Deciding how to fuel before a workout is a concept that many people struggle with. The thought of eating a large meal prior to an invigorating cardio session is not always the best idea, nor is entering the gym on an empty stomach.
A question I get asked often is, “what should I eat before I workout?” Truthfully, it depends on a few factors such as the time you plan to spend burning calories, how intense you want your workout to be, and the time in between your last meal. But ideally, one should aim for a small sustainable snack (around 100-200 calories) that will provide a good balance of carbohydrates and protein to keep you fueled.
Dates are an ideal energy source, loaded with fiber and rich nutrients that aid in muscle development. They are also easy to digest, which is key when consuming foods before you exercise. I love making date balls to keep on hand for a perfect pre-workout fuel. They are convenient, portable and incredibly delicious. You can get creative with the flavors, but in an effort to celebrate pumpkin season, I decided to pair this batch with the sweet flavors of pumpkin and coconut. All you need is a food processor or a good blender and these energy balls come together in no time!
Prepare these ahead of time and store them in your fridge, that way when you’re ready to hit the gym, you’ll have no excuse.
Pumpkin Coconut Date Balls
Prep Time: 5 minutes, Cook Time: N/A Makes 8 balls
- ¾ cup Shiloh Farms organic dates, pitted
- ¼ cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- ¼ cup Shiloh Farms organic coconut
- 2 tbsp Shiloh Farms organic old fashion oats
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp almond butter (can substitute peanut butter)
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Place dates in a food processor and process until a paste forms.
- Add pumpkin, coconut, oats, salt, almond butter, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla. Pulse until all ingredients are throughout combine.
- The mixture will be wet so you may need to use a melon ball scooper or wet hands. Remove about 2 tbsp of the mixture and with your hands roll into ball about the size of a golf ball.
- Place on wax paper and continue to form balls with the remaining mixture.
- Place the balls in the refrigerator for at least an hour to harden.
Enjoy more of Lauren’s recipes by checking our her blog; http://www.saywhatyouneedtosayblog.com/