Every year, when the seasons shift, I get all excited. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, I love the heat, I love long, light evenings in the garden. But dang, I do love autumn. The temperature fell a few degrees this last week. Sunny, chilly mornings greeted me. Crisp, fresh air, chilling my hands. Time to pull out my winter coat and big snuggly scarf. The days are shorter, which I do find a struggle, and it’s harder to get up in the mornings with this new darkness, but these orange-y hues and red leaves paint the landscapes so well, it makes it worth it. Nature giving it one last hurrah before they shed their years bounty. Autumn, it’s good to see you.
I’ve come to the conclusion, that at the ripe age of 26, I am a grown up. This revelation came to me when I was stood in my local whole foods store, amongst the quinoa and coconut oil. There I was, amongst this amazing array of colourful veg, beautiful nuts, and the best selection of whole-grains, and I was excited, so excited. The same kind of excitement that I used to get when I bought a new dress from Topshop, or a new pair of shoes (OK the latter still excites me). But now, going to the supermarket to stock up on supplies, this is my addiction. I love just looking around the shelves in stores, just to hunt out that new spice, or oil, to jazz up my dinner. Sometimes I’ll just walk around the isles, knowing I don’t need to buy anything, but just walking around, to take it all in. The local market man laughs at me sometimes, because some days I just go and look at his daily selection of produce, just to absorb its wonderfulness, he and I knowing that I stocked up on it all, just the day before. Yes, this is what it must feel like to be a grown up.
I caught up with some old school friends last week, who agreed with me that we must be ‘real’ grown ups now. Gone are our conversations of the latest fashion trend, or crazy tale from a wild club night. In their place now; which is the best vegetable brownie recipe? How else can we use tahini? And how the world food section in a certain supermarket is the a hidden gem and gold mine for worldwide treats.
I pretty much have food on my mind every minute I am awake. And most of my dreams are food related. As soon as I’ve finished a meal, I’m picturing my next snack or dish. It’s great. I’m one of those people who needs to eat pretty often. Snacking is pretty high up on my priority list. I get hungry super quickly, so need something healthy and energy-packed on hand at all times.
These energy balls combine some of my favourite snack foods – dates and nuts. Spirulina is packed full of vitamin B12 (good for those following a meat free diet). It’s also high in magnesium and iron, great for helping boost your immune system and keeping your nervous system in good nick.
This is a very rough recipe, throw whatever you feel like in.
Spirulina Energy Balls (v) (gf) (sf)
2 large handfuls of dates
1 tablespoon goji berries
100g cashews (any nuts will work)
1 teaspoon Spirulina powder
Raw cacao powder / desiccated coconut – to roll balls in
Place dates and goji berries in a bowl, cover with boiling water and leave to soak for 10 mins.
In a food processor, blitz the nuts until crumbly.
Drain the dates and goji berries, add to the food processor along with the Spirulina powder.
Pulse mixture for a few mins, until it forms a dough (you may need to stop and scrape mixture off sides)
Now for the
fun messy bit.
Scoop small amounts of the dough mix with your hands, and roll mixture into balls. Roll a third of the balls in cacao powder, a third in coconut, and leave the last third as they are.
Store in a container in the fridge.
Super snacking is a go!