Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
I have a new addiction. It involves covering my body in mud, getting zapped by electric fences, potentially digesting animal faeces and swimming through freezing, freezing water.
It’s Obstacle Course Racing. I love it!
The races involve jumping off tall towers, scaling walls, climbing mountains made from tyres, sliding down hills on your bottom and revisiting the playground monkey bars. It challenges your physical fitness, your mental stamina and how crazy stupid you are (I was going to say brave but in reality it takes a lack of mental stability to complete some of the challenges).
Standing on top of a very tall platform and jumping into a pool of mud, where you can’t see the bottom, is not as scary as the 5 seconds (although it feels like an eternity) it takes to blindly find the surface of the water after you’ve jumped in. Running through electric wires seems like a breeze, until one drops you to the ground with an almighty zap and, whilst you are down for the count, another zaps your butt. Not a pleasant feeling. Jumping into a freezing cold ice bath shivers you to the core, but having to submerge yourself to get through to the other side literally takes your breath away. Breathing is not an option.
Whilst most people just look at my team mates and I like we’ve hit our head one too many times on an obstacle, those who have raced before know the adrenalin, the exhilaration and the achievement you get from finishing an Obstacle Course Race.
You also get damn hungry.
We have nicknamed these Chocolate Energy Balls ‘Obstacle Course Balls’ as they are devoured after a race. Dates have a high GI value so they release glucose quickly and are able to restore some of that much needed energy for your post race selfie (a must!). I also take these on long runs as a healthy alternative to sports gel. As the dates are broken down in the food processor they are no longer chewy and can be easily eaten whilst running.
I keep a container of these Chocolate Energy Balls handy in the fridge. They are a quick pick me up when you feel like you need a sugar hit and the kids love them as a treat. The choice of nuts is up to you; mine differ depending on what I have left on the cupboard.
- 1 1/3 cups Dates
- 1 cup Nuts (Walnuts, Pecans, Macadamias)
- 1/4 cup Cocoa
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Optional: 1/2 - 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup (i find they are sweet enough without it)
- Optional; Chia Seeds, Sunflower seeds etc
- Optional; Cocoa or Desiccated Coconut for dusting
- Place the dates, nuts, cocoa, maple syrup and vanilla extract (with seeds if using) into a food processed and blend until a smooth paste forms. Add a teaspoon or 2 of water if the dates are having trouble blending.
- If your food processor is more Urkell than Schwarzenegger (or you have a hand held mixer) soak the dates in boiling water to soften them first, then discard the water before blending.
- Once the mixture is well combined, roll into balls, approximately 1/2-1 Tablespoon per ball.
- The mixture will make 20-24 balls.
- If using, roll the balls in Cocoa or Desiccated Coconut.
- Store in the fridge.