Every bite of these delicious carrot cake energy balls is packed full of flavour. I’ve made them nut free so that I can include them in my son’s lunchbox as his school has a nut free policy. They’re also a brilliant hidden vegetable recipe for picky eaters. Nothing can make my son eat an undisguised carrot but he loves these and the carrot is raw, so even better.
Are you making a packed lunch for your children this year? This is the first year that I’ve made a daily packed lunch for my son and I’m determined to use it as an opportunity to get him to try some new things. I’ve made sweet potato, spinach and ricotta pancakes and cauliflower macaroni cheese muffins and just this morning I’ve frozen a batch of green smoothies. I have a bad feeling about the green smoothies (they’re made with spinach, banana, almond milk, dates, vanilla and peanut butter) but I’ll stick one in his lunchbox one day next week and see what happens. He’s often more likely to try new things if I’m not watching so hopefully this is a good strategy. If you’re looking for lunch box inspiration you can check out my Sneaky Veg lunch boxes on instagram.
My son’s school has a completely nut free policy and so I’m in the process of adapting many of my recipes that could make good lunchbox fillers as I’m rather fond of adding nuts or nut butters to many of my recipes for added texture and goodness. For these carrot cake energy balls I have used a mixture of sunflower and pumpkin seeds – feel free to use whichever you have. I have also added a tablespoon of hemp seeds – sometimes called hemp hearts. I’ve only recently discovered these and am loving adding them to everything!
I was first introduced to them by Noelle, a US-based blogger that I follow on instagram. She’s got a useful blog post about why they’re so good – they’re packed full of protein for one – on her blog meals for me and my minis if you’re interested in finding out more.
However, they are completely optional in this recipe so if you don’t have any to hand you can just omit them and your energy balls will still be completely delicious.
I’ve also made these with prunes rather than dates. The real reason for this is that when I went to the supermarket they had sold out of dates. Prunes, being much less fashionable, they still had in plentiful supply and it got me thinking that it would be a good idea to use prunes for these energy balls, just to have something different. They’re perfectly sweet and sticky and work just as well. However, do use dates if you prefer. If they feel a bit dry soak them in water first.
Here’s how to make carrot cake nut free energy balls:
- 150g chopped prunes or dates
- 100g sunflower or pumpkin seeds, or a mix of both
- 1 tbsp hemp seeds (optional)
- 1 medium carrot, finely grated (50g)
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor or high powered blender.
- Pulse until well combined. If you want to avoid bits pulse the seeds first before adding the other ingredients.
- With lightly oiled hands roll some of the mixture into balls.
- Pop in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Store in the fridge or freeze (stick a little baking paper between each one).