Thursday, 16 August 2012

Green superfood balls

I am very excited to hear that we have a new organic health food shop opening in Discovery Bay very soon called Just Green. I just happened to be google-ing organic produce in Hong Kong when I came across this information . . . this may not be news for some DBers, but I have been out of town for most of the Summer :)  I was in the city recently, and popped into their Wan Chai store to check it out. What a gold mine of organic goodies! I was very pleased to find just about everything on the shelves that I have been sourcing in Australia to make my recipes. Plus they sell dehydrators . . ooh how I'd love one of those one day!

So, I walked out of the shop with quite a few goodies under my arm, including some organic dried spirulina, (I take spirulina in tablet form, but I have never used this superfood in cooking). I say 'cooking' but of course you should always use spirulina raw to preserve its nutritional status. I was thinking about grinding up a scoop of it to add to fresh blended juice smoothies for my girls, but I couldn't resist trying it out in a green superfood treat ball :) Here goes . . . .

Green superfood balls
Each ball provides 1g of spirulina (1-5g per day has been associated with significant health benefits and many people take up to 10g daily). I couldn't resist adding raw cacao (also a superfood), which does tone down the green colour of the ball and adds a mild chocolate flavour. Of course, this is only an obligatory addition in my household :) 

Enjoy 2 balls per day for a wonderful energising, appetite-suppressing, nutrient fix! 
Try to buy certified organic ingredients where possible. 

30g raw pistachios (shelled), for coating
30g desiccated coconut, for coating 
20g dried spirulina pieces (or powder)
20g organic chia seeds
100g fresh coconut 
75g almonds + 75g walnuts (preferably activated)
150g fresh medjool dates
50g organic dried goji berries 
1-2 tsp vanilla bean paste 
20g organic raw cacao powder (optional)

1. Add raw pistachios to the TM bowl and pulse on Turbo 2-3 times. Add desiccated coconut and combine for a few seconds on reverse, speed 3. Set aside in a shallow bowl for coating the balls later.

2. Add spirulina pieces and chia seeds to the TM bowl and grind on speed 9 for 20 seconds. Set aside in separate bowl to the coating ingredients (above).

3. Grate fresh coconut on speed 9 for 10 seconds, set aside with ground spirulina and chia.

4. Add almonds, walnuts and goji berries to the TM bowl and grind on speed 7 for 20 seconds. If you'd like some chunky pieces of nuts in your balls, pulse a portion rather than grind them all.

5. Return the coconut, chia and spirulina to the TM bowl together with the fresh dates, vanilla and raw cacao (optional). Mix on speed 8 for 30 seconds or until the mixture comes together well and is able to be squished and rolled into balls.

6. Roll mixture into small balls. I find it easy to scoop a plastic tbsp up the side of the TM bowl then finish rounding the ball by hand. Coat your superfood balls in a mixture of finely chopped pistachios and desiccated coconut. Makes about 20 balls. Store in the fridge for up to 4 days. 

nutrition tid bits
'Superfood' seems to be the latest buzz word in nutrition these days, and is used to identify any nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. All of the ingredients in this recipe make this renowned list.

Spirulina, is an edible blue-green algae which could in fact be the most nutritious food known. Widely referred to as a 'powerhouse of nutrition', well over 400 scientific studies have proven it's worth. Spirulina is about 60% complete protein, a good source of the healthy omega fats, the highest known source of B12 and betacarotene (precursor to vitamin A), plus it comprises a huge variety of other vital vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, (NaturalNews). I like to buy spirulina as pure sun-dried pieces and grind it into a powder myself, using my Thermomix of course! Spirulina should be kept in an airtight glass jar in the fridge. You can crunch on this green superfood as a snack, add it to salads or in powder form, add it to freshly prepared blended juices or smoothies (as mentioned above), but if all that sounds a little too adventurous, it does go well in these balls I promise :) 

nutrition per ball
protein 3.2g
carbs 4.4g
total fat 8g
saturated fat 2.2g
dietary fibre 1g
kilojoules 403
calories 96

Extra coconut meat from your freshly opened mature coconut, can be used in your CADA breakfast. It will keep for up to 4 days (grated or in pieces) in an airtight container in the fridge. You can also freeze fresh coconut for up to 6 months. 

For more raw treat ball recipes click here.
Find out why and how I use chia in my recipes here.

Find me on Facebook at Mixing it up in HK

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