If you train hard you need protein to repair your muscles, right? If you’ve trained really hard, you probably want that protein to taste a little bit special. Delicious is a word often over-used by food bloggers, ourselves included, but really, these Maple and Pecan Protein Balls are the bees knees. (Question: do bees even have knees? I’ll leave that one with you).
Anyway, we made these for after our recent exertions at Manchester Marathon. We have to fess up – we were only exerting half as much as most of the runners. We did the Half and Half Relay, which is an absolutely brilliant way to use the marathon atmosphere to push yourself to a half marathon PB (clever, eh?) You also get to eat your tasty protein balls sooner than if you’d ran the whole thing (double smart, I think you’ll agree). Click the link to read our Manchester Marathon Half and Half Relay Race Report.
The magic ingredient in these is rice cakes, which add a subtle crunch and an extra hint of nutty taste. They work well with vanilla or chocolate protein powder and if you’ve worked extra hard (running the full marathon, for example), add a tablespoon of chia seeds too.
The mixture is quite thick so you’ll need to keep prodding it in your blender to get it all mixed together well. This makes the balls good and firm though so they don’t need to go in the fridge before you treat yourself to one or two or three. As ever, they’re great for lunch boxes and firm enough to wrap in cling film and pop in your pocket if you’re out hiking or on a long training run.
- 150g pecans
- 10 fresh dates, chopped
- 3 rice cakes, roughly crumbled
- 1 tablespoon date syrup
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 scoop vanilla or chocolate protein powder
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and buzz until fairly smooth. Leave a bit of crunch though.
- Roll in to balls and eat!
- These keep well in the fridge for about a week.