Last week we went to the mountains for a couple of days just to unwind and disconnect from everything. We turned off our internet and focused on being present. It felt really good.
I thought that I would struggle, but I enjoyed it! Since we’ve been back, I haven’t felt the urge to check emails and social media 30 times a day. Makes you feel like you aren’t being controlled, like you are missing out on something if you don’t check it every half hour.
I took this photo on the day when we headed back. Little did I know that at the time when we drove through this beautiful windy road bursting with amazing forest this was at the other end. Looking up at the mountains where we had spent those previous couple of days put a smile on my face. I was keen on stopping by some orchards on the long drive back home, thinking that this was the right road. At some point, we realised that we are going to be hitting a dead end, a no through road and had to turn back. To my disappointment, we ran out of time and drove back home the way we came and stopped by a pie shop that had a great selection of vegan pies, Michael couldn’t stock raving about them.
For the trip, I packed some food as we drove to our destination, so it was much easier just to put things in the boot. I love having quick, easy and healthy snacks to eat when I’m away if I really struggle to find vegan-friendly food or something that will nourish me instead of just fill me up with sugar and other rubbish.
One of the things that I packed were vegan chia protein balls. They are great when you are travelling, need a pick me up at work, a snack, or for a school lunchbox. I generally try and have a few in the fridge or freezer as a go-to snack or something to grab on the run most of the time as they take next to no time and last a while.
If you are allergic to nuts or give them to your children to take to school, try making these with sunflower seeds instead of the cashews and almonds. It should hold but won’t obviously taste the same. If you find medjool dates too sweet or want a substitute, try Turkish dried apricots (not the sulphur dried orange ones) and/or sultanas.
I love the fact that you can add that extra bit of protein powder into them and I find that they taste even nicer! For all those of you that get asked all the time, “where do you get your protein from as a vegan?” you should give them this recipe and tell them that it’s loaded with it as well as other great things like magnesium, good fats, iron, and calcium! When people ask me that question, I wonder how they suddenly became nutritionists knowing how much protein I need to eat and how I could be lacking it because I’m not getting it from animal sources.
- 9 medjool dates, pitted
- ½ cup cashews
- ½ cup almonds
- ½ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup protein powder (I use fermented brown rice protein or pea protein)
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined. Normally takes about 3-5 minutes depending on your food processor. You may need to scoop down the sides to make sure all ingredients are well combined. The mixture is ready when you pinch it between your fingers and it sticks.
- Take about a tablespoon of mixture and roll into balls.
You can store them in your fridge for around 2 weeks (mine have never lasted that long!) or in the freezer for quite a while. I normally like them straight out of the fridge as they aren’t too soft.