October 17, 2013

Pumpkin Stuffed Energy Balls


If I had to think of the one thing I make the most often in my kitchen, it would probably be energy balls. I almost always keep a stash in my office fridge as quick and healthy snacks to have on hand when afternoon hunger strikes, or before I head out for one of my exercise classes on campus.

Usually I'll just throw together random ingredients in my food processor until I get a mixture that holds together enough to roll into bite-sized balls. My general combo is nuts (I like raw almonds), oats, dates for stickiness and sweetness, either almond butter or peanut butter, and maybe some extra sweetener and a dash of cinnamon for more flavour.

With fall in full swing and pumpkin recipes everywhere, I was inspired to try something a bit different this time by making pumpkin flavoured energy balls.

Actually, make that double pumpkin stuffed energy balls! Not only does the base of the mixture include pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice, but I filled each one with a smooth and slightly sweet pumpkin hummus.


I admit that these were a bit more time-consuming and difficult to make than my usual energy balls, but it was a fun little kitchen project to work on, and I thought the end result was worth the extra work!  Plus you end up with leftover pumpkin hummus, which makes a great dip for apple slices or crackers.

I liked that these were a bit softer overall than other versions I've made, and I loved biting into the creamy filling inside! They had a nice amount of pumpkin flavour and they weren't too sweet, making them taste more like a healthy snack than a dessert-like treat (which is what I was aiming for!).

My supply of these is almost out already, so it might be time to make another batch!



Pumpkin Stuffed Energy Balls
Filling adapted from my pumpkin hummus; energy balls adapted from Oh, Ladycakes

Filling
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed (preferably with the skins peeled first)
1/4 cup canned pumpkin puree
2 tbsp rolled oats
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp + 1 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
pinch of nutmeg and cloves
scant 1/4 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth and fully mixed. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups (more than you will need for this recipe).


Energy Balls
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup raw almonds (can substitute another nut like walnuts or pecans)
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flax
1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Dash of cinnamon and salt
3 dates, chopped
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
2 tbsp pure maple syrup


Place nuts and oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add remaining ingredients and process until you get a thick, sticky mixture.

To assemble the balls, take a heaping teaspoon of the dough mixture and press it as flat and thin as possible in the palm of your hand without it tearing (note: it might get stuck if you press it out onto a cutting board or countertop, so I found my hand was the best method). Place about a ½ teaspoon of the filling mixture in the middle, then close the dough around the filling, pinching it closed (see picture below - I actually ended up making the dough portion a bit bigger than what is shown below):



Press the ball together to enclose the filling (it's okay if some of it has poked out to the edge), then roll it around in your hands to make it a round shape.

Repeat until the dough mixture is used up (you will have extra filling).  Store balls in the fridge.

Makes about 20 balls.


7 comments:

  1. great idea! these look awesome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caitlin! I'll have to try more stuffed energy ball variations :)

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  2. Will try energy balls this week. Looking fantastic xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I hope you like them if you get a chance to make them!

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  3. Stuffed with pumpkin?!!! How wonderful! I even have all of these ingredients on hand so I can make them today. Score!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always try to keep all of these ingredients on hand so that I can make snacks like this whenever I want! I keep running out of pumpkin puree though, there are too many pumpkin recipes I want to try!

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  4. Stuffed with pumpkin?!!! How wonderful! I even have all of these ingredients on hand so I can make them today. Score!

    ReplyDelete

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