If you are anything like me, you spend a lot of time thinking about your nutritional approach for both longevity and sports performance. There seem to be all sorts of camps in the field of nutrition these days: vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, omnivores and carnivores all seem to be convinced that their approach is right. And this subject certainly provokes a lot of very heated reaction any time it is brought up. I will certainly discuss my experience of learning from people that fall into all of the aforementioned categories in a separate post soon. For now, suffice it to say that I believe that no single approach is right for everyone. We will certainly need to stratify people based on their individual reactions to various food groups to determine which diet is likely to be the most beneficial one for them. The one thing that most experts tell us, no matter which side they are on, is that we are all consuming too many processed foods. I certainly agree with that and I am making a conscious effort to reduce their presence in my diet.
As a self experiment, I recently embarked on a two month vegetarian diet to see how my body responds to it. This is a fairly logical progression in the dietary changes I have been implementing over the past couple of years which involved reducing the quantity of meat and dairy products that I consume. As a result of that, I have been developing and altering a lot of vegetarian and vegan recipes. The one that I am particularly excited to share is the homemade high protein vegan energy balls. The reason behind this is the fact that (aside from the vegan protein powder) they contain minimally processed or unprocessed ingredients. Over the past year I found myself resorting to a lot of protein bars and snacks to fuel my triathlon, ultra running and Taekwondo training as well as keeping my body fat percentage low. I know, however, that such a way of eating is not going to be beneficial for me long term and hence the idea for a homemade replacement for these products. I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do!
- 200 grams of rolled oats
- 30 grams of sesame seeds
- 40 grams of chia seeds
- 50 grams of vegan protein powder (choose your favourite flavour here – I use either peanut chocolate or unflavoured)
- 20 grams raw cacao powder
- 120 grams smooth almond butter
- 60 grams raisins
- 250 mL of water
The amounts given above yield 10 medium sized balls with approximately 230 kcal per ball.
- add all the ingredients listed above to a large bowl and use your hands to mix them well – see the image below (you will need to get your hands messy with this one but it’s a delicious mess, I promise!)
- use the palms of your hands to roll the mass into medium sized balls
- place the balls on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil or baking paper
- leave in the fridge overnight to set
- store the balls in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week