Meal Prep Monday
When I first started practicing yoga regularly, I found that running to practice straight from bed, or work, without having eaten anything left me pondering what would be my post-yoga snack during savasana. However, eating too much before class left me feeling a little less able to tighten my core! That's why I knew I needed a solid pre-workout snack to keep me going. Fat, fiber, protein, caffeine, potassium, anti-inflammatories -- all in a one inch circumference.
Energy balls seem complicated, and pictures on social media can make them seem fancy, but once you understand their composition, substitutions become easy. The basic formula is simple. Something solid, like a nut, to make a flour; something wet like an oil, nut butter or dates or a combination to bind. A spice or powder to flavor.
The cool thing about energy balls is that, once you understand what binds them together, you can go crazy with how you flavor them. Want some omega-3s? Add in some chia! Love chocolate? Flavor them with cacao powder. They're like the monster cookies of health food. If it's in your pantry and you'd put it on yogurt, or in oatmeal, it probably would be perfect in an energy ball.
There are all sorts of energy ball recipes out there, but today I'm giving you one of my fall go-tos. These feature turmeric, a spice that receives a lot of hype, but often is misused in the health food world. Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory, but isn't easily absorbed into the body. Curcumin, what makes it so yellow, and so good for you, has a low bio-availability and needs it's own little formula to help you best reap its benefits. It's also a wonderful spice in curries, but it's not such a great spice added to a juice. First, you need a healthy fat, like coconut oil. Next, you need piperine, better known as cracked black pepper. Without these two things, you're just eating nutrients for nutrients sake, and turmeric is a little too astringent for that!
These balls take less than ten minutes to make, and if you don't like cinnamon and turmeric, switch up the spices to your own pantry favorites! If you want to add protein, try mixing in the nut butter of your choice!
Turmeric Energy Balls
Yields 15 balls, store in freezer and eat as your heart desires
1 cup walnuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
Hefty shake cinnamon, hefty shake turmeric, few grinds cracked black pepper
Optional- coat in unsweetened organic coconut flakes
Pulse walnuts and rolled oats in food processor until coarse, add dates and continue to pulse until coarse. If you prefer more smooth, pulse until walnuts fine, but the crunch is great! Add cinnamon, turmeric and pepper, pulse again. Add vanilla and coconut oil and blend until mixes together. Roll into one inch balls, freeze and enjoy!