Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My balls are the bomb, don't tell me otherwise.

Warm weather is here and that means weekend hours on the bike. Often this means upwards to 4 or 5 hours riding. I was typically just carrying Clif Blocks and GU gels with me. Sometimes a bottle of Skratch mix or perhaps a granola bar. After 4 hours this gets a little tough to stomach and my body craves something a little more.... REAL.

I use carbs to fuel my exercise and not to fix lows. It kind of goes hand in hand. I maintain my blood sugars by allowing myself to need the fuel. I don't run my BG's high so I have to starve myself nor do I run them low so I have to take in copious amounts of carbs. Yes sometimes one or the other happens beyond my control.

I was getting really tired of the blocks and gels and the who-knows-what ingredients were in them. My friend Steph had shown me these date things she had one day at a race. It was a combination of dates, coconut oil and dark chocolate chips. I wasn't overly thrilled with that combo so I set out to make something more palatable to me.

I didn't measure much at all. I just kept throwing stuff in, tasting it and adjusting.
-a dozen pitted dates (or whatever...... )
-chocolate chips. I used about twice as much as pictured. Not dark but MILK because it's what I like the best. I never said I was a hard core vegan, just 99% vegan.
-2 heaping tablespoons of ground chia seed (it's gotta be ground). I guess you could use ground flax too. Or omit it... there's no rhyme or reason to my balls.
-salt. I maybe used a whole teaspoon. I'm not sure. I want them to be salty because I suffer huge with low blood pressure after exercise. (like MASSIVELY).
-a scoop (or two?) of chocolate flavoured vegan proteins+ powder.
-shredded coconut either sweetened or unsweetened. Whatever I have. Lots of it. Like half a cup or more worth.
-Teaspoon or two of vanilla extract
-as much almond butter as necessary to get the mix moist enough to roll into balls. half a cup or more probably.
Throw everything except the chocolate chips into a food processor. Mix in chocolate chips after and roll into balls. Whatever size suits your fancy. I like mine not too big, they're like 2-bites big. Just enough to throw down my gullet while barely skipping a beat on the bike.
Don't ask me about nutritional content or carb counts. I dunno. My answer is, ENOUGH (?!). I know they have some protein, carbs, fat and sodium. Those are the important factors for me. The highest and most prominent carbs are the dates.
pre-ball mix
BALLS! and a really crappy quality picture.
I wrapped these in tin foil because last time I used plastic wrap and they were hard to get at without stopping the bike. They would also leave my hands oily.
I have a hard time not eating them because they're SO FUCKING DELICIOUS! To me, personally, they are the perfect mix of salty and sweet. I don't like overly sweet things. I can eat a ball every 45-60mins and be perfectly content. I adore the chocolate. After riding for a few hours they get all warm and soft.
More than anything, I love that they are not laden with chemicals and things that cause GI distress which is something I am extremely sensitive to. Even Ryan likes them! We keep them in the fridge and grab 'n go as needed.


  1. LOVE this recipe. And maybe the salt has an added benefit of keeping you a little more hydrated? I like everything about this except the idea of trying to eat them while on the bike. Not a big deal though, since I don't generally eat while riding (sometimes I can only do one thing at a time). Thanks!

  2. Well the multi-tasking is a learned thing. Took me forever just to teach myself how to test my blood while riding (and not crashing). Teeth come in handy for opening up packages and being comfortable riding with no hands also helps. I've been known to text and ride also (sssshhhh....)
    The salt probably does help with hydration. I feel it is necessary for me because my blood pressure runs low most of the time and exercise makes it MUCH worse. Think, constant head rushes for hours afterwards. When I was a runner I always seemed to be on the verge of hyponaetremia and at one point was quite ill after a race. My diet does not consist of very much sodium so its weird to have to make a concerted effort to take it in.

  3. Those are some tasty looking balls! :)

  4. I might have to try your balls. I've been meaning to make something from "Feed Zone Portables"--which is very similar to what you've written about here--but I keep forgetting. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. There's no rhyme or reason to my balls either.

    Okay, there's no rhyme or reason to my comment either but I felt like it was needed.

  6. "there's no rhyme or reason to my balls."

  7. i am so lazy when it comes to prepping my own food for rides... these look good though!

  8. I used to always be lazy (still am!) but making a big batch of these balls every few weeks is something I feel like I can do. I still take blocks and GU with me on rides and often use them also.
    Last night I was riding and I stopped to test my BG. Out loud I was like "please be low, please be low!" because I wanted to eat a date ball so bad! BG was at 4.0! ball FTW!!


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