No Bake Apple Pie Protein Balls

Last night I did the impossible…I made something without a recipe.  


First let me run down my night before I reveal my masterpiece.

I went to the gym after work last night.  My legs still have some residual soreness from last Thursday so I knew a long run was out and it was time to go back to upper body.  I just don’t get as excited about upper body workouts, but I know they must be done.  I just get bored with upper body workouts.  Instead of focusing on my arms, I decided to mix it up and concentrate on back and abs, two workouts I actually like.

Last night’s back and ab workout:

– 10 min warm up on treadmill (6 mph)
back
– 4×12 straight arm cable lat pulldown (25 lbs)
– 4×12 (each arm) one arm straight cable lat pulldown (10 lbs)
– 4×12 seated machine row (55 lbs)
– 3×12 lat pulldown (60 lbs)
– 3×12 straight arm cable lat pulldown (20 lbs)
abs
– 2×20 double crunch
– 2×20 opposite arm/leg crunch 
-2×25 (each side) standing side crunch w/ kettlebell (20 lbs)
– 1 mile cool down on treadmill (7 mph)
Wow, that looks like a lot when I write it all down.  It didn’t feel like I did that much, but I guess I did! It took me a little over an hour.  
Whenever I run I am always amazed at how much it is a mental exercise as well as a physical one.  I wanted to wrap up the workout with a 5 min run to get my heart rate up, so I started at a slightly higher pace than normal for me.  I decided I could go faster than I was, so I upped the speed again and when the time got to 5 min, I told myself “just one more minute.”  I was looked forward to the clock saying 6 min because I was ready to be done, but then I looked at the mileage and realized I was close to wrapping up a mile. I’m weird about round numbers, so I told myself “run the whole mile.”  Even though I was ready to stop at 6 min, I ran another minute and a half to finish the mile.  
I came home and made myself a delicious Ezekiel bread sandwich:
– spinach
– tomato
– avocado
– 2 eggs
– Sriracha sauce
I also made Neil his green smoothie since he didn’t want to be woken up with it at 730 in the morning:
– 2 leaves kale
– 1 spear pineapple
– 1/4 peach
– 1/4 avocado
– 2 Tbsp chia seeds
– ice & water
The avocado always makes it thicker and creamier. There was too much avocado to go on my sandwich, so what better place to put it?  He tasted it and said it tasted like a Smoothie King smoothie. Excellent.
Now onto the best part of the night. I realized that I didn’t have anything to go with my evening tea and I have been wanting to try making something by myself.

It was marvelous.  I never thought I would be able to make anything without meticulously following a recipe.  I like lists and I like following step by step directions which is why I think I had success in baking and not regular meal preparation.  I lacked the confidence and creativity to think outside the box and throw things together to make a meal.

I knew that dates were the foundation of a lot of healthy bars (think Lara), and I just so happened to have a large amount of them in the pantry.  Next to the dates I saw the sad bag of failed almond flour I had tried to make for the white chocolate macadamia nut cookies which ended up as a mix between finely chopped almonds and almond meal.

Granted, this is not a very complex recipe, but I made it!  Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

No Bake Apple Pie Protein Balls

– 18-20 pitted dates
– 1/4 cup chopped almonds
– 1 Tbsp chia seeds
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp apple pie spice

Yield: about 10 balls

  1. In your Vitamix (or food processor), pulse dates and almonds together until combined.  (If you have whole almonds, you may want to chop those first in the container and then add the dates to combine).
  2. Add chia seeds, vanilla extract, and apple pie spice.  Pulse (if using a food processor) or blend on setting 2 (Vitamix) until ingredients are combined and a sticky dough is formed.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and form balls with your hands.  Make sure to firmly press the dough together so it sticks.  Once done, put in the refrigerator to firm up.

The chia seeds are optional and give the balls a little crunch.  I am obsessed with them lately so I just keep throwing them in everything.  In 1 Tbsp of chia seeds there are 3g of protein, hence the word protein in the name.  If omitting, they will be No Bake Apple Pie Balls (but still delicious!).

That’s it! These took very little time to make and were delicious!  I’m glad I found a use for the apple pie spice I have.  I tried mixing it up and using it in my oatmeal instead of pumpkin pie spice, but for me there was just no replacement. There are so many combinations that I can make and I am looking forward to trying some more out.  Hopefully I will slowly but surely work my way up to making other healthy treats 🙂

Question(s) of the day: Have you ever made a recipe from scratch? What suggestions do you have?

Thanks everyone for reading and let me know if any of you make these and can offer any improvements or alterations.  Have a great Tuesday! Hopefully you aren’t being forced to stay home today :/


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2 Comments

  1. October 2, 2013 / 5:16 am

    Now you are cooking! Way to go! Cooking without a recipe is so liberating! I usually use the recipe as just a springboard for me to launch into whatever else I want to do. Nice work!!

  2. October 2, 2013 / 3:12 pm

    I know! Im excited! I will keep you updated on the progress 🙂

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