This past weekend my boyfriend and I endured an arduous and wet long-weekend along Monkman Cascades Trail, Tumbler Ridge, BC. The hilly 22 km hike-in was long (especially the last 5 km) with some pretty plain scenery of woods the entire way. Also to make matters worse, we packed the power balls in the bottom of our packs by accident, making them inaccessible during the hike to our campsite! With our energy levels waning, we were becoming quite skeptical about the waterfalls being worth the long hike. However, upon our arrival at the campsite, the hike-in faded away. We were greeted by a group of male campers (clearly having a guys weekend, which I felt like I was crashing!) who had a fire going. We could finally pull out a power ball (or three lol) to enjoy around the fire. This made the hike in somewhat worth it and from there, the weekend was great. We had to ration the power balls for the hike out so next time I will make sure we have some more. Hope you enjoy this recipe; I know my boyfriend and I did this past weekend!
Now, rewinding to Friday, before our departure on this epic hiking trip, we did have a box of Cliff Bars, but to be honest they taste a bit artificial and are excessively sweet. As a result, the power balls were prepared. I came up with an ingredient list and ratios for each ingredient then began mixing. The great thing about this recipe is that all the ingredients can be swapped out for alternatives - as long as you keep the ratios similar, you will be golden. For example, if you know you will be adding an extra 1/4 cup of nuts, seeds or dried fruit, increase the quantity of paste (dates, nut butter and water) in your recipe. More simply, if your mixture ends up too dry (i.e. your balls are falling apart) simply add some more liquid or vice versa for you mixture being too moist. Don't be afraid to experiment! And always make more than you think you will need - these honestly taste amazing!
1/2 cup of dried dates (or figs - which may need to be soaked beforehand to soften)
1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
4 tablespoons of water
1 cup of oats
1/4 cup of chocolate chips
4 tablespoons of ground flax
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Note: a few alternative recipes could be: Cranberry White Chocolate and Pistachio (using an almond butter base), Crunchy Peanut Butter, Chocolate Fudge (adding a tablespoon of cocoa to the mix and extra chocolate chips!), or Coconut Almond Crunch ... there are so many options... if you are not 100% comfortable with creating something new give this recipe a go until you feel comfortable to do otherwise! :)
Yields 6 one inch power balls
Using a food processor combine the dates, peanut butter and water. Mix on low until these ingredients become pasty. You may need to scrape the sides of your food processor down a couple times during this mixing process. In a separate bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, adding the date and peanut butter paste. Knead this mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Remember, you can always add some extra fluid if your mixture is too dry or add some more ground flax if your mixture is too moist! Now you can shape your balls. Using both hands, simply take some of the mixture in the palm of your hand and roll/mold it into a 1 inch ball shape. Volia!
I wrapped each ball with plastic wrap after I had let them cool, just to stop them from sticking to each other.