Mocha Espresso Bean Protein Balls. Vegan. GF.

Mocha Espresso Energy Balls.  Vegan.  GF.
Mocha Espresso Protein Balls. Vegan. GF. || Knead to Cook.

Happy Monday!  Another week, another missed snowstorm.  All the pomp and circumstance on the news and we got a few inches of the white stuff. Kids were delayed but thankfully that was it.  No need for the snowblower and the kids still got to go to school.  Plus bonus – I got to make my girls some freshly squeezed blood orange juice.

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I have been thinking about this recipe since Vega sent me their new bionic (seriously – its packed with tons of bionic vegan ingredients) mocha flavored protein powder last week.  This paired with espresso beans.  Why do I hate coffee but love vegan dark chocolate covered espresso beans?  I have no idea.  I had them one day at a restaurant and couldn’t believe it… I loved them.  And here’s a little tidbit, most better quality dark chocolate is vegan.  No milk!  YAY!  So I found some favorites and I stash them in my pantry.  I have a  few in the morning for a caffeine punch.  But today, I chopped up a bunch and put them in this recipe.  Bionic balls!  Ha!  Now that should make you laugh!

Ingredients:

1 c of old-fashioned oats (I use gluten free Bob’s Redmill rolled oats)
2 tablespoons of Vega Mocha protein powder
1/4 c of vegan chocolate chips
10 dark vegan covered espresso beans, chopped
1/2 c of almond butter (you can use whatever nut butter you have in your pantry but I used Justin’s maple)
1/2 c of flaxseed meal
1 tbl of chia seeds
1/3 c of maple syrup
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1 pinch of salt

Mix it all together (I used my stand mixer) in a bowl and then refrigerate for 45 minutes. Remove and make into balls. I used a small scooper (1-1.5 inch) to press it in and then eject it. Rolled it with my hands to get a ball shape all around and then place in a airtight container to refrigerate. Will last 5-7 days but most likely they will be long gone before that!  It yields about 14 balls.  You can also roll these into toasted coconut flakes or raw cacao powder.

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fitness_update

Let’s wrap up last week and then start with what I did Sunday.  I finished out last week with 37.28 miles.  3 days of weightlifting mixed in there too.  Saturday wrapped up my running for last week.

Sunday I did my long run.  It was hard, no lie.  I got up at 4:40 am with the logic that I would get out early before the  church traffic started on the roads.  We had snow on Saturday and I knew the melt would re-freeze and make for a tedious run.  So I got up. Got out the door by 5.  I have some awesome help lately with my training diet.  Since becoming a vegan, I haven’t done any endurance running beyond a half marathon.  To much dismay of my nutritional advisors, I don’t eat or drink prior to running.  Not.  At.  All.  So after much discussion, texts and emails, I was told to start with a banana and take water with me.  Sip each mile and that’s just what I did.  I ate my banana and took to the dark streets leaving my husband and bed all snuggly, asleep and warm/cozy.

The roads were either dry, wet or frozen.  My legs were 90% cement.  I won’t lie.  These are the runs that make you a better runner or so I’ve been told.  My focus has been on distance and building that up and not worrying about speed at all. That will come back eventually after my body has completely healed and I won’t rush it.  I finished proud and tired.  And I did sip water at each mile notification of my watch.  My left patella also held up – it has been very angry lately.

 

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I came home, promptly iced my sore knees (I’ve had three knee surgeries after college thanks to field hockey) and consumed my Vega protein smoothie within 30 minutes of arriving home.  I then showered and rolled out my sore legs- I hate you foam roller! From there I highly recommend wearing Procompression socks for the day/night.  I even sleep in them after a long run.  They help to recover muscles, increase blood flow and reduce swelling.  I run in them and pretty much live in them. I’m still in them as I sit here blogging.  They help me to have no leg pain post long runs and that is just insanely awesome!

So that’s it from here.  Rest day today.  Back at it tomorrow.  Hope you’re staying warm, dry and upright.  Lots of love from here.

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— Knead to Cook

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