Who doesn't love carrot cake? I know I do. But what I love even more is being able to create little bombs of goodness that incorporate all of the delicious flavours of a good carrot cake, but that are deeply nourishing and can be made in less than 15 mins. There is just something about the combination of all the spices, dates and nuts that is super satisfying and tastes quite indulgent. It's like a party for your tastebuds!
In true carrot cake style, I have used walnuts as the base to these balls. Walnuts contain more omega-3 fatty acid than any other nut, which helps to reduce inflammation in the body. There is also evidence to suggest that walnuts enhance cognitive function. When you think about it, they even look like little brains. Mother Nature clearly makes no mistakes! I also love using fresh ginger in these little balls, not just for its incredible flavour, but also its impressive nutritional profile which includes reducing inflammation in the body and easing indigestion and other digestive symptoms. Often, in energy balls, it is all nuts and fruit but I love that there is a sneaky vegetable in this recipe - these balls contain fresh carrot although you really wouldn't know! The carrot adds fibre which helps to slow the digestive process and keep our blood sugar stable, meaning we stay feeling fuller for longer.
I'm a big fan of having energy balls ready and in the fridge for the weeks when I am short of time or super busy and can grab one whenever I need a boost. There is no coincidence that they are called 'energy' balls because they will leave you firing on all cylinders... literally. Loaded with antioxidants, healthy fats and protein, they make incredible snacks, additions to packed lunch and pre/post-workout snacks.
140g (1 cup) medjool dates
75g (½ cup) almonds
165g (1½ cups) walnuts
55g (½ cup) oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
Good pinch of salt
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
Pinch of ground nutmeg
70g (¾ cup) carrot (grated)
Desiccated coconut to roll the balls in
MAKES: APPROX. 2O BALLS TOTAL TIME: 15 MINS + OPTIONAL CHILLING TIME
First, pit the dates and put them in a bowl of boiling water. Allow them to soak for 10 mins and then drain.
Put the almonds, half of the walnuts and the oats into a food processor and process until very fine. Add the soaked dates, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and process again until well combined. Add the carrot and remaining walnuts and pulse to mix but still remain chunky.
Roll a teaspoon of the mixture between your hands to form a ball and roll in desiccated coconut. Repeat until all the mixture is used up. Either, eat as they are or put them in the fridge for a couple of hours to make them a little firmer and let the flavours develop - enjoy!