What Are Apricot Coconut Energy Balls?
Apricot Coconut Energy Balls are a delicious snack made from dried apricots, coconut, vanilla, almonds, and other ingredients formed into bite-sized pieces that are perfect for children and adults. Even though parenting never really ends, there will come a time when they are a bit less receptive to our food choices. Introducing healthy foods when they’re little is always a good move!
I call these “energy balls” because you can eat them as a quick pick-me-up and get a boost without any added sugar except for a tiny bit of maple syrup. They are easy to make, you can store them in the refrigerator or freezer, and you can take them with you on errands and hikes.
The Benefits of Apricots and Coconut for Children
As someone of Armenian descent, apricots have a special place in my heart. This delicious fruit’s scientific name is Prunus Armeniaca because that’s where they come from; some say Alexander the Great introduced them to the rest of the world with great success!
Apricots are a good source of fiber, vitamins A and C, and potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants, which may help to reduce the risk of certain diseases and fight off inflammation.
Coconuts are a good source of fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals. Their medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) are easily absorbed and used by the body for energy. Coconut also contains lauric acid, a type of fatty acid which might have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
This is important for children’s growth and development, but also great for parents! And best of all, unlike many energy balls, these Apricot Coconut Energy Balls don’t contain added sugar, empty calories, flavorings, etc.
Hemp Seeds: A Solid Plant-Based Protein Source
Hemp seeds are a solid source of protein because they contain all nine essential amino acids the human body cannot produce on its own. They are relatively high in protein compared to many other plant-based protein sources.
Protein is essential to children’s growth and development, the growth and repair of tissues, the production of enzymes and hormones, and the maintenance of healthy skin, hair, and nails. Protein helps support a child’s immune system and build strong muscles, bones, and teeth. And last but not least, it is vital to children’s brain development and healthy weight.
Hemp seeds are also a good source of other nutrients such as fiber, healthy fats, and minerals like zinc and iron.
What to Do With Apricot Coconut Energy Balls
Here are some delicious ways to use Apricot Coconut Energy Balls:
Pie crust: If you’ve ever had a “raw vegan” cheesecake, you know how delicious energy balls can be as a pie crust. Press them into muffin cups, pour the filling on top, and pop them in the freezer. Or press them into individual cake tins, and fill them with freshly chopped fruit and a drizzle of vanilla pudding!
Over vanilla ice cream: Ice cream is delicious as a topping for apple pie, but why not make it the star of the show and enhance it with crumbled energy balls on top or folded in?
Dipped in chocolate: You can turn the humble mix of dried fruit and nuts into a fancy dessert by dipping each ball halfway in melted chocolate. Make your own dipping chocolate, or add some maple syrup to chocolate chips and melt them carefully in the microwave or double-boiler.
Frozen into bars for hiking: Energy balls are the perfect snack for hikes. Just be sure to freeze them beforehand, and they will stay firm the whole time.
But my favorite way to eat these Apricot Coconut Energy Balls is with a cup of tea while reading books to my children, especially Little Andy. What better way to build our little ones’ self-esteem, confidence, and independence than with a cuddle, a treat, and an inspiring story?
Apricot Coconut Energy Balls
1 cup dried apricots
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/8th teaspoon vanilla extract
⅓ cup whole almonds
¼ cup hemp seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until the mixture sticks together and can be easily rolled into balls. If it feels too dry, add a small drizzle of shredded coconut.
- Roll each ball into more shredded coconut if desired.