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!)
Looking for more AIP on the go snacks?
I’ve got aaaaaall of them – both ready made and diy recipes – in my 50+ AIP Portable & Easy Emergency Food Recipes post!Print
Sweet & Salted Energy Balls
- Yield: 18 energy balls 1x
- 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.
If you have to avoid coconut for allergies, you can either omit it completely, or throw in some extra plantain chips to make up for the texture lost. The coconut gives a more chewy bar, but isn’t essential to hold everything together.
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.
This recipe was included in the Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable.
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.
Thanks so much! Just the kind of recipe I was hoping to find, i.e., an aip-friendly portable snack. Just recently found out that my hypothyroidism is an autoimmune condition so tasty snacks w/o eggs or nuts are always much appreciated. And glad you took some time to nourish your self; what a person does should bring them joy and, if you don’t care for you, that won’t happen. Take care and thrive!
Thank you for your kind words, Doreen. So happy these will work for you — I actually just sent my husband off with a few of these for the road this afternoon 🙂
I for one, am very glad you decided to find your little corner of the internet and share your wonderful recipes. I too, suffer from insufferable negative self talk and perfectionism and am not grave enough to put myself out into the inter-world.
I’m currently in the middle of an AI flare, all my systems are haywire. It sucks. It is pretty frustrating to do all the “right” things and yet…
I just wanted to let you know I appreciate all the recipes you test and share and your book is my very favorite! I use it every week, some of the pages are stuck together and it opens automatically to my favorite recipe Beef and Broccoli Slaw Stirfry. Thank you for helping make this journey tastier!
The internet can definitely be a little scary and intimidating sometimes. And even after having a cookbook published, I still often have what a friend calls “Imposter Syndrome” moments. It’s hard to be vulnerable, but I’m grateful to have had some wonderful support from people right at those vulnerable times. I hear you on the frustrating flare front! (I feel like I should start using that as an acronym, ha!). I have to try extra hard to be kind to myself in those times instead of taking out the frustration on myself, but it’s definitely a habit I have to cultivate because it doesn’t come naturally. Yet! I figure the more I practice that self care thing, I’ll get there eventually 🙂
Aaaanyway, before I ramble off some more — thank you for stopping by and sharing with me. And for the kind words about my recipes, too. Sometimes it feels a little lonely in a giant sea of food bloggers, so I appreciate you reaching out to me. Big hugs to you! 🙂
Hello. Are the plantains a texture thing or a taste thing. Allergic and wondering about maybe dried apples instead. Thanks!
Hey there! The plantains add texture since they’re crispy-crunchy and also the salted element. You can omit them and sub in extra coconut, if you like. Banana chips would have more of the similar texture, but I suspect those might not be an option either, allergy-wise? You can add the dried apples if you wish, but they’ll just get blended up with the other dried fruit (or could be substituted for some of the dried fruit in the recipe if you wanted). Hope that helps!
Thank you for this recipe! These are delicious! They come together so easily and are just the type of snack that I need to make to take “on the go”. I also like that it uses plantain chips, since I also love the sweet/salty combo and it is really hard to find banana chips that aren’t “sweetened” with sugars, honey, etc. I added collagen powder to mine per your suggestion to add a little protein as well. Fantastic!
I’m so happy you’re enjoying these, Gretchen. It’s so hard to find unsweetened banana chips, especially if you’re looking to avoid the ones that add banana flavor, too. If you’re still on the look out for other on the go options, I did a post that you might find useful on what I nicknamed “emergency foods” here. Sweet and savory is my favorite, too 🙂