snack

Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls

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I love when two things that are great on their own come together to make something even greater. Like peanut butter and chocolate, chips and salsa, champagne and orange juice. Am I right? And now, pumpkin spice and energy balls! Oh yes, a match made in heaven and just in time for the fall pumpkin season. These healthy pumpkin spice energy balls are quick, easy and make a great snack or sweet treat.

Pumpkin is the hot flavor right now, thanks to the #PSL trend and I’m getting right on that train. I can’t go anywhere without seeing a pumpkin flavored food or drink. And for good reason, really. All of the warm, delicious spices that come with pumpkin flavor like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and clove. I think those spices elicit a warm cozy feeling reminiscent of cold nights by the fire and family feasts at holidays.

So, let’s talk more about pumpkin and the nutritional benefits because there are a few.

·      Beta carotene – an anti-oxidant that is a precursor to Vitamin A, which protects against inflammation and helps keep eyes and skin healthy

·      Vitamin C – fights free radicals and increases immune health

·      Fiber- regulates blood sugar, decreases LDL, helps with digestion and keeps you feeling full longer

·      Magnesium (very common nutritional deficiency)– essential for bone and heart health

·      Low in calories and carbohydrates – about 50 calories and 10g carbohydrates per ½ cup

I actually made these pumpkin spice energy balls by accident, which is probably how many great recipes are born. I was making the cinnamon energy balls, yet again, for another baseball tournament (for the boys between games when they have a double header) and saw some leftover pumpkin puree I used for a test recipe. It was going to be cold that night at the games and pumpkin sounded good so I made another batch, changed it up a bit and added the pumpkin. I didn’t have high hopes for them but they ended up being a big hit with the boys and the parents.

These pumpkin spice energy balls can be totally customizable. You can use a different nut, add nut butter, add oats or oat flour in place of almond flour, use honey instead of maple syrup or leave the sweetener out, add collagen powder or use all cinnamon instead of pumpkin pie spice. I love when I’m able to customize a recipe to fit my dietary needs or taste preferences.


Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls - Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free

Healthy, quick and easy pumpkin spice energy balls make a great snack or sweet treat.

Makes: 12-15 balls

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Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup almonds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas
  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 2 Tbsp pure pumpkin
  • 1/8 cup almond flour
  • 1 ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Instructions:
  1. Add almonds, pepitas and dates to food processor. Pulse until you get small crumbles.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until well mixed.
  3. With wet hands, roll into balls. Place balls on parchment lined plate or baking sheet and refrigerate.
  4. Store in airtight container for 1 week.
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Happy fall ya’ll! I hope you have a great fall season. I’m planning to enjoy the great weather we are having and get in all the essential activities like the pumpkin patch and apple orchard. And of course enjoy some pumpkin treats like these.

Cheers!

Lin

Cinnamon Energy Bites

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Energy balls or energy bites or protein balls or whatever you want to call them.  These damn delicious little things are the best to have around for a quick snack, sweet treat or to take them on the go instead of a bar.

My son loves all things cinnamon like ice cream, bagels and of course snickerdoodle cookies. So, I used cinnamon for the inspiration for this recipe hoping he would like them. Are all kids this hard to please? Really, I made these for his baseball tournament last weekend and they ended up being a big hit in the dugout. Don’t freak out, I asked about allergies before passing them around.

These bites only require a few steps and they have lots of goodness inside. I used chia seeds, which you can find out more on their nutrition benefits here and they contain dates for a natural sweetener. I made 2 versions, one with protein powder and one without. I use Vega Organic Proteins and Greens powder, which has stevia making the bites have a bit of sweetener aftertaste. Both are good, just a little different.

Cinnamon Energy Bites

Ingredients:

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  • 1 cup pitted dates (about 15)

  • 1 cup nuts (I used almonds and cashews)

  • 2 T nut butter (I used almond butter)

  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder or 1 scoop collagen protein (optional)

  • 2 T chia seeds

  • 1/2 t vanilla extract

  • 1 t cinnamon plus more for coating

  • 1/4-1/2 t sea salt

  • water

  • coconut sugar for coating (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add nuts and dates to food processor and pulse until small crumbles.

  2. Add nut butter, protein powder, chia seeds, vanilla, cinnamon and salt.

  3. Add water 1 T at a time until ingredients are well blended and forms a paste. I used 4 T water with protein powder and 2-3 T without.

  4. With wet hands, roll into balls.

  5. Mix cinnamon with coconut sugar and roll ball in mixture if desired. Just do it!

  6. Place balls on parchment lined baking sheet or plate and place in refrigerator to set.

  7. Store in airtight container for 1 week.

I hope you enjoy these little bites as much as we do. Just don't forget to share =)

Lin