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Breakfast, Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Xmas-Laced Energy Balls

No need to straddle a packet of biscuits to nurse that stinking hangover.

When these energy balls are programmed into your festive calendar, you’ll jumpstart your battery faster than immediately.

I made them on TV3’s Seven O’Clock Show tonight, so you can watch the demo here with the inimitable Lucy Kennedy (love her wicked humour).


1 1/2 cups (225g) sticky Medjool dates, stones removed

1 cup (140g) walnuts (Lidl have great ones)

1/4 cup (20–25g) raw cacao or cocoa powder

3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1 teaspoon spirulina powder (optional)

Pinch sea salt flakes

4 drops of culinary-grade orange oil (or zest from 1 unwaxed orange)

3 tablespoons goji berries, very finely chopped (optional jolliness)


Pulse all the ingredients except the gojies in a food processor, and not a blender. Whizz until the nuts clump together in a large dough ball. One minute should be about right. Taste and decide if it needs more orange oil to mask the taste of spirulina.

Make 20 golf ball-sized truffles or 30–40 smaller ones by rolling some dough between your palms. Place on a non-stick tray and chill until relatively firm. Once set (about 30 minutes), you can trying rolling them in the bright red goji berry dust. Raw cacao powder or desiccated coconut work well too, but the racy colour of gojies is freakishly festive. So I like these.

I pop some lolli sticks into the energy balls at this stage, so my nippers can enjoy them too.

Store in the fridge and grab on the run. And highfive my 13 year old neighbour Chitra, for sparking the inspiration for this recipe!


xmas laced energy balls


Photography by Joanne Murphy

An adaptation from The Virtuous Tart, Irish Cookbook of the Year 2015

Breakfast, Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks, Videos

Healthier Flapjacks

These flapjacks are the best yet. Loads of B vitamins … B for brain, B for battery, B for badass.

My nippers dig them too.

Expect these breakfast bars to last for 10 days in the fridge, ready to grab belting out the door in the morning. (Eh, they’ll also make the tail-back traffic much more interesting).



Megawatt Breakfast Bars

makes 24

140ml melted extra virgin coconut oil

80ml good quality honey (or maple syrup for vegans)

2 handfuls of regular pitted dates (100g)

1 banana, mashed

1-2 teaspoons cinnamon

Freshly grated nutmeg, a pinch

Generous pinch of sea salt flakes

Just over 2 cups (200g) regular rolled oats

Just under 1 cup (100g) of walnuts, roughly broken

1 cup (100g) ground almonds

Handful of sunflower seeds



(1) Fire up your oven to 170 Celsius. A regular 180 C oven is too hot, and will result in crumblie bars. We use a tin no bigger than a magazine page (around 8×10 is perfect).

(2) Using a saucepan, gently melt the coconut oil with your honey for 2 minutes.

(3) Chop the dates and add them to the party, followed closely with the mashed banana.

(4) Add any spices you fancy using – orange rind and cinnamon? Lemon zest and ground ginger? We’re using nutmeg and sea salt flakes today. The Boss.

(5) Once these ingredients are thoroughly socialised and gorgeously glossy, add your remaining ingredients. Mix well, and scrape into your pre-lined tin.

(6) Press down firmly with your fingers. Admire your brilliance.

(7) Bake for 30 minutes until lightly golden, but not darker in shade. Oats will turn bitter if you leave them to brown. Remove the tray from the oven. Resist cutting until they have cooled down. I like to let them firm up in the fridge for a few hours.


healthy breakfast idea


Taking the hell out of healthy.

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