Recipe: Nut and date balls

Warm up this winter with this deliciously sweet snack

Huba Akbar January 08, 2015


•  Grind the seedless dates in a food processor and then place them in a bowl.

•  Add the nuts to the bowl, along with butter, powder milk and sugar and mix them into the date mash.

•  Pick up medium-sized pieces of the mash and form them into balls, using your hands.

•  Coat each ball with crushed biscuits and set aside for them to settle. Your dish is now ready!

Nut-rition 101

In today’s, fast-paced world, it is hardly surprising that most of us are completely exhausted by the time we hit the sack at night. So much of our time is spent running from one errand to the next that we often forget to eat healthy and replenish our energy levels.

On days like this — when you are sleep-deprived, tired and struggling to get through — what do you do to keep yourself going? Does a cup of coffee or an energy drink work for you? Or do you prefer the sugar spike of a chocolate bar? These foods might provide you with a burst of energy but unfortunately, the effect barely lasts over an hour, leaving you more tired than before. Next time you need to boost your stamina, why not treat yourself to the healthier option of nuts? Not only will they give you long-lasting energy but also provide essential nutrients that processed snacks and drinks will not.

Nuts as energy boosters — What makes them so nutritious?

One of the best things about nuts is that they are compact and easy to store, especially in the workplace. These tiny gifts from nature are loaded with proteins which are a longer-lasting source of energy than carbohydrates. This means that proteins aren’t just a quick energy fix — they can keep you going for the long haul!

Nuts are also rich in other substances such as coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 for short) which spurs energy production in the human cell and also works as an antioxidant to protect the cells from stress-related damage. As we grow older, the amount of CoQ10 produced by our bodies declines but consuming nuts can help keep it up.

Omega 3 fatty acids — unsaturated fats which provide energy to the muscles and organs — are also found in nuts. These store energy and help regulate cholesterol in mature patients.

Which nuts are best for you?

Indeed, nuts are the ideal snack when you need to re-start your day. Just a handful can give you a surprisingly high amount of nutrients and a tasty, effective and super healthy alternative to caffeine and chocolate whenever you need one.

While all nuts are great sources of energy, especially during winters, some of them have added benefits. The most beneficial nuts include:

•  Cashew nuts: These are great in taste and fortunately, lower in fats than most other nuts. Cashew nuts are rich in amino acids and minerals like copper which are essential to energy production.

•  Almonds: Did you know almonds are known as ‘super foods’ because they contain a similar amount of protien as meat? They also provide iron and potassium for energy.

•  Pecans: At least 19 different types of vitamins, minerals, proteins and unsaturated fats can be found in pecan nuts, making them ideal for a quick, energising snack.

•  Walnuts: Just one serving of walnuts gives as much as 90% of the daily, recommended value of Omega 3 fatty acids. They are also high in L-Arginine, an amino acid that can be converted into glucose.

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, January 4th, 2015.


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