By Michelle Lauer, Certified Nutritional Practitioner
Struggling to find nut-free snack options to send to school? With most school boards now implementing a nut-free policy, it’s more important than ever that you find delicious alternatives to those almond-packed granola bars you used to send to school. As the busy back to school season gets into full swing, we’ve put together simple, handy and allergy-friendly recipes that you can throw together on Sunday night and lean on throughout the hectic week. These 3 ingredient nut-free power balls are just that. Easy to make with your little helper, they pack a nutritious punch, keeping bellies full and minds focused until the next meal.
High in polyphenols, compounds that protect our cells from damage, dates are a fantastic alternative to those empty-calorie sweets we crave. These guys are loaded with fibre to keep our digestive tracts running smoothly.
Did you know that healthy fats from sources like coconuts are essential for growth and development? Quality fats are needed for cell construction, nerve function, digestion and hormone function. We also need these important fats to absorb fat soluble vitamins A, E, D and K. Still not convinced? Our brains are composed of over 60% fat, which just goes to show how important fats are when it comes to our health and well-being.
These little gems are loaded with zinc which is essential to boosting brain function and improving immune systems. Pumpkin seeds are also a great source of plant-based omega 3, which is so important for brain development in our little ones. On top of these benefits, pumpkin seeds also contain a dose of magnesium, a mineral used for over 300 functions throughout the body. One of the most studied, is the mineral’s ability to promote relaxation during times of stress. I think we can all agree that we need some assistance in that department during the back to school whirlwind.
3 ingredient Power Balls
- 1 ½ cups pitted dates
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ⅓ cup pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp water
- Optional add-ins: cinnamon, vanilla, orange zest, cacao
Combine all ingredients except the water in a blender and blend on high until a dough consistency is formed. Add a tablespoon of water at a time until the dough becomes sticky. Find your favourite little helper and roll the dough into bite-sized balls and store in the fridge for a healthy treat on-the-go! If you’re feeling fancy, these power balls look (and taste) great rolled in unsweetened shredded coconut or cacao powder!