Raw Vegan Energy Balls (No Refined Sugars or Syrups)

Raw Vegan Energy Balls (No Refined Sugars or Syrups)

Snacks

Raw Vegan Energy Balls
(No Refined Sugars or Syrups)

Quick, simple & easy, these raw vegan energy balls are a handy on-the-go snack. Packed with nutrients, protein, fibre and healthy fats, the sweetness comes 100% from dates, so no refined sugars or syrups. The fibre helps to stabilise blood sugar levels, giving you a more sustained source of energy.

Recipe

Raw Vegan Energy Balls

Portion: 20 balls

Original: 

  • 1.5 cups dates (250g)
  • 1 tin chickpeas (240g drained weight)
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut (160g)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (80g) – I used almonds
  • 1/2 cup seeds (60g) – I used a mix of sunflower, sesame, chia and pumpkin.
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • Optional: seeds, desiccated coconut or cacao powder to coat.

Chocolate:
Add 4 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder (or divide the above mix in half and add 2 tbsp to half for a mix).

Chilli Chocolate:
Add 4 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder or 2 tbsp to half + cayenne or chilli powder to taste, or chilli oil. 

Nut butter:
Add 2 tbsp nut butter or 1 tbsp to half.

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend together.

    *If using a small blender such as a Nutribullet, it’s best to blend in batches (approx. 1.5 cups at a time works well).
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  2. Scoop out into a large mixing bowl and mix well.
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  3. Take a small portion (about 30-40g) and press together in your hand. Then, using both hands roll into a ball. (If the ball falls apart, you need to press the mix together a couple more times). Repeat!
    .

    4. Optional: Coat with seeds (chia and sesame work well) or cacao powder, desiccated coconut etc if desired. To do this, get a little coconut oil in your hands and rub over before rolling in the seeds etc. Powders should stick without this extra step. 

    5. Optional: Place in the freezer for an hour to help set, then remove and store in the fridge (or eat) as you like.

Storing: These energy balls store really well in the freezer, so you can always have a batch ready!

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Spiced or Herby Pumpkin Wedges

Spiced or Herby Pumpkin Wedges

Snacks | Sides

Spiced or Herby Pumpkin Wedges

Wedges, or as I call them – wedgies – are my favourite snack. I just love potato, but potatoes are pretty stodgy so sweet potato or pumpkin can be used as a lighter alternative. Pumpkin is packed with fibre helping you to feel fuller for longer – without the bloated belly.

Recipe

Spiced or Herby Pumpkin Wedges

Portion: 1

Ingredients: 

  • 1/4 small pumpkin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika 
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne 
  • Couple pinches Himalayan salt 
  • Drizzle avocado oil

Alternative: Go for herbed wedges if you’re sensitive to spices. I like rosemary and/or thyme.

Instructions:

  1. Set the oven to 200 degrees C. 

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  2. Quarter your pumpkin (be careful here – I place on a non-slip surface and pierce with the tip of the knife, easing into the pumpkin with a rocking motion) and decide how big a snack you want (I use 1/4 per serving). 

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  3. Remove the seeds with a spoon (save these to roast).  

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  4. Cut into even wedges at about 1/2 inch thick.

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  5. Remove any remaining stringy gunk with a small knife and peel the outer skin from the wedges (unless it’s a particularly young pumpkin or variety that has soft skin).

    .6. 

    6. Drizzle a little avocado oil across a baking tray. Sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan salt over with the cayenne and paprika (1/2 tsp each) – or however much you want. You could use herbs instead.

    7. Rub each side of the wedges into the mix and then lay each on the tray. You can sprinkle more herbs or spice over the top if you’d like. 

8. Place in the oven and check them after 20 mins. I usually let them cook for 25-30 mins. 

Storing: Store any leftovers in the fridge and consume within a couple days. They taste nice cold too!

Serving suggestion: You could make a dairy-free sour cream with a little dairy-free plain yoghurt, tahini, salt, pepper, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. Start with the yoghurt base and add each element gradually to taste.

This Dairy-Free Cashew ‘Cream Cheese’ is Perfect on Pizza (Raw Vegan)

This Dairy-Free Cashew ‘Cream Cheese’ is Perfect on Pizza (Raw Vegan)

alternatives

Dairy-free
Cashew ‘Cream Cheese’

Making your own alternatives can seem daunting, but this dairy-free cashew ‘cream cheese’ is about as quick and easy as it gets! Use it as a dip or try it as an alternative to cheese on a gluten-free pizza or seed crackers.

Recipe

Dairy-free Cashew ‘Cream Cheese’

Portion: 1 cup

Ingredients: 

  • 125g soaked cashews 
  • 100ml nut milk
  • 1.5 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (This is what gives it the cheesy flavour – try it with 1 tbsp to start and add more to ramp up the cheese factor.)
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 small garlic clove (optional)

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. (If you have a low-powered blender, don’t overcook the motor – use short blasts with rest in between.)

 

Health Notes

Cashews

All nuts should be soaked before using. While this may seem like an annoying step, it is not without good reason. 

Firstly, if you have ever struggled to digest nuts, this is because they contain high levels of enzyme inhibitors. When you soak the nuts, you neutralise these enzymes, allowing for easier digestion. 

Secondly, nuts contain phytic acid which binds to minerals during digestion and prevents them from being properly absorbed – and as minerals are the start of good health, we really don’t want that! Soaking nuts breaks down the phytic acid.

So by this point, you may be thinking why eat them at all… Well, most good things in life don’t come easy. Once you’ve soaked nuts, they are a nutritional powerhouse full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and protein.

250g cashew contains 45g protein. 

Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Nutritional yeast is soy, dairy and wheat-free (check the label though as brands can add weird stuff like whey) and is not the kind of yeast that aggravates Candida. It is instead a nutritional powerhouse.

A complete protein, it is also a source of iron, zinc and B vitamins. Some are also fortified with B12 (handy if you are vegetarian).

Relatively inexpensive, you can find it in most health food stores or online. 

Garlic

With most foods, you want to eat as soon as you’ve cut into them. As oxidation begins to occur and so the food begins to degrade.

Garlic, however, likes to be different. After you’ve cut into a garlic clove, it is best to let it sit for 5-10 minutes before eating or cooking.

Why? Well garlic contains a compound called alliin and an enzyme called alliinase. In its whole form, the clove’s cell structure keep these two separate. However, once you break into that cell structure, allinn and alliinase come into contact and begin to form a super compound called alliicin.

…And it’s alliicin that is responsible for many of garlic’s health-promoting benefits – and you could compile quite a list of those. Notably, it’s ability to help strengthen the immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and detoxify the body.

Finely chopping, pressing or mincing garlic helps get the most bang for your buck.