For all of you cardio-loving, weightlifting, yoga-stretching enthusiasts…plus all you other go getters out there wanting a healthy, easy, convenient snack for your weekly meal prep I have developed the perfect Goji Berry, Banana, Almond, and Cacao Oats Groats Protein Bliss Ball for you!
I personally love a challenging workout session that leaves my muscles tender and sore. The deliciously good type of muscle pain that may cause you to wince with every step you take and secretly curse the person who makes you laugh because your abs are killing you. But admit it you secretly love it and would not give it up for anything in the world because you know that at the end you are fitter and stronger for it.
Protein deficiency is surprisingly common and can result in severely compromising our bodies composition resulting in muscle deterioration (such a waste after that weight lifting session). Due to the lack of an adequate source of protein in our diet this can lead to severe negative impacts on the capacity at which our brain and physical bodies function.
It is important to be mindful of the protein that we nourish our bodies so that they are of the highest quality. Once our body breaks down the protein consumed it is broken down further, divided into specific amino acids, which are then used for specific functions to serve your body effectively.
With that being said, we have all learnt that it is imperative to fuel our bodies with the right nutrients and essential ‘amino’ acids found from ‘complete’ protein after our workout and throughout our lives. Without being aware of your own body, the right proteins and the quantity consumed you will not be able to continuously create those luscious muscles, great skin, strong bones, and maintenance of healthy functioning organs and tendons. Instilling a diet with the adequate amount of high-quality protein into your everyday life (Yes this is possible on a vegan and vegetarian diet) is crucial.
Guoyao Wu, from the Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Nutrition, Texas A&M University has highlighted in an article exploring the importance of amino acids (AA) in metabolism, functions and nutrition stating “…optimal balance among AA in the diet and circulation is crucial for whole body homeostasis…besides their role as building blocks of proteins and polypeptides, some AA regulate key metabolic pathways…maintenance, growth, reproduction, and immunity…optimizing efficiency of metabolic transformations to enhance muscle growth…athletic performance, while preventing excess fat deposition and reducing adiposity” (Wu 2009).
Yes, those highlighted sections was on purpose and I am sure this has now got your attention. My mind sure goes to the thought of eating clean sources of vegan protein that also assist in increasing my metabolism to reduce the fatty tissue in my body.
Protein balls/protein bars have been a growing trend not only secluded to the health food stores, but also have popped up in our supermarkets, cafes…and even 7-eleven. I have tested many of these protein products on the market, and have struggled to find one that does not contain whey protein (derived from milk), no refined sugar and gluten, emulsifiers, and other nasties. Personally, my body craves natural (not the supermarket definition of ‘natural’) and clean ingredients that are more satiating. This means that I consistently perform each day at my peak with clarity and focus in all aspects of my life.
I have created this nutrient-dense Goji Berry, Banana, Almond, and Cacao Oats Groats Protein Bliss Ball. This recipe is packed-full of delectable goodness that tastes so satisfying that you can only fantasise how naughty you are. But remember you are actually supplying your body with wholesome ingredients that also give you that extra energy boost.
One of the fundamental elements in this recipe are Goji Berries. These bright orange-red berries are one of those wondrous superfoods out there acting as a great snack and easily used in recipes ranging from breakfast/desserts to hot dishes. This fruit packs a punch, having the highest concentration of protein across all fruit, with one cup containing 12 grams of protein and 8 of the 9 essential amino acids. The benefits still keep on coming with goji berries innately being a great source of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins assisting in treating cancer and has also been identified for it’s anti-ageing properties (that will be sure to get you all running to your nearest health food stores).
I am also bananas over bananas, similar to many of our fellow athletes. Bananas are the best on-the-go snack full of natural sweetness as well as being a great source of fibre (good for the morning time if you catch my drift), iron, magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Even though bananas are not high in protein quantity per serving, I will still vouch that they are one of the best food sources for the developing athlete in all of us. This miraculous fruit is your natural source of an extra energy boost with easy-to-digest sugar and natural electrolytes. In addition, helps remove toxins in your body, contribute to mood and mental well being, healthy carbohydrates and potassium essential for the regulation of fluids and prevention of cramps and spasms.
I could honestly talk and write all day long about nutrition, fitness and empowerment of the mind, but will contain myself for my future posts. I am now going to prep for the week ahead and whiz up my own Goji Berry, Banana, Almond, and Cacao Oats Groats Protein Bliss Balls.
I hope you all enjoy these and please feel free to leave me a comment or even share with me through Instagram and Facebook your creation of these Goji Berry, Banana, Almond, and Cacao Oats Groats Protein Bliss Balls.
Wu, G 2009, “Amino Acids: metabolism, functions, and nutrition”, Amino Acids, vol.37, Issue 1, pp 1-17, Available from: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00726-009-0269-0
This recipe makes 10 Bliss Balls.
This recipe is Raw, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Vegan, Dairy Free, Refined Sugar Free
Preparation and total time:
- 45 minutes prep /passive time (includes the time to soak the oats groats)
- ½ cup of oats groats
- 1/2 cup of shredded coconut (to roll the balls into)
- 1 cup of almond meal
- 2 ½ tbs of almond butter
- 1 ½ cup of raw cacao
- ¾ scoop of chocolate brown rice protein powder
- 1 tbs of coconut oil
- 5 tbs of coconut nectar
- ⅓ cup of goji berries
- 1 medium ripe banana
- 1 x Food Processor
- 1 x Plate
- 1 x Measuring Cup
- 1 X Measuring Spoon
- 1 X Bowl
- Pre soak the oats groats overnight. Or if time sensitive in lukewarm water for 30 minutes
- Place the oats groats, almond meal, and goji berries into the food processor and process until well combined
- Add in the remaining of the ingredients and process until a smooth mixture is created
- Form mixture into 1-inch (2.5cm) balls and roll into reserved shredded coconut, coating balls completely, Transfer to a baking sheet and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight
- Keep chilled, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Bon a petit!
- For a different taste roll the balls into goji berries, raw cocoa, or chia seeds
- Feel free to add chia seeds to the protein ball mixture for that extra dosage of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, antioxidants, and protein