I love a portable snack. Something I can eat with one hand in the car after a training session, something to tuck into my handbag “just in case”, something to have for morning or afternoon tea.

Healthy muffins, banana bread (in reasonable portion sizes – honestly, the banana bread slices they sell at most cafes are huge. That’s not a snack!), raw nuts, vege sticks and low-cal dip, bananas, blueberries and yoghurt… there are heaps of options. And here’s my latest: Not-peanut-butter balls.

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I recently tried some pre-made meals from a fantastic company called dietlicious; it’s an off-shoot of Gourmet Dinner Service, making portion-controlled frozen meals. Some are totally pre-cooked and just need reheating, some are things like marinated fish fillets ready to defrost and quickly pan fry. I love cooking, but it’s great to have a few extra things in the freezer for those nights when you are home late and starving. So far, everything I’ve tried has been fantastic. My order included some totally delish peanut butter balls that came as part of a pack of different snacks. Really, really good, and I wish they sold them separately. I’d definitely be stocking up on those! But in the meantime, I got inspired to make my some balls of my own.

These are “not peanut butter” balls, as I have developed a liking for Free-nut Butter, which is made from sunflower seeds.

Sun-nut butter and pistachio balls

Place 125g smooth Eskal FreeNut Butter in a small food processor or blender with 85g of slivered almonds, 85g of roughly chopped raw pistachios, 3 pitted fresh dates, 2 tablespoons (30g) of coconut water and 33 g of cranberries (no, no cranberries or dates in the pic below, I was kinda making it up as I went along!)

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Process until the mixture comes together and is evenly combined (I needed to use a spatula to dig the more processed mixture out of the bottom and push the less processed mixture down. You could add more liquid, but the mixture would likely be too soft).

Turn out into a bowl. You can now roll the mixture as is if you like, but I’d processed it a little further than I meant to, so to add more “chunk” to the balls, I threw in another 25g each of the almonds and pistachios.

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Now, use your hands to roll the mixture into balls about the size of a walnut. I had 21 balls in the end. But I probably taste-tested a ball or two during the making!

Store in the fridge (mine have lasted a week so far and are still just fine, or freeze).

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By my rough calculation this works out to about 472kj per ball (based on 21 balls).

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