Almond Joy Energy Balls

This kid-friendly, energy-packed, nutrient-dense snack is the perfect addition to your child’s lunch this school year.  They are made with no added sugar and are packed with healthy fats, which will keep your child satiated during the long school day.  The protein and fat combination of these nutrient-packed balls will keep your child energized and alert without the crazy blood sugar spikes and crashes other sweet-snacks provide. This recipe is also extremely versatile and can be modified to fit any nutritional preferences. If necessary, you can sub out the almonds and add in oatmeal for those with nut allergies.  You can also get creative by using different textures, add-ins and extracts.
Get your kiddos involved in the kitchen this school year and let them help you prepare some of their foods and snacks. This will give them responsibility, ownership and skills they can use throughout their lifetime as well as teaches them how to prepare and eat healthier foods. Utilize your best judgment and provide them with tasks they can contribute to in a safe manner!
Almond Joy Energy Balls
Ingredients:
2-cups pitted dates
2-cups almonds
¼-cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1-cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼-tsp of sea salt
1-tsp vanilla extract
1-3-tbsp of coconut milk or almond milk or pea protein milk, or milk of choice (varies if you’re adding collagen or another protein powders)
2-tbsp of cacao nibs
2-scoops of collagen (optional)
Instructions:
Place ¾-cup of coconut flakes into a food processor and blend for about 1-minute to break up the flakes.  Once processed, remove flakes and put aside (this will be used for dusting once mixture is formed into balls.)
Place dates in food processor and process for about 1-minute until dates come together in a ball. Break up mixture with hands or spatula.
Add in almonds, cocoa powder, remaining ¼ cup of coconut flakes, cacao nibs, sea salt and collagen into mixture and process for several minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides as you go.
Add in vanilla extra and 1-tbsp of dairy free milk of choice or 2-tbsp if adding in collagen.
Process the mixture until blended and formed into a ball.  Add in an additional 1-tbsp of milk until ball is formed (if using a protein powder, you may need to add in more liquid.)
Remove mixture from processor and roll into balls.  Will form about 15-24 balls depending on size. Roll in coconut flakes you processed earlier and chill for 2 hours in refrigerator. Enjoy!
*Store in refrigerator for up to 1-2 weeks.