Nut & Seed Energy Squares

 

If you’re looking for a nutritious protein-rich snack to keep you going until your next meal, these tasty little ‘nut and seed energy squares’ are just what the nutritionist ordered. They’re loaded with protein and fibre to help balance your blood sugar levels and keep sugar cravings at bay. They also contain beneficial fats for good cardiovascular health and brain function. Chia seeds and dates are both great for helping keep you regular too.

 

Ingredients:

16 Medjool dates (seeds removed)

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

2 heaped tbsp chia seeds

3/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup cashews

2 heaped tbsp tahini

1/2 cup puffed brown rice or puffed quinoa

 

Method:

Pulse all dry ingredients in a food processor until ground. Transfer to a bowl.

 

Add Medjool dates and tahini to the food processor and blend until it forms a paste. Add dry ingredients and pulse until well combined.

 

Use your hands to press the mixture into squares and top with a whole almond and some pumpkin seeds.

 

Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Makes around 12-14 squares

Choc Almond & Seed Protein Balls

These super healthy ‘choc almond & seed protein balls’ are just what you need to beat those afternoon munchies. These balls are packed with protein, which is not only essential for repairing and rejuvenating the body, but is also one of the best ways to stop sugar cravings in their tracks. These little beauties are also rich in fibre for good bowel health. The dates will have you as regular as clockwork. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds are both excellent sources of zinc, which is an important mineral for reproductive health for males and females, as well as helping support healthy immune function. Almonds are full of bone strengthening calcium and heart healthy fats. I like to use Sunwarrior fermented brown rice protein powder as it is an excellent source of quality protein, which is easy to digest, and dairy-free so it won’t cause any bloating or wind, which is commonly associated with whey based powders. It is also packed with B vitamins and other health promoting nutrients. I made these protein balls for my little girls lunch box this week. Children need plenty of protein in their diets for optimal growth and development.  If your child goes to a ‘nut-free’ school you can replace the almond butter with tahini, and the almond meal with sesame seeds.

 

Ingredients:

40 dates (sulfur-free)

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2  cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1 Tablespoons cold pressed coconut oil

2 Tablespoons almond butter

5 Tablespoons of chocolate Sunwarrior brown rice protein powder

Almond meal or sesame seeds to roll balls in

 

Method:

Soak dates in warm water for 5 minutes.

Add all dry ingredients to your food processor and pulse until well combined, then pour into a small bowl.

Add dates, coconut oil, almond butter to food processor and blend well.

Pour dry mixture back into food processor and blend well with date mixture.

Make individual balls with mixture and then roll in either almond meal or sesame seeds. Store in the fridge in an air tight container.

Makes a dozen medium sized balls.

Gluten-free Almond & Cacao Banana Loaf

If you love banana bread, like I do, well you are going to absolutely love my ‘gluten-free almond & cacao banana loaf’. It makes an excellent nutritious snack with a cup of tea, or healthy after school treat for your kids. This loaf is packed with protein, which we need to rejuvenate, repair, and to produce hormones in the body, as well as promote the growth of lean muscle. Eating protein with meals is one of the best ways to keep your blood sugar and insulin levels balanced, as well as sugar cravings at bay. This delicious banana loaf is gluten and dairy free so it’s ideal for coealiac and lactose-intolerant individuals. I’ve used coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter which is the perfect brain fuel due to it being abundant in medium-chain fatty acids, which is a fabulous energy source for the brain. Bananas are abundant in potassium, which is vital for cardiovascular health, and high in fibre to help keep you regular and protect you from bowel cancer. Bananas are also one of the few fruits that contain a type of fibre called resistant starch, which supports  the health of the colon by promoting healthy levels of “friendly” intestinal bacteria. Adding cacao to this loaf not only gives a lovely chocolate taste but it gives it a super antioxidant boost.

 

Ingredients:

2 large ripe bananas

¼ cup raw organic honey

3 organic eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 Tbs baking powder (gluten-free)

2 cup of almond meal

3 Tbps cocao powder

Topping:

¼ cup roughly chopped almonds and pepitas

extra 1 tsp raw organic honey

 

Method:

Preheat the oven to 160 *C

Add all ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined.

Pour into a loaf tin.

Then to make the topping use a small bowl to mix a teaspoon of honey through roughly chopped almonds and pepitas, then place on top of loaf.

Bake for 60 minutes, until skewer comes out cleanly from center. If banana loaf starts going too brown cover with foil.

Protein cashew balls

If you’re stuck for some new healthy snack ideas, why don’t you give my protein cashew balls a go. These are one of my families favourites at the moment, and they are so quick and easy to make.  These mouth-watering little balls are packed full of protein goodness to help the body heal and repair. Protein is also important for helping keep blood sugar levels nice and stable and sugar cravings at bay, making these balls ideal for a mid morning or afternoon snack. These nutritious balls will also supply you with zinc for a strong immune system, calcium for strong bones, and unsaturated fats for a healthy heart.

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 cup raw cashews

250g dates (sulfur-free)

½ cup shredded coconut

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

3 Tbps cold pressed organic coconut oil

3 Tbsp of sesame seeds

 

Method:

Soak dates in boiling water for 10 minutes, until soft.

Place nuts, seeds, and coconut in a food processor and blend. You don’t want to grind them too finely though, you want your balls to have some crunch still. Pour into a large mixing bowl.

Place dates and coconut oil in the food processor and blend until a smooth paste. Add mixture to a bowl and mix all ingredients together.

Place sesame seeds on a small plate.

Roll mixture into small balls, using around a tablespoon of mixture, and then roll in sesame seeds.

Place balls on a plate in the fridge for an hour, and then enjoy.