carrot cake energy balls
+ JUMP TO RECIPE
Carrot cake energy balls, Tom Kerridge’s no-bake, no sugar, no nonsense bites made from goodness itself.
Who doesn’t like cakes made of cake? I’m talking about rocky road and its siblings, chocolate biscuit cake, Oreo truffles or peanut butter balls. The idea behind those sweets is appealing to anyone who, as a child, squished and scrunched their treat, plastering it all over their paws before putting it into their mouth and over surrounding areas. That’s just about everyone, apart from a few dour kids grown into dourer adults. The method of making those sweets appeals to anyone who ever stood in front of a store cupboard craving ‘something’ and undecided what to have. That’s probably everyone again apart from miserable self-discipline junkies. Making one of those concoctions is like sweeping out the content of the cupboard and mashing it together, with the help of copious amounts of melted chocolate/marshmallow/both. It’s like dipping your finger in the jar of Nutella or peanut butter. It’s like eating ice cream straight from the mega size tub. It’s like licking spoons and scraping out raw batter from mixing bowls. It’s disgustingly delicious.
Now the completely opposite idea of ‘disgustingly delicious’ is anything, usually bars, labelled raw, vegan, protein, or energy. Those things usually have ‘nutra’ or ‘charge’ in the name and in the list of ingredients there will invariably be chia, raw cocoa and palm oil. Apart from those, of course, there will be a multitude of stuff that belongs in the chemistry lab, like Polydextrose, Glycerol, and Xylitol. The bars have unpleasantly gunky texture, they smell and they taste quite revolting. Admittedly low carb, made from stuff that is supposed to give you an energy boost but all the same, virtuously disgusting.
And the best of both worlds are Tom Kerridge’s carrot cake balls, with ‘energy’ in the name but only natural ingredients; no added sugar but full of deliciously sweet things like dates and coconut. They have slightly chewy texture but there’s the nut crunch; and they don’t taste overbearingly raw even though the carrots and the oats they are made of are uncooked. They are a joy.
There is also the element of ‘sweeping out the cupboard’ as the nut content can be varied; you can add raisins or other dried fruit, and you can ad lib the spices. And if you fancy crushing a few digestive biscuits into the mix, to reinforce the ‘cake’ factor from the recipe name, who can blame you?
carrot cake energy ballsServings: makes 20 ballsTime: 30 minutes plus chilling
- 80g (2/3 cup) walnut pieces
- 80g (2/3 cup) pecan halves
- 200g (1½ cup) Medjool dated, pitted and chopped
- 200g (2 scant cups) carrots, grated
- zest grated from 1 orange
- 50g (½ cup) rolled oats
- 50g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
- For coating:
- 2 tbsp. desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1. Toast the walnuts and pecans in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Wait till the cool down a little, then chop roughly.
2. Soak the dates with 100ml (½ cup) boiling water for 10 minutes.
3. Place the dates, carrots, orange zest, coconut, oats and spices in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Transfer into a bowl and stir in the nut pieces.
4. Prepare the coconut and cocoa in two shallow bowls. Shape balls from the mix with wet hands, about the size of a walnut (36g/1 oz. each). Roll 10 of them in the coconut and the other 10 in cocoa powder. Arrange the balls on a tray and chill for 1-2 hours.
5. The balls will keep for a week in the fridge. You can also freeze some on the tray and then collect to a freezer bag or tub.