Tuesday, 18 December 2012

honey sage pistachio balls / energy bites

Honey sage pistachio balls. Sweet, nutty energy bites.

Christmas is coming, and while I'm not a traditionalist, I do inevitably get caught up in the excitement that comes with the abundance of edible treats, this time of the year.

This is also the time of the year when I try to challenge myself with making treats that evoke Christmas (see here for last year's achievement). If you think you've been seeing a lot of green in my posts this month, well, it's not a coincidence.

Let's talk about energy balls today. I pop over to Hannah's blog at Wayfaring Chocolate quite frequently, and I am often envious of the variety of balls in her queenly repertoire. However, not having a food processor, I've never made my own.

Recently, I finally thought, to hell with that - I am doing this, even if I have to use a mortar and pestle!

So that's what I did.

Yes, you may call me Superwoman.

Making energy balls without a food processor, the old-fashioned way - with a mortar and pestle.

Thanks to my medieval methods, I made only a small portion, so feel free to multiply the recipe as you see fit. Feel free, too, to adapt the recipe to suit your needs. For example, you can make it a vegan recipe by using maple syrup, brown rice syrup, or agave nectar instead of honey. You can make it a raw recipe, too, by not baking the sage, using raw pistachios - no toasting, and using raw honey or agave. Oh, and if you have a food processor, you can just whiz everything together and cut down on the manual labour.

All that aside, let me just say I am now totally a homemade energy ball convert. Even with the extra work I had to do - which wasn't that difficult, really - I felt it was worth it. So wholesome. So delicious. And in the end, even with all the energy I exerted into making my energy balls, I think they lived up to their namesake and replenished me right back, with more to spare.

Plus, they're festive enough for a Christmas connection, all glistening green with speckles of red!

Honey sage pistachio energy bites.

honey sage pistachio energy balls with a mortar and pestle
(makes about 2 dozen marble-sized balls)
(I made this in 2 batches, as my mortar is modestly-sized.)

20 large fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup shelled pistachios, toasted
pinch of salt (not required if using pistachios that have already been lightly salted)
1 tablespoon honey (approximate, to be added in gradually and with care)

Preheat oven to 100ºC or 210ºF fan-forced (120ºC or 250ºF conventional).
Lay out sage leaves on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes or until dry and crispy.
While the sage is roasting in the oven, toast the pistachios in a pan, stirring frequently, until they release a pleasant nutty aroma.
Crumble dried sage leaves with a mortar and pestle, picking out any tough stems that did not break down.
Add the toasted pistachios and continue pounding, crushing and grinding into fine, loose grains.
Sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Skip this step if the pistachios are already salted.
Add in honey, a little at a time, stirring and pressing the mixture with the pestle to check if the consistency might be ready for rolling. If in doubt, stop adding the honey and attempt the rolling earlier - you can always add more honey later, if you need to. Anyway, you can see that mine turned out quite shiny and moist - I could probably have used less honey, but it's all good!
So when you break off a small chunk and it rolls quite smoothly without giving you any trouble (e.g. cracking, falling apart), go forth and merrily roll those balls.

I shared these honey sage pistachio energy balls with Simon and we finished it within the day, but I would hazard a guess that they could keep quite nicely for a few days, covered, at room temperature, or a bit longer if you store them in the fridge.

Have fun, and enjoy!

35 comments:

  1. Coooool! What a nifty balls idea:) I've been making my way through Hannah's repertoire, so I definitely want to try these out. So few ingredients! So clever! So tasty (I am betting)!

    Happy holidays, xo

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    1. Oh, please do! And I hope you like 'em. Happy holidays! :D

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  2. The sage is such a good idea! I admire your use of the mortar & pestle for this - you definitely need energy bites after that workout.

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, very happy with the results. A bit of sage and hard work doesn't go astray. ;)

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  3. You are a legend. Seriously. Mortar and pestle, the dedication involved in that, plus my favourite nut AND the use of savoury herbs in a dessert? LEGEND.

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    1. Thank you, m'lady. Honourable praise, coming from the Queen of Balls. ;D

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  4. I will most definitely call you Superwoman! I do have a food processor and I still haven't got around to trying anything like this :)

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    1. Yay! Making your own energy bites can be pretty fun. You should try it sometime. :)

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  5. oooh, i can't get get my head around sage and pistachio and honey!! then again ... it's good to challenge your tastebuds! (or brain)

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    1. Sage, pistachio and honey work great together! Well, I think so anyway. :D

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  6. You are seriously so clever!! I have never thought of a motar and pestle great idea but damn I don't have either a processor or M and P LOL

    These look super healthy :) And i love pistachios hehe ~ HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

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    1. Thanks, Daisy! Gosh, I'm amazed you don't have a food processor or mortar and pestle. I reckon you'd like these, they're sweet and nutty. Happy holidays! :D

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  7. These look much better than the ones they serve up at the gym. Yummy!

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    1. Thanks, and indeed - gotta love homemade energy bites. :D

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  8. ¸.•°♡⊱彡
    É tudo de bom!!!

    Que o menino Jesus continue abençoando a vida de todos nós.
    Beijinhos.
    Brasil ✿ °•.¸


    (⁀‵⁀,) ✫✫✫
    .`⋎´✫✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫
    ✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫✫
    .•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫✫✫ MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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  9. what a brilliant recipe! I can't wait to try these after the gym!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! Yeah, these would be great for a post-gym snack! :D

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  10. Not a combination I'd have thought of. I'll have to try them sometime!

    Why don't you have a food processor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure how often I'd use one, and I don't want to clutter up my tiny kitchen too much. :)

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    2. A reasonable reason :) They are noisy beasts, but handy for grating and grinding stuff.

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  11. Rad! I love herbs in sweets, going to give these a crack for sure. Merry Christmas!

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  12. I like how there are only a few ingredients to it - my kind of recipe :P
    We do have a food processor but I don't know where it is... may have to resort to medieval methods too haha I guess it gives your arm a good workout at least!

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    Replies
    1. Indeed, simple recipes for the win! :)
      The medieval method isn't too bad actually. Can be a therapeutic way to spend a weekend. ;)

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  13. Wow! These are so unique. What a very interesting combination!

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  14. They look like sprouts at first glance! I'd love them, I think...

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  15. What a delicious sounding treat! Yum!

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  16. How awesome are these! I love the flavor combo.

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