A Search for Great Vegan Food in San Diego

Rachel’s Superfood Green Balls

Sometimes you just know you’re going to click with someone.  I knew Rachel and I were kindred spirits when five minutes into our first conversation we were exchanging tips on brewing kombucha and growing produce.  Rachel lives in Portland and regularly whips up vegan masterpieces.  On a visit to San Diego, she suggested making green balls.  As she began to tick off the ingredients on her fingers, I knew I had to try them.  The result? A delicious and nutritious.  So thank you Rachel for sharing your recipe!

 

[caption id="attachment_1926" align="alignnone" width="640"]Pyramid of Green Balls Pyramid of Green Balls[/caption]

 

First, gather the ingredients.  I always get excited when I see the ingredients for the Green Balls lined up.  They are all so tasty and good for you!

 

[caption id="attachment_1948" align="alignnone" width="640"]Green Ball Ingredients Green Ball Ingredients[/caption]

 

I like to start by assembling the substantive dry ingredients.  Note that this recipe calls for sprouted buckwheat.  For step by step instructions on how to make sprouted buckwheat check out my Raw Granola post.

 

[caption id="attachment_1927" align="alignnone" width="640"]Sprouted Oat Grouts Sprouted Oat Grouts[/caption]

 

People often ask me if I have any special sprouting containers.  I personally like the Easy Sprout Sprouter.  Although you can sprout without any special tools, the Easy Sprout Sprouter can streamline the sprouting process and save you counter space!

 

 

Then add in the goji berries, coconut flakes, and pumpkin seeds.

 

[caption id="attachment_1928" align="alignnone" width="640"]Dry Ingredients Dry Ingredients[/caption]

 

Goji Berries:

Never heard of goji berries?  Goji berries are most widely available dried and have a consistency similar to raisins.  They have a mild tangy taste that is sweet and sour.  Although goji berries are a relatively new addition to the Western diet, they have been used in food and medicine for thousands of years in Tibet and China.

Highlights:

  • High in vitamin C
  • High in fiber
  • High in iron (they contain 15 times the amount found in spinach)
  • Highest protein concentration of any fruit
  • Contain calcium, zinc, selenium, and other trace minerals
  • Have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Contain anti-bacterial and anti-fungal compounds

Please note that goji berries have been found to have adverse reactions with some diabetes and blood thinner medications.  Check with your doctor before adding goji berries to your diet if you are taking these medications.

For more information on the benefits of eating Goji berries click on:

http://thehealthyeatingsite.com/the-health-benefits-of-goji-berries/

 

Interested in trying out goji berries?  Check out your local health food store or purchase them online.

 

 

Mix the dry ingredients together and enjoy the beautiful array of colors in your bowl! 

 

[caption id="attachment_1933" align="alignnone" width="640"]Mixed Dry Ingredients Mixed Dry Ingredients[/caption]

 

It’s then time to prepare the wet ingredients.  First gather your (1) cacao, (2) spirulina, and (3) flax seeds.  It’s worth taking a time out to review the nutritional profiles for these exceptional ingredients.

Cacao:

The cacao bean is the base ingredient for cocoa and cacao.  When the cocoa bean is roasted and ground, the resulting product is cocoa.  When the cocoa bean is dried at low temperatures, the resulting product is cacao.  Cacao comes in small pieces (nibs) or powder.  Cacao tastes like very dark, unsweetened chocolate.

Highlights:

  • High levels of flavonoid antioxidants
  • Cardiovascular benefits
  • Decrease inflammation

For more information on cacao check out:

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/antioxidant-benefits-raw-cacao-3990.html

Interested in trying cacao?

 

 

Spirulina:

Spirulina is a type of blue-green algae with a bright blue-green hue and comes in powder and pill form.

Highlights:

  • Support immune system
  • Rich source of protein
  • Alleviate allergies
  • Boosted growth of “good” bacteria
  • Protect against infection

It is important to buy spirulina from a reputable source since, because it can be contaminated with other substances.  Spirulina should not be taken with certain medications so check with a doctor before taking it.  To read more about spirulina click on:

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/spirulina

Ready to try spirulina?

 

 

Flaxseed:

Flaxseed was cultivated in Babylon as early as 3000 BC.  You can buy whole or ground flaxseeds.  It is easier for your body to absorb the nutrients from ground flaxseeds.

Highlights:

  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids (good fats)
  • Contain lignans with have antioxidant properties
  • High in fiber
  • May protect against breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer

For more information on flaxseed, check out the following link:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/benefits-of-flaxseed

Ready to try flaxseed?

 

 

[caption id="attachment_1929" align="alignnone" width="640"]Cacao Powder, Spirulina, and Flax Seed Cacao Powder, Spirulina, and Flax Seed[/caption]

 

Next, add the rest of the wet ingredients.

 

[caption id="attachment_1931" align="alignnone" width="640"]Adding in Peanut Butter and Coconut Oil Adding in Peanut Butter and Coconut Oil[/caption]

 

And mix together.

 

[caption id="attachment_1932" align="alignnone" width="640"]Wet Ingredients Wet Ingredients[/caption]

 

Add the wet and dry ingredients together.

 

[caption id="attachment_1934" align="alignnone" width="640"]Wet and Dry Ingredients Wet and Dry Ingredients[/caption]

 

And combine!

 

[caption id="attachment_1935" align="alignnone" width="640"]Green Ball Mixture Green Ball Mixture[/caption]

 

Add some chocolate chips if you want.

 

[caption id="attachment_1936" align="alignnone" width="640"]Adding in Chocolate Chips Adding in Chocolate Chips[/caption]

 

Put the mixture into the refrigerator or freezer to cool.  Then form into balls or bars.

 

[caption id="attachment_1937" align="alignnone" width="640"]Green Balls! Green Balls![/caption]

 

These balls are a filling and nutritious snack.  They are great to eat between meals or to help recover after a work out.  I also like the flexibility of this recipe.  Feel free to use almond butter or cashew butter instead of peanut butter.  Or try using hemp oil instead of coconut oil!  These Green Balls always turn out great.

 

Rachel's Superfood Green Balls
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1 cup goji berries
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup carob or cacao powder
  • ¼ cup ground flax seeds
  • ¼ cup spirulina
  • ¼ cup coconut or hemp oil, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup coconut butter or nut butter
  • 3 tablespoons agave
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅓ - ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Mix sprouted buckwheat, coconut flakes, goji berries, and pumpkin seeds together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together carob/cacao powder, flax seeds, and spirulina.
  3. Add coconut/hemp oil and coconut/nut butter, agave, and vanilla.
  4. Pinch of salt (I add a small amount of salt if I am using unsalted nut butter)
  5. Mix until smooth.
  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
  7. Put mixture in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (do NOT skip this step! the balls will not form properly if they are not refrigerated).
  8. Roll mixture out into balls. Keep in refrigerator or freezer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Comment

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