I submitted an original recipe inspired by my hearty oatmeal breakfasts.
We had a healthy turnout of very qualified judges. (Just so you know, hungry and opinionated equals qualified.) The ballots were cast. The people have spoken. Whole Foods' Chocolate Earth Balls win.
Here's the Thing
Each recipe was uniquely delicious. Depending on what you crave, you probably would choose one recipe over another. Here's what we learned:
If you love peanut butter, you'll probably love the winning recipe. The consensus was that most people wouldn't reach for it before a workout but it was definitely the perfect reward after their afternoon yoga class.
If you're a chocoholic, the Whitewater Cooks Energy Ball recipe has the cocoa fix you're looking for. This runner-up is loaded with other tasty ingredients like sunflower seeds, rolled oats and raisins, so it's a balanced treat.
If you like eating breakfast on the go, you'll enjoy the original recipe from yours truly. It's basically a spin-off of my favorite oatmeal breakfast: oats, dates, ground flax, almonds, coconut, sesame and sunflower seeds and real maple syrup.
If you like simple recipes with minimal ingredients, grab a food processor and whip up the Four o'Clock Bar. All you need is dates, almonds, peanuts, peanut butter and sea salt.
Third place: Elissa's Portable Breakfast Balls (recipe below)
Elissa's Portable Breakfast Balls
1 cup each: oats, coconut, sesame and sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, all toasted
1 cup ground flax
2.5 cups chopped dried dates
2 cups almond butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1 additional cup toasted coconut, for coating
Preheat your oven to 350F. Soak the dates in warm water to soften them. Spread the first five ingredients on a large cookie sheet. Toast them in the oven for ten minutes. Remove and cool. Drain the dates. Squeeze them to remove excess water. Put dates, toasty ingredients, flax, syrup and almond butter in a large bowl and combine well with your hands. Roll into balls (you choose the size) and roll in coconut.
Lessons From Our Kitchens
We seize every opportunity to learn, whether we're on our yoga mats or in our kitchens. The big one? Making delicious energy snacks from scratch is ridiculously simple - and fun. We recommend you store your creations in an air-tight container in the freezer to prolong the enjoyment of your time in the kitchen.
Here are some of the other lessons we learned along the way.
Use organic ingredients wherever possible.
Get the most flavor out of your ingredients and toast them in the oven.
If you're getting creative and making your own recipe, write it down as you go.