Little energy balls of dried apricots and coconut rolled in crunchy chia seeds for a quick energy pick-me-up. (Skip to recipe)
Yes, it's only the third day of Spring and we've had as big a snowstorm as any we've had all winter. Last night, driving home from visiting friends in the city, the roads were treacherous and visibility was awful as the headlights cut only a few feet in front of the vehicle in the mesmerizing swirling snow.
It snowed all day and all night yesterday, and driving to yoga this morning, the roads were still bad, but by the time I came home, the sun was shining and the snow had stopped. Just that quickly we can go from despair at our fickle weather, to shining hope that Spring will soon show itself.
I came home feeling great after my yoga session and inhaled a couple Apricot Orange Energy Balls. Yummeeeeee - a great bite-sized little snack to nibble on whenever you need a bit of healthy energy.
Which I'm definitely needing a lot these days - I've finished Day 18 of my 30-Day Yoga Challenge! Yup, I've only missed three days (I can't make it on Saturdays because I teach kindergarten at the German School and they have no late afternoon or evening classes at the yoga studio those days) and I think I'm getting into the rhythm. I'm slowly moving out of the 'class dummy' spot - I'm not one move behind everyone else anymore. I'm not landing on my nose when I try to do the plank. I'm not wimping-out into the resting pose every few minutes (well, maybe still occasionally), and I'm even flinching less as I straighten up from some deep bend that I swear I'll never get myself out of.
My only injury so far has been a pulled groin muscle as I was rolling up my mat after class - yes, it is possible, I'm especially talented - I slipped in a puddle of sweat beside my mat, and my foot went flying out sideways (laugh all you want, but it hurt). I looked a little funny going up the stairs for a few days, but all is fine now.
I think I'm loving this sweating-like-a-leaking-sieve, breathing-like-Darth-Vader, and stretching parts of my body in ways I never thought they could stretch, all in a steamy 38°C room with a bunch of like-minded souls. There's something deeply satisfying about it all - especially when the hour is over and I realize, to my surprise, I've survived . . . again.
I'm starting to feel quite limber and there's a spring in my step.
And these yummy little balls of energy have been a great snack after workouts. Don't let their crackly, scaly look fool you - these little balls provide a burst of zippy flavour when you bite into their soft, dense, yolk-yellow insides. The crunchy chia outsides look like some prehistoric reptile life-form so I can't help but call them 'Little Dinosaur Eggs'. Chia seeds are amazing tiny kernels of goodness - nature's superfood, rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein, and nutrients.
Make yourself a big jug of refreshing cucumber mint Wonder Water and snack on a couple Dinosaur Eggs, and you'll feel light and energized.
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Kitchen Frau Notes: The amount of orange juice you need depends on how moist your dried apricots are. When I use the regular ones from Costco, which are very moist, I only need 2 tablespoons of orange juice.
I also like to use natural unsulphured dried apricots when I can find them. They are drier and dark brown in colour because they haven't been treated with sulphate, so they are a healthier option. If they are too dry, they should be covered with boiling water and soaked for 20 to 30 minutes until they are pliable, then drained well and measured.
You can also roll the balls in poppy seeds or finely shredded unsweetened coconut. They don't look as much like dinosaur eggs, but are still tasty.
Apricot Orange Energy Balls (Little Dinosaur Eggs)
- 2 cups (170gms) unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1¼ cups packed dried apricots (250gms)
- 2 teaspoons orange zest - from an organic orange, if possible
- 2 tablespoons honey, maple syrup, or raw agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 - 3 tablespoons freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 6 tablespoons chia seeds, poppy seeds, or fine shredded coconut
If the dried apricots are soft and pliable, they will be fine to use as is. However, if they are dry and hard, cover them in boiling water and let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes, until they are soft and pliable. Drain them well and pat them dry with a paper towel, then measure them.
Place the shredded coconut into the bowl of a food processor and blend until finely ground. Add the soft dried apricots, orange zest, honey, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons orange juice.
Pulse with the food processor, stopping often to push the mixture back down with a spatula, until the mixture spins freely around the bowl. Add additional orange juice if it seems too dry. The mixture will be quite stiff, but should be sticky when you pinch a small amount between your fingers. With my food processor, I find I have to stop often and pat the mixture back down between the blades, until it finally starts moving around the bowl on its own.
Remove the blade apparatus and scrape the mixture into a smaller bowl, if desired. Place the chia seeds or coconut into a small bowl. Roll the energy ball mixture into 1" (2.5cm) balls and roll in your coating of choice.
Store the ball in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks, or freeze them.
Makes 32 Apricot Orange Energy balls.
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