Plant Based Make-Ahead Snacks
There's never enough time to prepare snacks every day yet there's always a wish to have something easy to grab and snack on. Something that gives you energy, tastes great and has a sensible price. Plant based energy balls are my go-to make ahead snacks. First of all, because they have a long shelf life, secondly, because I know I can share them with anyone. With all these in mind, it's also important that snack prepping doesn't require too much time or effort. Placing everything in a blender or food processor and simply shaping balls out of the mix is the easiest way.
Coconut Butter Energy Balls
These balls are made entirely of homemade coconut butter mixed with dried cranberries and goji, rolled into balls and then dipped in dried pink pitaya powder. You can mix in a tablespoon or so of honey or maple syrup if you'd like them sweeter, but I recommend trying them out without additional sweeteners. You can, instead, mix in more dried cranberries, but have in mind that they are infused with sugar so you don't want to overdo it either.
The Superfood You Should Know About
Only recently I came across pink pitaya powder on social media and the first thing that attracted me was its vibrant colour. I didn't know it's actually high in antioxidants and packed with vitamin C and iron, so you can not only make pretty looking dishes, but also benefit from using it (in moderation, of course!). The powder itself really tastes like pitaya, it has a soft and sweet fruity flavour which makes it perfect to be used on vegan treats or any dessert. Therefore I'm thinking... many more pink girly recipes to come, for sure!
Hands on time: 15 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes
- dessicated coconut or coconut flakes (or homemade coconut butter)
- dried cranberries
- dried goji berries
- pink pitaya powder or acai powder to garnish
To make these balls you either have to make your own coconut butter or soften the store-bought coconut butter (heat it on the stove until soft). To make coconut butter at home you simply need to process desiccated coconut in a blender until you end up with a smooth paste - this usually takes only 3 minutes or so. Add a bigger amount of shredded coconut into your blender or food processor as it will decrease in volume significantly once blended. If there's too little coconut, your blender simply won't be able to blend. So my advice: make more coconut butter, you can store any leftovers in your cupboard for future use in porridges, on toasts, etc.
Once your coconut butter is freshly made, it will be soft like any nut butter. Place the freshly made coconut butter in a bowl, add some dried cranberries and goji. Stir to combine. Use a generous amount of berries, but have one thing in mind - the more dried cranberries, the sweeter your energy balls will be. As coconut on itself is already naturally sweet, you don't need to sweeten too much. Alternatively, you can add dried berries into a blender over freshly made coconut butter and process until smooth.
Leave the coconut and dried berry mix to harden until pliable, approximately 30 minutes. Once manageable, roll into small balls and place them in a fridge for another 30 minutes, then roll in a superfood powder of your choice. Store in the fridge if you want harder energy bites or in a cool place for softer treats.
Made using Unicorn Superfoods pink pitaya powder.
Let me know your thoughts
If you try this recipe, do let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. You can also tag #kitchenjulie @kitchen.julie on instagram.