I know protein ball recipes are ten a penny here on the internets and I’ve tried many a ball recipe on Pinterest with varying degrees of success. However, at the weekend I bought some balls from a local store which were A-Maze-Ing and I really wanted to replicate that taste at home without spending £1 a ball <—-eek! They tasted like
heaven chocolate marzipan. Mmmmm chocolate marzipan…..
Ok so you can’t really call these balls, more like lumps, and foodie photog i am not!
The basis for any protein ball is usually dried stuff like protein powder, nuts, shredded coconut etc mixed with liquids like coconut oil and nut butters to bind them <—– you’re welcome for this explicit and knowledgable explanation of protein balls. For these balls I decided to use dates as a sweet base, I knew I needed almonds for that marzipan taste and I also added chocolate protein powder. They turned out pretty flipping yummy if I do say so myself.
The final recipe (this makes a small amount – I’m fickle with flavours and can’t keep eating the same balls day after day)
Half a cup of dates
Half a cup of ground almonds
Big scoop of protein powder
Generous spoonful of smooth almond butter (or enough to bind)
Blitz away and once the mixture looks like bread crumbs form into balls with your hands.
So you want to be an awesome cyclist like me? (No? Don’t you know i’ve met Victoria Pendleton?) Then follow my recipe for the endurance ride of your life. This ride took place on a lovely sunny Monday evening…
First i selected an approximately two mile route (I wouldn’t go more than 3 miles for this one). A route that just so happened to have a local fayre at the end of it. If you’re a stats person i’d say it had one short hill, approx 7%, but was mostly flat. I can’t tell you true stats as this really wasn’t deserving of a Garmin or Strava outing. Next, cycle at a leisurely pace for the first two miles. It’s important not to exert yourself too much at this point – the real test is yet to come. At one point hubby was shouting at me from about a mile away that he couldn’t ride slowly enough to stay with me. What he didn’t realise was that the dress and leggings i had chosen to wear, instead of that boring lycra, was adding extra resistance and giving me a great workout.
Stop at aforementioned fayre. Wander round for a bit (ah yes cross training with a walk no less) then, and here’s the crucial bit and where the endurance part kicks in, eat a large pot of locally made stew. You know the type that’s probably been stewing since the fayre the year before, full of root vegetables and beans, and so claggy you can feel it sticking to your insides as it goes down? Wander round some more. Admire long forgotten craft forms and spend time looking at and choosing some gorgeous artwork before remembering you cycled there and you’ve no way of getting anything home! Finally, attempt to cycle home on your very full belly!! This works best if you think you know a shortcut to your house which you persuade your husband to take only for it to pretty much take you back from whence you came before taking you under and over a few rolling hills before eventually delivering you home.
I can truly say if you can survive that you can sew that endurance badge on your cycling shorts. I was a whinging moaning mess by the time i got home. Although to be fair it’s not that different from my more serious training rides. I’m pretty sure if Lance Armstrong had read my training book there would have been no need for all that doping!
I’m still in recovery now but i’m pretty sure by this time next year i’ll be ready to do it all again.
On a more serious note, if certain people’s passports turn up in the post in the next few days i’m hoping to whizz off to France for a day or two to catch a snippet of the Tour de France. Exciting stuff.
Anyone else got some training gems to share?
My new healthy breakfast that tastes like a treat!! I add a teaspoonful of hot chocolate powder and a shake each of cinnamon and nutmeg while the oats are cooking in a pan on the hob and it is scrummy! I’m not mad keen on sweet breakfasts – never understood the whole frosties or coco pops thing but the chocolate powder i use is not too sweet and just gives it a lovely flavour and creamy texture. I use this powder from M&S but you could use any you have hanging round the house.
I’ve also added blueberries and sultanas to the bowl so i can legitimately say i’ve had at least one of my five a day before the day has really started. For a protein boost (for all you New Year’s resolutioners) you can add a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder or whip an egg white in while the oats are still cold. If you are trying to keep it heathy make sure you get whole oats not rolled or processed in any way. There’s no need to buy the microwaveable packets either because you can microwave any porridge oats.
Enjoy! Let me know if you try this or you have any other amazing oaty flavours to share. I also love almond and desiccated coconut.
I hope you all had a wonderful New Year’s Eve. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2013!
A bit late to inspire anyone so this is more just a post to show-off!! As i posted last time i hand made a few Christmas pressies this year for my family. I couldn’t post about it because my sister reads my blog and it would’ve spoiled the surprise. So here’s how it all turned out.
Firstly I made toffee for my father in law. This is the single most terrifying thing i have ever cooked. Me being anywhere near boiling fat and sugar seemed like a recipe for disaster but actually it turned out OK. I covered part of the toffee with chocolate and left the other half plain.
Next I made vanilla essence for my Dad, my big sis and my Gran who are all keen bakers (and very accomplished at it too i might add). This just basically involves splitting vanilla pods and adding to vodka. I poured the mix into these cute Kilner bottles. The hardest part of this recipe is trying not to drink all the vodka (particularly while trying to steady nerves when making toffee!!) – especially after you’ve added the vanilla as it smells divine.
I then placed stickers on the bottles that i found here. The finished product is below. The essence slowly turns brown and is ready to use in three months.
Finally I made candied nuts for my mother in law. These are super easy to make – you whisk up an egg with a load of sugar and whatever spice you wish to use (i used cinnamon on pecans and almonds) then bake on a really low heat, turning occasionally, for an hour. A side effect is that the house smells amazing for a good while after (and you get to eat any nuts that don’t fit in the jars or that happen to fall into your mouth!!).
I put the toffee and nuts into Kilner jars and added labels that I found here. It’s amazing that such talented people are willing to share things like this. I’m sure you’ll agree they are great.
I’m really pleased with the results and my recipients seemed to be happy. Above all no-one has seemed to suffer any poisoning after eating any of the products i made. So that’s a bonus.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Looking forward to the New Year now.