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Power Balls

power balls snacks

For some years I've been making these easy and nutritious little snack balls to save on pricey snack bars, reduce packaging waste, and better control the quality of ingredients. If you have a food processor, you too can make these little treats. What goes in them can suit your preferences and what you have on hand.

What's your favorite snack bar and what does it contain? Look it's ingredients to get inspiration for making your own flavor. If your favorite bar contains ingredients that you don't have or wouldn't ever buy... you probably shouldn't be eating it!

power balls snacks

There is a lot of flexibility in the ingredients. The two main parts are: 1) nuts and/or seeds for protein and substance and 2) dried fruit as a sticky binder and for sweetness and flavor. Any additional ingredients add mouth feel, health benefit, or more sweetness or flavor. See sample recipes below, but this is something you can get creative with. You can be as simple and easy as just two ingredients such as cashews and dates, or get complex and pack the nuggets with superfoods.

I add the "dry" ingredients first, the nuts and seeds, plus any powdered additives or spices. Pulse lightly or process more thoroughly, that's a matter of preference for a smooth mouth feel or to maintain chunky-course nuts for a little crunch. Then add the "wet" ingredients, the dried fruits, oils, sweeteners, liquid extracts (e.g. vanilla, orange, stevia).

power balls snack blending

Some items blend better when chopped prior to putting in the food processor. For example, the mango slices I currently have are very dry and tough. Even though I cut them to smaller pieces with scissors before adding them, they jam up in the blade and I need to stop it and move things around several times until they get better incorporated.

power balls snacks

Process until combined and clumping together. If it still appears dry and doesn't easily roll into balls in your hand, more wet ingredients should be added and tasting it will give you a clue which direction to go. If it is not sweet enough for you, add more honey or maple syrup, or dried fruit that still contains ample moisture. If it is sweet enough, you can add more coconut oil or olive oil for more moisture, though if it's already appearing or feeling oily, do not go this route. If it feels too wet to hold it's form as balls, you can add more dry ingredients, nuts, chia seeds, dry banana chips, shredded coconut, powdered maca, spirulina, etc.

Form into balls with clean hands. They can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks or freezer for up to six months. I like them less cold so take them out of the fridge prior to eating or leave a half dozen or so in a container on the counter for a couple days, they are not super perishable if kept sealed.

Tropical Mango

2 cups raw cashews
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup hemp seed
- - process, then add:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp bee pollen
2 cups chopped dried mango slices
1 cup dates
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
- - roll in shredded coconut

Turkish Delight

1 cup raw pecans or almonds
1/2 cup pistachios
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
- - process, then add:
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup dried figs
1/2 cup dates
1 Tbsp honey
(Olive oil is a good flavor addition here if more moisture is needed without adding sweetness, add just a drizzle at a time. Although I find the above combination usually releases a lot of oil on it's own.)

Chocolate Cherry

1 1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw or cold pressed cocao powder
1/4 cup hemp seeds
- - process, then add:
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup dried cherries (tart, sweet, or bing
1/4 cup goji berries
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp maple syrup
- - roll in cocoa powder

power balls snacks

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