Raw, Vegan Protein Balls

Archie is stressed.

And over-worked and over-tired.

Raw, vegan protein balls

Raw, vegan protein balls

It’s because Rent opens in just over two weeks and Archie is feeling the pressure.  He says Jonathon Larson wrote a musical score that can kill a singer’s voice because of the range the performer has to sing coupled with the length of time his character has to sing during each performance.

And Archie says he learned to sing without first having lessons and so he was singing with a lot of bad habits that now have to be unlearned with the proper methods instilled to turn him into a singer who can have a career without getting throat nodules.

Almost everything I needed to make the balls, all measured out.

Almost everything I needed to make the balls, all measured out.

He also has harrowing memories of performing in The Girl From Maxim’s in the role of Dr Petypon where he was pretty much on stage for the entire show.  Two-thirds of the way into the scheduled performances Archie lost his voice.  I had to take him to a Chinese herbalist and a range of other practitioners to try and get his voice back and was only marginally successful.  In the last performance he was almost mute.

Preparing all the ingredients

Preparing all the ingredients

And so we are all doing our best to be supportive of Archie and I’m keeping up the supplies of Manuka honey and Vitamin C and echinacea and trying not to say too many times, ‘It would also help if you didn’t have so many late nights’, and, ‘It’s winter; before going outside you should wear more than a singlet top’, and, ‘Thai pork belly isn’t usually eaten for breakfast’.

It's all come together

It’s all come together

As well as looking after his voice, Archie says he is looking after his body – his temple.  I may have previously mentioned to you his new diet.  It is carb free and he’d also prefer it to be gluten-free and dairy-free and sugar-free.  He thinks you can survive on protein.

Gluten-free

Gluten-free

One morning after I dropped Alfie at school, I came home to find an empty container on the kitchen bench.  The night before it had 1kg of cooked chipolata sausages in it.  I buy them for Alfie’s lunch box.  There must have been 40 sausages in that container (once) so in shock I just stood there staring at it.

Completely raw

Completely raw

When Archie came home from Uni I gently asked, ‘Did you have a nice lunch?’

‘Yes’.

‘What did you have?’

‘Sausages.’

‘Did you take all the sausages that were in the fridge?’

‘Yes, they were great, thanks’.  The day had been a win.  No carbs and a kilo of protein.

This morning Archie wasn’t happy and it was all to do with the loaf of cafe toast I’d bought to enjoy with the honey we brought home from the Mudgee Food and Wine Fair.  ‘What did you buy that for?’ asked Archie all annoyed.

‘To make toast’.

‘But it’s full of carbs’.

‘Not everyone in this house is only eating protein’, I said.  But the problem was that the temptation was too much for Archie and next thing he was popping two slices into the toaster.  And then he took the rest of the butter chicken curry (minus the rice) to take to Uni where they don’t even have a microwave so he can heat it.

Pack them in your uni student's lunch box

Pack them in your uni student’s lunch box

So, as he is putting in 12-hour rehearsal days five days a week, I thought I’d cheer him up by making him some raw, vegan protein balls.  These will be excellent to take to Uni and a change from chipolatas and they don’t need to be heated.

And just as an aside, if you would like to see Archie perform in Rent, here are the dates.  Some performances have sold out so you do need to book promptly.  Tania and her Skater who attends the same Uni but is doing a different course have booked tickets for Wednesday, September 4.

Rent-e1372298875190-375x500Friday, 30th of August – 6:30pm

Sunday, 1st September – 2pm

Monday, 2nd of September – 11am

Tuesday, 3rd of September – 6:30pm

Wednesday, 4th of September – 11am

BOOK TICKETS HERE:

http://www.aim.edu.au/events/2013/rent-the-musical

Raw, Vegan Protein Balls

Makes:  16-20

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  I bought all the seeds, nuts and dried fruits from Scoop Wholefoods.  This way I could buy the exact quantities I needed.  The medjool dates were the most expensive because they are organic and cost just under $30/kg.  The total cost of everything I needed to buy (apart from the tahini, cinnamon, agave and cocoa that I already had at home) was $15.00.   Archie normally buys protein balls from the local greengrocer and these cost $3.00 each so by making your own, they are costing you a third of what you’d otherwise pay.

  • 100g pecans, lightly toasted
  • 100g almonds, lightly toasted
  • 2tbspns linseed, sunflower seeds and/or pepitas
  • 100g medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 100g soft dried apricots or figs
  • 100g pitted prunes
  • 1tbspn tahini or peanut butter
  • 1tbspn cinnamon
  • 2tbspns cocoa
  • 2tbspns agave or honey (but using honey would make this non-vegan)
  • dessicated coconut to decorate them

Combine the pecans, almonds and seeds in a food processor and whiz until fine crumbs. Add the dates, figs and prunes and whiz until smooth. Add the tahini, cacao powder, cinnamon, agave (or honey) and sea salt and whiz for two minutes or until the mixture starts to form into a ball.

