Friday, January 25, 2013

The Ultimate Trail Food - Coconut Date Balls

I'm a bit of a healthy real food "foodie" and always on the lookout for good trail recipes.  What's a good trail recipe?  Anything that has 100% real and healthy ingredients, keeps well, packs well and is energizing.  I found this recipe on Daily Garnish and decided to try it out.  BINGO!  Easy to make and delicious.  I make up a batch and freeze them.  The morning of a long run or trail race, I take a couple out of the freezer and put them in a ziploc bag in my hydration pack.  They are thawed and perfect by the time I need one.

I have to warn you, these things are like crack! Sooo delicious.  My friend David modified a little bit by adding coffee to his for a little caffeine boost mid-run.  I'm going to give that a try on my next batch.

If you have trouble with the link, the full recipe from Daily Garnish is below:

Ingredients (12-14 balls)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened dried coconut
  • 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
  • 12 pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup water (you might not need quite this much!)
  • zest of one orange
  • pinch of salt
  • extra coconut for rolling (optional)
Honestly, it doesn’t get much more simple than this.  Make sure your dates are pitted, and then chop them into bite sized pieces.
Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish
Add dates, oats, coconut, vanilla, salt, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) to a food processor.  Zest one orange over top of the food processor, and then let it spin.  The mixture will be dry and crumbly – let it process for a minute just to break down some of the bigger ingredients.
Slowly add about 1/4 cup of water – add just until the mixture becomes wet and a bit sticky.  Scoop out tablespoon sized portions and roll into balls. They will have a bit of stickiness to them, so I like to roll them in dried coconut to help prevent them from sticking together.
Coconut Date Energy Bites by Daily Garnish
These can be eaten at room temp, but I prefer them cooled in the refrigerator. Pack for snacks, hikes, bike rides, or any other long day where you might need a quick boost.


  1. I don't know about those, but your blog looks super-clean-lined! :)

  2. Did you bring these RR? I brought regular dates, and pb&j. those look super yummy, though.

    1. Hi Jacki! Yes..these were my primary food food for RR and they worked perfectly! No stomach upset at all and I never once felt a crash coming on. I would put three in my pack before each 16.67 mile loop and eat one every 5 miles. I also ate some potato soup and some pb&j squares at the aid stations and drank water all day. Worked great! :)