BRAINY NO BAKE PALEO CHOC BALLS

It’s Easter weekend and we are on lock-down. Today I need something simple with minimum fuss and maximum impact to lift our spirits. These paleo balls take moments to throw together and if you can wait for them to firm up in the fridge for an hour or two, you will be rewarded with a more intense taste and more unctuous texture.

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HOW TO MAKE

  1. Blend the walnuts in a food processor until you have a fine powder.
  2. Add the dates, vanilla extract, cacao powder (hold back half a teaspoon to sprinkle on top if you want to make them fancy looking!) and salt and blend together until you have a smooth paste. Add a tiny bit of water to loosen things up if needed.
  3. Tip the mixture into a bowl and using your hands form balls - the size of the balls is up to you. I have managed to make 10 medium balls but you can make them bigger or smaller. You can sprinkle them with a tiny bit of the cacao powder that you have held back to make them look pretty. You can eat them straight away but if you can contain yourself placing them in the fridge for an hour or two will make them easier to handle and allow the flavour to develop. It will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week.

THE SCIENCE BIT

WALNUTS are an excellent source of anti-inflammatory omega-3 essential fatty acids, in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). WALNUTS are also rich in antioxidants, including being a very good source of manganese and copper. They are also a good source of molybdenum and biotin. In terms of phytonutrients, WALNUTS contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds, including more than a dozen phenolic acids, numerous tannins (especially ellagitannins, including tellimagrandins), and a wide variety of flavonoids. Approximately 90% of the phenols in WALNUTS are found in the skin, including key phenolic acids, tannins, and flavonoids. The antioxidant vitamin E composition of WALNUTS is also of special mention since there is an unusual concentration of the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E in this tree nut.