Divide into golf ball-sized portions and roll into balls between lightly wet palms. Roll in coconut, and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Vegan!

Vegan!

Note:  You absolutely need a food processor to make these but having said that, I don’t have one!  I ground down the nuts and seeds in my nut and spice grinder (it took a lot longer), then I chopped and chopped and chopped the dried fruit until my arm muscles could no longer take the strain.  I pounded the mixture together with my bare hands and had no trouble with it all coming together.  I doubt you can tell the difference.  However, if you want to make these quickly and effortlessly, I highly recommend investing in a food processor.

This recipe has been adapted from the Good Food website.

Lots of nuts, seeds and dried fruit

Lots of nuts, seeds and dried fruit

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Comments

  1. Bless you. You’re such a good Mom. If I’d eaten a bucket of sausages my mother would have killed me!

  2. Oh you are just too lovely with your catering to all the dietary requirements. When I was a teenager, I dabbled with vegetarianism, but being dairy-free, gluten-free and sugar-free weren’t really options 10 years ago – how far we have come.

    I can’t believe Archie ate a kilo of sausages in one sitting. That’s an effort and a half. Diet who now?!!

  3. Haha. I have two growing sons and I can’t fill them up. A vat of chipolatas wouldn’t stand a chance in our house either. My boys are a couple of carb kings, but would make short work of these protein balls I can tell you.

  4. A kilo of sausages? That’s impressive. You are such a good Mum. How long will these last before you have to start chopping and chopping and chopping….At least you’ll have great arm muscles?!

  5. I would find that quite annoying…Archie should have asked if you had any intentions for the sausages before he scarfed them down, it’s not very considerate! Eating just proteins isn’t healthy either, everything in moderation as they say. These protein balls look just like truffles, I’d have a hard time just eating one or ten!

  6. Good to hear that Archie is taking care with his voice. Starring in Rent presents such an exciting opportunity for him. The doors it could open…

  7. Love these! This is what we’re doing instead of birthday cakes in our house.

  8. You are a wonderful mum Charlie!
    I love using dates and nuts for snacks or desserts that are healthy
    Can’t wait to make these for my kids

  9. Having to cook a variety of foods to cater to the differing nutritional requirements of your family would ‘drive me spare’. It certainly makes sense to make these protein balls at home when they cost so much to buy and I hope you get a food processor soon. It would be a practical purchase if you keep cooking in this way. Wishing you easier recipes to deal with in the future.

  10. You are one super Mom. Your kids are so fortunate.

  11. What a wonderful post…. it’s difficult to feed growing kids…. glad I have that behind me. Love this recipe… I really want to make this! Thanks for sharing the costings too, cos I was wondering.

  12. I have one brand new teen and I am already running out of ideas how to keep him full, hahaha! The Vegan balls look awesome. Good luck to Archie :)

  13. Now those is some nice lush balls!

    Mmmmmmm you rock.

  14. My BigJ and the girls have fights over cold sausages! Bbqs aren’t about the steak for dinner but all about the leftovers here.
    These do sound delicious Charlie, full of so many yummies, I’m sure Archie will appreciate the love that has gone into them and is keeping his body going like clockwork- in more ways than one :) xox

  15. Hi Charlie, I make something similar to this but it has 2 tblsp chia seeds and 1-2 tspns Super Green powder to give them added energy. I hope things improve for Archie before the performances.

  16. You are such an excellent mama! I had to giggle at the disappearing sausages. As the mom of two boys, I can certainly understand. Your protein balls sound fantastic…and I don’t think I could say that about most protein balls I see. I bet Archie ate them all in no time flat :)

  17. Am sure Archie will do great Charlie, try!
    Nice he has such a careful and thoughtful mum like you!
    Cheers! Joanne

  18. First the typist who is very crook today…true for try :)

  19. I am smiling [sort'of] Charlie and just saying ‘eliminate the negative, accentuate the positive’ and wishing you all well! Methinks you know I would read somewhat of a ‘lecture’ I have absolutely no right to :D ! The protein balls sound great but they need to be just part of the story . . . as you already have stated anyways :) ! Actually just wrote to say Google ‘echinacea’ – this should not be used as a longterm preventative/cure or in large doses: it’s more of an addendum when a cold/flu does take hold. Personally prefer astragalus: took that for five years after my breast cancer – similar effects, fewer probs. Well meant, Charlie :D !

  20. You really are a good Mum, Charlie. Mine would have been far less “accepting” had one of us eaten a tin of sausages. I shudder to think of her response but, I can say with some certainty, she would have made something like protein balls for the offender. :)

  21. ‘I can’t help it’ [old Marlene Dietrich song - 'who': go to YouTube!] Reading John’s comment can’t help but state that what your darling son needs is a week long state of bliss with John’s Zia’s carb recipes – swear – no tiredness, frazzles or lack of energy!!!! [Sorry, sort'of :) !]

