I’m so excited about these! The idea came about when I was in New York three months ago and fueled my extensive walking with Lärabars. I’d heard about them and always wanted to try them, so I jumped at the chance and, as you can probably tell from the picture below, I really liked them!
My favorite flavor kept changing, but overall I’m pretty sure it was the Peanut Butter and Jelly one, which is why I set out to recreate it. Looking at the ingredients and seeing just dates, dried cherries and peanuts, I knew it would be easy to make these at home and I was so right. I decided to make them as energy balls, as, let’s face it, that’s way more fun to make. (I absolutely love rolling the mix into balls and it makes me feel like I’m in a Deliciously Ella video – hers being the first energy ball recipe I came in contact with).
Anyway, back to these yummy energizers. They’re super simple and they consist only of four ingredients, which are pretty easy to get your hands on. While I’m a sucker for hemp and chia and all the other “superfood”-y ingredients you often find in energy balls, let’s not forget that an energy ball can be something very simple as well. And, let’s face it, that 1% of maca or whatever is not going to change your life. Dates and peanuts are perfectly common and widely available ingredients, but come with their own impressive array of benefits. So do the dried cherries, which really give these bites a wonderfully sweet, jammy flavor that goes so well with the peanuts. The flaxseeds I just added because I add them to anything – they’re a great source of omega 3 fatty acids and their regular consumption is linked to positive health benefits, such as lowered risk of breast and prostate cancer.
When I first made these I was so delighted to discover they taste just as good if not better than my beloved Lärabar. When I first tasted one, I sincerely regretted having no one to go to in my little student flat and go “omg how good are these???” The only friend within walking distance is deathly allergic to peanuts, so I set about typing up the recipe here instead 🙂
PB & J inspired Energy Balls
Makes: 10 energy balls
- 200g Medjool dates or ca. 15 (apparently you can use other kinds, but may have to soak them in hot water first to get the desired squidgy consistency)
- 65g or 1/2 cup peanuts; unsalted*
- 65g or roughly 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1 heaped tbsp flaxseeds
- optional: pinch of salt
*Alternatively you can use peanut butter. While I don’t have the exact quantity for this version, I suggest starting with ca. 3 tbsp and testing taste and consistency as you go along.
- Grind up the peanuts in the food processor with the flaxseeds till only a few sporadic chunks are left. Pit the dates and process all of the ingredients together until you’re left with a nice sticky mix.
- Now, the best part (besides eating them obviously): take some of the mix and roll it into a nice little ball. Put aside and repeat. Store these in the fridge or freeze (or just eat them straight away – you can always make more…).
Feel Good Fact #1: The natural sugars in dates not only make them taste divine, but also are a great source of energy. The high fiber content of the dates prevents blood sugar levels from skyrocketing – especially in combination with the low glycemic peanuts – providing a steady source of energy.
Feel Good Fact #2: Cherries contain powerful antioxidants which combat free radical damage and they have been shown to reduce inflammation.