Forget the marketing on packets of biscuits which say Perfect For Lunchboxes because they really aren’t. These packets are usually loaded with sugar, additives and preservatives and are usually empty carbohydrates – high energy, low nutrient foods. Now these Chocolate Protein Bombs really are Perfect For Lunchboxes. They are naturally sweet from the dates but are packed with protein from the seeds, so they will offer longer lasting energy.
- 10 medjool dates
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1 tblspn chia seeds
- 1/2 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup oats
- 2-3 tblspns cacao powder*
- 2-3 drops peppermint oil or flavour (optional)
- pinch salt
- dessicated coconut (to roll balls in)
*My family like 85-90% dark chocolate so I used 3 overflowing tblspns of Cacao. Adjust the amount to suit your family.
- Soak dates in warm water for 5 minutes
- Drain dates, then throw into a food processor or Thermomix
- Put the rest of the ingredients in the food processor or Thermomix
- Blitz until the mixture comes together – blitz until you get the consistency you want (I still leave mine a little chunky because the kids don’t mind the texture of the seeds but if your children prefer not to have lumps, just blitz for longer)
- Roll into balls – I make mine smaller than the store bought bliss balls because they are easier to pack into the lunchbox (I just pack 2 instead of 1 big one)
- Place dessicated coconut onto a plate. Now roll the ball in the coconut. Give it a little shake to get rid of any excess coconut.
Freezing / Storage
Best stored in the fridge, then pack directly into the lunchbox – too easy. I haven’t tested freezing these yet but it’s not really necessary, they will last a month in the fridge anyway.
Another 2 Ways
- Replace the peppermint oil with orange – you could add a tblspn of orange juice and some zest or use 2 drops of Wild Orange Oil (I use Doterra)
- Replace the peppermint oil, add 1/2 mashed banana and some cinnamon
The Story Behind The Recipe
We have started shooting and writing for our forthcoming recipe book “Recipes from the Bus”. All recipes will have been created in, and/or photographed from our bus, while we’re on the road travelling Australia. I created this recipe because one day we went hiking at Cape Tribulation in Far North Queensland. I packed our usual lunchboxes with morning tea and lunch but totally underestimated that we would still be there at 4.30pm in the afternoon. I had no afternoon tea. Our trip back to the camp ground was going to be 1.5 hours. There was no way we would make it back without killing each other unless we had something to eat. On Cape Trib, the few cafes were closed for serving food and so we had to resort to a packet of plain chips from the small supermarket. I created these Chocolate Protein Bombs for the next hiking adventure. There was no way I was going to get caught out like that again.
Just a reminder, you don’t need to be a master chef, or have a big spotless kitchen to make awesome nutritious meals or snacks for your family.
Christmas Gift Idea
At Christmas, roll these balls into a small size and then make into reindeer poop. Drop the coconut from the outside so it looks more authentic. Here’s a template to print off a Reindeer Poop Printable by The Purple Pumpkin Blog.