I wake up at 5:30 AM to work out most days and really struggle to put any food into my body. NOTHING sounds appetizing. But, I’ve started noticing (even more so as I’ve gotten older) that I really need some fuel before workouts or else I feel sluggish and weak.
I’ve tried a few different things and realized that I can handle Larabars pretty well, so I decided to experiment with homemade energy balls. I had some tahini (which is ground up sesame seeds) in the fridge that I thought would make a great base, and I just started tossing things into it. These turned out great.
Note: You could sub peanut butter or almond butter for the tahini but since tahini is pretty runny compared to PB and AB, you may need to play with your ratios. Perhaps reduce the maple syrup or add no protein. You could probably leave the maple syrup out all together – I just find tahini a bit strong and the brand I use doesn’t have added sugar. (Trader Joe’s tahini does have added sugar.)
Seedy, Nutty Tahini Energy Balls
Makes 18-20 1” balls
Approximate nutrition per ball: 105 calories, 8 grams fat, 7 grams carbs, 4 grams protein.
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 scoop protein powder (I used SunWarrior Chocolate)
- pinch of salt (this is the best part! Don’t leave it out!)
Combine all ingredients into a bowl until well combined. Use your hands to form them into 1” balls and pop them in the fridge until serving. I usually have 1-2 before a workout and have been taking these as an afternoon snack at work too. They’re especially great with coffee.
Look at all that seedy, nutty goodness! Don’t look at those nails that need a manicure!
And picture for your Pinterest needs!
Let me know if you try these out! And let me know if you have suggestions for pre-workout snacks that are easy to stomach early in the morning!