Protein Packed Butternut Balls
It’s British Summer Time but there’s still a nip in the air. These balls have all the protein that you need to recover from a run, brisk dog walk, or cycle but also have the spices to warm you up after being out in the cold. If, like me, you roll them in chopped chocolate chips and pumpkin seeds, they taste like a treat but still contain less than 80 calories each.
Half a Butternut Squash; Knob of butter; 1 tbsp of brown sugar; salt and pepper
140g (1 cup) whole almonds
80g (3/4 cup) rolled oats
6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
35g vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
4 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- Although Butternut Squash grows on the vine, I cook it as if it was a turnip or other root vegetable. Presuming you have a whole one, cut it length ways and save one half for another recipe. Take the other half and peel it, using a potato peeler or similar. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and pulp. Cut the squash into approx. 1″ cubes. Place the cubes in a pan, cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer until soft (10-15mins) test with a fork. Strain the water from the pan and add a knob of butter, the brown sugar and seasoning. Mash until a smooth puree is formed.
- Add the almonds and cloves to a small food blender, a bean or nut grinder or a NutriBullet and grind. If you don’t have one of these that’s ok you can finely chop or grate the almonds and cloves.
- Now combine the almonds and cloves, together with the Butternut puree, the oats, dates, protein powder, and spices to the food processor. Turn on, for a few minutes, until a choppy dough forms.
- Add 2 tablespoons of the raw pumpkin seeds and pulse until combined, so the pumpkin seeds remain a little coarse. The dough will be sticky!
- Using the same process as we did with the almonds (above), quickly process (chop) the remaining 2 tablespoons of pumpkins seeds with the chocolate chips — this should only take a second or two – this mixture should be chopped, not powdered.
- Scatter the mixture into a shallow bowl or tray.
- Shape dough into 20 balls, roll each in the pumpkin seed and chocolate chip topping and place in a tray lined with parchment paper.
- Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set.
- Store balls in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Enjoy after your workouts.