Energy Ball Snacks to Fuel You on the Couch to Wild Atlantic Way Challenge

Croí’s Dietitian, Aisling, has designed the perfect recipe for Energy Ball Bites! These tasty and healthy treats are the perfect little snack to give you a quick but light energy boost. Try them out and, if you’re doing Croí’s Couch to Wild Atlantic Way challenge, pack them up and bring them with you for a mid-walk snack!

The natural sugars from the dates provide energy and sweetness, while the healthy fats and protein in the nuts satisfy that peckish feeling. However, because they are small, they are a perfect pre-workout snack as they won’t fill you up too much but will give you an energy boost for your session.

There are so many varieties and flavour combinations from chocolate, orange zest, coconut or peanut butter, but the basic ingredients of dates and nuts always remains the same so, once you’ve made these yourself once or twice, don’t be afraid to get experimenting!

Croí Energy Balls – Basic Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 100g medjool dates (or regular dried dates pre-soaked in water)
  • 50g nuts (I used hazelnuts but you could also use almonds or Brazil nuts)
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder, plus extra for coating
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tsp honey

Method:

  1. Blend the nuts finely.
  2. Add in the dates and blend again until completely mixed. You may have to scrape down the sides of the blender a few times to make sure everything gets blended.
  3. Add in the chia seeds, cocoa powder and honey and blend again.
  4. Take out tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls.
  5. Coat in some cocoa powder

Healthy Christmas Recipes

Tired of endless scrolling, looking for inspiration for the perfect recipe for finger food? Or, trying your hand at cocktail making, but can’t seem to find the right recipe? Don’t worry!

Croí have compiled all of our favourite recipes for you to try over the Christmas season. We are bound to have every recipe you need for any dish you desire! Oh, and did we mention? They’re also healthy and delicious!

Crudités and Dips

Why not change things up a bit this year and instead of the usual fat and salt laden finger foods, experiment with a selection of healthier crudités and dips. Here’s some links to some of our favourites from the internet:

To complete your healthy platter, why not add:

  • Chopped up carrots, peppers and celery to use for dipping.
  • Some unsalted crackers and breadsticks.
  • Finish off your platter with a selection of unsalted mixed nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and fruit such as grapes, mixed berries, figs and cherry tomatoes for a pop of colour.

Healthier Canape Selection

If you’re trying to be mindful of your salt and fat intake over the Christmas period, why not try some healthier finger food alternatives. We’ve linked some of our favourites below:

Mocktails

This year, lots of people are trying alcohol free alternatives to their favourite beers, wines and spirits and there are so many different options to choose from. Why not get creative and whip up an alcohol-free cocktail at home? From virgin mojitos to alcohol free passionfruit martinis, we’ve linked some our favourites below:

*Cocktails and mocktails are high in sugar, so avoid or use sugar free mixers if you have diabetes.

Christmas Dinner

Arguably, the best meal of the year. So, even if you are trying to keep it relatively healthy and keep the salt and fat content to a minimum, there is no reason to skimp on flavours. Luckily, turkey is a lean meat, low in saturated fat and the typical side dishes of potato and vegetables do not need to be cooked in butter, goose fat or covered in gravy to be tasty. Play around with flavours and take some inspiration from the recipes linked below, such as these paprika roast potatoes, chill charred brussels sprouts, lemon thyme carrots and mulled red cabbage with clementine’s.

Healthier Desserts

Why not mix up your Christmas dessert offerings and include some slightly healthier ones. Think delicious fruit based desserts, such as grilled pineapple, baked apples, lighter crumbles and fruity pavlovas.

Turkey Leftovers

Not sure what to make with your leftover turkey? Sick of turkey curry? This year why not get creative and whip up a Vietnamese Turkey Pho, Fruity Moroccan Turkey Tagine or even a Korean Turkey Rice Pot. Just because you can’t travel doesn’t mean your tastebuds can’t!

Happy Cooking!