The story of how my delicious Paleo Balls came to be is a simple one. My body was having a rough time ingesting enough calories relying on solely powdered fueling during long bike rides and races. So it inspired me to get a little crazy in the kitchen.
What ensued was a gluten free, raw, vegan, anti-inflammatory, Paleo-friendly, whole food, all natural form of fueling packed into one epic ball!
What you'll need
- Food Processor. Mine gets a ton of use in my kitchen.
- 1/2 Cups of raw nuts of your choice. (I usually go for almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds)
- 1/4-1/3 Cup nut butter of your choice.
- 2 Honey Stinger Waffles
- 1 Cup ground up equal parts of flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, more nuts I have lying around the pantry, and raw shelled hemp hearts. For this I use my Magic Bullet. But I've also found an espresso/coffee grinder works great too (just make sure to clean out any leftover coffee grinds, though I've also experimented with leaving them in for an extra kick.)
- 1/3 Cup Dehydrated fruit of your choice (I use dried apples, apricots, and prunes)
- 2-3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 Tbsp Molasses. I use a pomegranate molasses from a little store called Savory Spice, and I have to say that it takes the deliciousness to a whole new level. (You can substitute honey for the molasses if you're more of a honey fan. I've tried them both ways, and they seem to turn out better with the molasses).
- 2-3 Tbsp Cocoa Nibs (more if you're a big chocolate fan).
- 2 Tbsp Bee Pollen Extract
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Flakes (optional if you're a coconut fan. I personally am not, so I usually don't use as much as I could).
Here's a tip: Traditionally I make my own almond butter. So if I'm making both almond butter and Paleo Balls on the same day, I'll make my almond butter first, and leave about 1/4 cup of it in the food processor and add my PB's ingredients accordingly. (Any of you who hand wash their processor post nut-butter-making will appreciate this).
Put your nuts, nut butter, Honey Stinger waffles, ground up mixture, coconut oil, and bee pollen extract in the processor and process for about 30 seconds to a minute. Then start adding a little of your dehydrated fruit at a time, and then your molasses, coconut flakes and cocoa nibs slowly. After the fruit is all in, you'll start to notice the consistency change as the ingredients start sticking together to form more of a gooey clump. This is what you want. I like to pulse my cocoa nibs around a bit, to ensure they distribute evenly throughout the mixture.
Then start rolling them in your hands to form little balls, and set on a plate or in a Pyrex dish. Chill them in the fridge for 30-60 minutes, or eat right away if you can't wait anymore. I store mine in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. They also maintain their deliciousness in zip lock baggies stuffed into jersey pockets all day long. (I've even accidentally left them in my camelback, and eaten them a few days later on a ride, and they're still great!)
The beauty is that once you get the hang of them, you can custom tailor yours to whatever your heart desires! A girlfriend of mine has gone so far as to put kale in hers.
And as far as race fuel, my tummy is now a very happy camper. Because of the different forms of healthy fats and slower burning carbs, I feel sustained eating one Ball every 2-3 hours. But that's just what works for me. Play hard, fuel your body with real food, and enjoy!