Well, hello there! I know you came here for the energy balls (TWSS), so I’ll make this quick…
It’s been a quiet time here lately, but don’t worry: I didn’t run off to another continent or get kidnapped by unfriendly extraterrestrials. I just realized some time around the end of July that I really, really needed a break. A recharge and refuel, so to speak.
Usually I stick to the food here and I don’t tend to talk too much about myself. But while I don’t mention it too often, the fact is that I have Hashimoto’s and I simply can’t always do what I want to do (blog often and take pretty pictures) without taking care of myself. And sometimes, taking care of myself means stepping away from the blogging side of me to really nourish and invigorate the rest of me. Summer seemed like a perfect time to do that and for the whole of August and a little of this month, I just stepped back. I didn’t blog, do anything with social media or write down a single recipe. And it was glorious.
I put a lot of pressure on myself because I’m an insanely unforgiving perfectionist. And I have a habit of negatively talking to myself that is, frankly, darn unhealthy. Sometimes I get trapped in the mire of comparing myself to other people and allowing myself to feel inadequate as a result. And to be honest, blogging takes that negative self esteem and puts it right under the microscope.
The internet, man. It can be both my lifeline and a really neat path straight to self immolation. I’m first in line for fire starter when it comes to feeling like I don’t blog / cook / social media guru / fake perfection as well as everyone else appears to do. Throw me on that pyre of “not-good-enough” and I’ll probably strike the match myself. Which is not cool and clearly an area that I need to work on, personally.
So, like I said, I took a break. I got a little introspective. I worked out that I need to let go of worrying about other people and spent some time thinking about what truly makes me happy. And, surprise! It’s not pageviews or sponsored posts or Anthropologie envy or any of that other blogger nonsense. It’s creating and sharing and ENGAGING with people here. It’s not getting sucked into the vortex of being a “successful” blogger (whatever the hell that means).
It’s making this little corner of the internet mine; it’s sharing my creativity and creating beautiful, nourishing food; it’s honestly doing my own goddamn thing, whether it’s the “right” way to do things or not. And I’d love it if you joined me here to talk food, recipes, autoimmunity or just plain ol’ life. What have I helped you with in the past? And how can I help you in the future?
And on that note, this recipe for Sweet & Salted Energy Balls is a conundrum-buster, since it perfectly solves the problem of needing an allergy friendly, AIP, nut & seed free portable snack that doesn’t need refrigeration! These little bites are perfect for popping into lunch boxes, snack packs and purses. Or just for leaving in your car. (What? I get hangry at random times and places!)
These energy balls are a whiz to make, no cook and deceptively rich despite their simple ingredients. I’ll be the first to confess that I’m a fan of anything “salted”, but the contrast of salty and sweet in these little guys is great, thanks to crispy-tasty flecks of plantain chips in a not-too-sweet fruit mixture. If you want to add some extra nutritional oomph, you could try adding a scoop or so of collagen peptides to the mix — I’ll test that out next time I make these! If you’d like to make these into bars instead of energy balls, use this method. And if you’re looking for another portable AIP snack, my Sweet & Salted Granola is another great option. (Told you I like anything sweet with the addition of a little salt!)
This recipe was included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.
- 1 cup / 160 g dried black mission figs
- 1 cup / 150 g dried golden raisins
- 1 cup / 150 g dried tart cherries, dried strawberries or dried apricots
- 2 cups / 140 g plantain chips or plantain strips
- 1 cup / 60 g shredded unsweetened coconut (see notes)
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ - ½ tsp fine sea salt (see notes)
- PROCESS: Remove and discard the fig stems. Add all the dried fruits to the bowl of a large food processor and process until all the fruits are finely chopped and beginning to fold in on themselves from the side of the bowl. Add all the remaining ingredients (except the salt, see notes) and continue to process until the plantain chips and coconut are incorporated and the mixture begins to resemble wet sand and begins to stick together. The mixture is done when it sticks & holds together when pinched between your fingers.
- ROLL: Use a 2 tbsp / 30 ml measuring spoon to press the mixture into lightly until the spoon is filled and level. Scoop out the measured mixture and squeeze it together a few times before rolling it into a ball between your two hands. Repeat until all the mixture is used up.
- STORE: Because these don't have any added oils or sweeteners, they should keep for a few weeks in an airtight container at room temperature -- if they don't get eaten long before then! They'll also keep nicely wrapped up tightly in the fridge for several weeks and the freezer for a few months for whenever you want a little sweet treat.
The amount of salt you add will depend on the saltiness of the plantain chips or strips you use. If your plantains are salted, taste the mixture in the food processor before adding any salt, just in case!
If you're following the AIP, make sure to choose dried fruits that haven't been coated in vegetable / canola / sunflower / safflower oils, as these are not compliant. It's best if you choose unsweetened dried fruits wherever possible.
Oh! And after talking about kicking my perfectionism in the face, here’s a peek at the real, un-fancy setup I used to take these photos! Yup, that’s my really tiny couch.
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