The quest to eat healthy and nutritious foods in recent times has paved the way for modern-day energy and protein bars. While the grab-on-the-go “energy”, “protein” or “power” bars stacked on grocery store shelves may sound healthy and captivating, repeated processing and poor-quality ingredients rip them of the nutrition value it was intended to provide and instead the energy source is replaced by artificial sweeteners and additives.
What’s more, from an Ayurvedic approach, these highly processed bars; break down agni (digestive fire), imbalance vata, and deplete prana of the ingredients, offering little ojas (energy) to the body and mind. According to Ayurveda, ojas is the ‘vital nectar of life’ and is the essence that provides strong immunity, nourishment to the tissues, and stability to the mind.
Ojas is one of the three subtle forces in our body and is the ultimate energy reserve of the mind and body. The presence of ojas helps us to deal with occasional stress and overcome physical and mental fatigue. Additionally, physical exercises also reduce the stress level. But, overexposure to chemicals and pollutants, excess caffeine and processed foods, lack of sleep and exercise, and the stress and anxiety of modern living all deplete our ojas and need to be replenished.
One of the ways to naturally revitalize the energy is by consuming food helps build ojas. The qualities of ojas are sweet, heavy, smooth and cool and hence the list of ojas-building food includes dates, almonds, cow’s ghee, cardamom, and so on. Let’s try fresh, delicious and nutrient-rich energy bite at home which is loaded with ojas boosters.
- 1 ½ cups chopped dates
- 2 to 3 tbsp. almonds (soaked and peeled) and pistachio nuts 1 to 2 tbsp. raw cashews
- 4 to 6 dry figs (chopped)
- 1 to 2 tbsp. desiccated coconut.
- 2 pods grounded green cardamom,
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp. ghee
- 2 tbsp. raw cacao powder (optional)
- 1 tbsp. ashwagandha root powder (optional)
For coating: 2 to 3 tbsp. desiccated coconut or ¼ cup sesame seeds or coarsely ground flax seeds.
- Roast the nuts in a pan until they are slightly brown.
- Add the chopped dates, figs, desiccated coconut, coarsely powdered cardamom powder, cinnamon powder, ashwagandha powder (if used) and ghee to a food processor, along with the roasted nuts.
- Grind to a coarse, sticky, dough-like mixture and spread on a tray or in a bowl.
- Scoop out approximately 1 tbsp of the mixture and roll it in between the palms. Coat your palms with a layer of ghee to avoid stickiness.
- Roll the completed balls in desiccated coconut, sesame seeds or grounded flax seeds for an extra dose of nutrition.
- Serve the energy bites immediately, or store in an air-tight container and refrigerate for up to a week.
- If you don’t have time to roll the balls, opt to make bars by pressing the mixture into a lightly oiled, glass 9 x 9” baking dish. Cut and enjoy as needed.
Swaps and Alternatives:
Swap fig with raisins, goji berries, cranberries or any other dry fruits according to your preferred taste.
Make a healthy truffle by adding 2 tbs. of coarsely ground cacao nibs, raw cocoa or carob powder.
Over to you
Enjoy these energizing treats as a pick-me-up snack or as a healthy dessert. They are balancing for all body types during the warmer seasons and can be enjoyed regularly in moderation. These blissful bites can be made in no time and are a great treat for kids too.