Sunday, 11 March 2018

The only [energy] balls you need in your life

I’ve tried lots of energy ball recipes and they were all loaded with either far too many dates or nuts and not enough protein, if any. This is why I came up with the following recipe – it saves me spending a fortune on less than ideal energy balls and has turned out to be the perfect sweet treat or snack to take on the go.

It took quite a bit of playing around with and the milk ratio varies a lot depending on what protein powder you use. I use vegan protein, which is super thick (so needs more liquid). However, I recently discovered that when making these for one of my friends using her beef isolate protein, it needs virtually no liquid as the beef protein causes everything to miraculously turn to water (oatmeal included! Sad times).

I’ve therefore included a range with the almond milk so adjust accordingly depending on what protein you’re using. I originally made these with vegan vanilla protein but tried it with chocolate and think it's just as delicious. So I've included two variations – one vanilla and one chocolate. How original..!

Vegan vanilla and cinnamon balls

(makes 8 balls)
  •  1 scoop protein of choice - vanilla or chocolate 
  •  ½ cup oats
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  •  4 pitted ‘normal’ dates or 2 pitted medjool dates as they’re much bigger
  •  2 tbsp almond butter
  • ¼ cup almond milk if using vegan protein OR 3 tbsp almond milk if using beef isolate protein (I haven’t tried using whey as I don't consume dairy but if you are using it I’d imagine it’s around 4 tbsp. If anyone tries it with whey, let me know!)
  •  Extra desiccated coconut to roll the balls in afterwards

FOR VANILLA: add ½ tsp ground cinnamon
FOR CHOCOLATE: add 1 tbsp raw cacao powder

This is the texture you're looking for - see point 3 below for more detail 

  1. Firstly decide on if you’re making vanilla or chocolate!
  2. Then place all relevant ingredients into a food processor depending on which flavour you’re going for.
  3. Blend until the mixture looks like a crumb but enough so that there are no lumps of date left (see above photo). You don't want to over-blend it so that it turns into a paste. The mixture shouldn't stick to the sides of the food processor or the blade. It should, however, be easy to pick up and stick together when pressed.
  4. Once you have the right consistency, wet your hands and begin to form the mixture into small balls. Wetting your hands stops any mixture sticking to you and saves so much mess!
  5. Make sure you press each ball firmly together and then roll into a bowl of the extra desiccated coconut.
  6. Place on a plate and then refrigerate for at least 10 minutes to firm up.

You’ll be addicted from first bite so apologies in advance..! Let me know if you make them and tag me on insta @jesssriv!

Jess x

The perfect cakey consistency. Because who doesn't love tea and cake..?

Saturday, 10 March 2018

15-minute red lentil dhal

This is my go-to vegan protein source when I haven’t had time to soak any beans, chickpeas or other lentils etc. Red lentils don't need to be soaked but they DO have to be rinsed thoroughly. That, I do have time for as it takes about 3 minutes to do and increases the ease of digestion so much more. 

I have made this recipe countless times and it always seems to go down really well when I make it for other people too. I often cook a whole 500g packet of lentils and it’ll then last me a few days. This recipe, however, is for 3 people or 3 meals but it can easily be doubled. 

For any left over lentils, I store them in a tupperware. They will solidify on cooling so when it comes to reheating, just place them in a pan with enough water to regain the correct consistency and voila, you've got another amazing meal!

  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Few grinds of pink salt
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 handfuls of fresh coriander, finely chopped 

The perfect vegan dinner party set up: red lentil dhal, sticky tahini brown rice and garlicky sautéed veggies
  1. Thoroughly rinse the lentils in fresh water and keep repeating until the water runs clear. It’ll start off very cloudy but after about 4-5 rinses it’ll begin to look clear.
  2. Mix up the vegetable stock and add to the rinsed and drained lentils along with the turmeric, cumin, chilli, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for about 15 minutes or until the lentils are completely soft and all the stock has been absorbed.
  4. If at any point in the cooking process the lentils begin to stick to the bottom of the pan, just add more water. The exact ratios of stock/water to lentils doesn't matter as much as it does for rice IMO. So adding some extra liquid in mid-cooking isn’t an issue at all.
  5. Whilst the lentils are simmering, heat the olive oil in a clean frying pan.
  6. Add in the garlic and onions and sauté until the onions have softened and browned.  
  7. During this time the lentils should be cooked. Add them to the frying pan and stir well so that everything is nicely combined.
  8. Once cooked, add in the fresh coriander and serve. I like to have mine with brown rice and veggies (as shown above).

Enjoy and let me know if you try them on my insta @jesssriv!

Jess x
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