  22. Okay, I just got caught up on your lovely blog…..AND now I am craving pasta!!! How exciting for Archie, what a great experience, and sounds soooooo fun:-) Your protein balls sound healthy and really delicious! Hugs, Terra

  23. They look delicious. Just my kind of food.

  24. Terra dearHeart . . . hate to tell you, you are actually on a high-protein ‘blog’ . . . it’s just, well just perhaps, John and I are the ‘alternates’ in this [oh, John is Chicago, I am S of Sydney :) !] mob :) !

  25. Archie is one special kid! I love the stories about him. You’re such a great mom working so hard to keep his voice alive for RENT. Love all of your remedies. Great little protein balls! Bet they gave everyone a lift and a very tasty way.

  26. What beautiful protein balls, Charlie. They sound so tasty…and addictive. How wonderful that Archie is taking care of his temple! He sounds like a true actor, doesn’t he? I would love to see him perform, and RENT is one of my favorite musicals. Be sure you continue to keep us up to date as the play opens! I will look forward to hearing all about it!

  27. You are amazing and beautiful dear Charlie, Thanks and Love, nia

  28. What a delicious treat!!
    I love my food processor, I really need to try this snack for my children :)

  29. Seems without a food processor Charlie, you get a good work out too – a double win.
    Poor Archie’s nerves, although I have no doubt he will do perfectly well.
    :-) Mandy xo

  30. 40 sausages?? His voice must be thundering. :)

    I think this performance will be brilliant. He’s such a talented young man. One day I’ll be able to say, “I know his mother!”

    The protein balls look very good. Thankfully I have a food processor. (however I don’t have a nut and spice grinder)

  31. I’m thinking these healthy sweet balls will balance out the amount of fat that was consumed in that sausage seating. Well, one can hope!

  32. Wow all protein and no carb diet for Archie! But does he really need it? Because he already looks pretty good to me! You’re still the best to make him vega protein balls :) I actually don’t think i’ve ever had them before hehe so will have to try soon ~ Especially since I want to start hitting the gym more! xox

  33. Everyone in my family will love these–they look absolutely wonderful and so healthy. And I am certain that “Rent” will be fantastic and that Archie appreciates all the love and support. You will show us photos, right?

  34. You’re so nice to make raw, vegan, protein balls! Although I’m not sure if ever in my life I’ve had a craving for those! Fun recipe though. And fun story – thanks.

  35. Excellent recipe! Break a leg,Archie!

  36. What a labour of love making these without a food processor! 1kg of chipolatas is pretty impressive. I think I would have gotten sick of them after a few. Looking forward to hearing how the performances go!

  37. I’m a big fan of these protein balls. I actually have made a quick and easy version with minimal ingredients and no other tools than a mixing bowl and spoon :)

  38. Archie never fails to amuse – although the amusement is probably greater when you’re not the one finding kilograms of sausages missing from your kitchen! I would certainly love these balls and I have no aversion to carbohydrates whatsoever :)

  39. pecans, almonds, dates, cocoa, peanut butter…my it couldn’t get any better!
    These look like such a treat!

  40. I’m cutting lots of carbs from my diet, so I can see why your son headed for the sausage to fill up!! Definitely save money when you make your own protein balls. Yum! Best of luck on the performance!

  41. I’m in love with this post. Musical theatre! Hilarity! A kilo of sausages! Raw vegan balls exactly of the kind my blog’s recipe section is rich in! Hurrah!

    So, so wish I could be there to see Rent. (I’ve said it before; I’ll say it again.)

  42. Hi Charlie, great posting. You’re an award winning mum. :)
    This vegan protein balls look rolling good and healthy. :)

    Best regards.

  43. I shall have to give these a go. Archie sounds hilarious. Youth is so wasted on the young. You really sound like such an accommodating mum. I hope his voice holds up too.
    Carolyn

  44. They looks so decadent and yet are so healthy. I tried carb-free for a few months and completely lost all my energy. I found it hard to even walk up the stairs. As soon as I added carbs back in, my energy levels came right almost immediately. I would be interested to know how this goes for Archie.

  45. What an eventful post, Charlie! I love these tasty treats too! :) Yummm!

  46. Poor guy, Hope he’s all better now. He’s gonna be famous!! ;) These protein balls look tasty! And they seem to be pretty healthy, too! All those dates and muted give fiber as well as protein…. always good. xo

  47. Having just delved into raw vegan recipes, I bet this would be good. I never would have thought raw and vegan would be to my liking, but when it uses so many spices and flavors it’s actually pretty good. Tell Archie to break a leg (do they use that expression in Australia?).

  48. These protein balls look amazing and I am definitely making them soon.

  49. These look delicious. We’ll have to give them a try. Matt

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  1. […] and his girlfriend came for dinner and loved the beef cheeks then swallowed a few protein balls for dessert.  Arabella missed out because she was working but she didn’t mind because […]

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