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Posted on 27 February, 2017 in Updates, Tips & Tricks

Protein balls – diet fad or must have?

By Binns Rebecca

A healthy snack for the whole family

Protein balls, bliss balls, energy bites. These little balls have become the gems of the lunchbox and snack world for both kids and grown-ups! So simple to make at home and they are found at every self-respecting café committed to healthy options. They sound so good for us and are filled with such delicious ingredients, but how many is too many and are they as blissful for us as they sound?

Image of protein balls and a shake

They taste too good to be true

Filled with delicious and nutritious ingredients –  protein balls must be good for us, right? They can be! Just be mindful that a huge amount of energy is packed into those unsuspecting balls.

Protein balls make a super-convenient snack before your gym workout as a hit of sustained energy. Post workout, the protein can go towards replenishing your body as it enters recovery mode.

They will also satisfy the 3pm sugar low and the inclusion of protein in this recipe can assist to keep your metabolism firing and your hunger in check between meals.

Busy kids love these healthy snacks as surprises in their lunch boxes and they’re perfect for kids who are non-stop active and on the go.

Everything in moderation

There is no denying that a protein ball is a perfect way to stave off the after-dinner chocolate craving, but we also need to remember that magical world of balance and moderation.

Urrggh those three words! Everything…in…moderation. Yuck. But in the instance of protein balls, it is very true! Protein balls have a valued place in your weekly meal plan and as a handy go-to snack when you are out and about. But only as a ‘sometimes food’.

All shapes and sizes

Who has seen some protein balls the size of a child’s fist? They are too big and too much energy for a daily intake.  Smaller protein balls about the size of a 20c piece are your best way to a balanced portion.

Hazard warning! Check your ingredients

Two things to watch for:

  1. More often than not protein balls will contain nuts of some description. This is very important to remember when packing for school lunches and those with nut allergies.
  2. Not all balls are created equal. Quite often the sneaky protein ball’s cousin – the bliss ball disguises itself as being healthy but is packed with condensed milk, sweeteners, choc chips and other guilty pleasures

Come and get ‘em at The Wellness Café

The Wellness Café at Mingara sells one of the best ranges of protein balls on the Central Coast and is located close to Mingara Aquatics and Mingara One Fitness. It’s the perfect location for a snack before Learn to Swim or after your workout.

Wellness Café Choc Protein Balls recipe

Addicted already? Try making these delights at home for yourself – no bake, no mess, no fuss and freezable! This recipe should make approximately 18 protein balls.

Ingredients:

  • 100g almond meal
  • 180g dried dates
  • 40g 100% chocolate whey protein powder
  • 20g high-quality cacao powder
  • 20g coconut oil
  • A small amount of water
  • Desiccated coconut for rolling

Method:

  • Soak the dates in enough cold water to just cover the dates
  • Grab a large sized bowl
  • Add the protein powder
  • Add the almond meal
  • Add the cacao powder
  • Add the coconut oil
  • Combine in a mix master
  • Drain the dates (which should have softened)
  • Tip the dates into a food processor/Ninja or blender that will get the job done and blitz
  • Add the processed dates to the dry mixture in the mix master
  • Use the mix master to mix to a dough consistency. Consistency is perfect when there is no mixture on the side of the bowl
  • A bit too dry? Try adding very small amounts of water at a time
  • Pour a cup of desiccated coconut onto a plate
  • Use a teaspoon to roll small heaped teaspoons of the mix into balls using the palms of your hand
  • Roll in the coconut to coat the ball
  • Set aside while you roll the remainder

Refrigerate and enjoy!

All too hard?

Image of The Wellness Café

Pick up your next stash of Choc Protein Balls from the Wellness Café
at Mingara Recreation Club.

Click here for trading times and the Wellness Café menu.

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