I am a breakfast person. Heart and soul. I can easily turn from Budha to Godzilla if I don’t get my morning bite for longer than 20 minutes. Yes, that’s my threshold.
I usually prepare chapatti wraps from last night’s leftovers for my breakfast, which I quickly bite in the Office kitchen, before the actual hours start. But since I have a big appetite, and a bigger eye for good food, I tend to carry some small nibbles in my bag like almonds, cashews or roasted pumpkin seeds. Just to curb my untimely hunger. But TBH, it still leaves me starved at times making it damn hard to wait till lunch time.
If you are anything like me you would understand how difficult it is to check those hunger pangs and wait just for those extra 10 minutes. Well, boys and girls, here comes the saviour. Dates, Oats and apricots bites. (these are so good, I can brag and be over dramatic if I want)
The first time I made them was a few years ago, while I was struggling to keep up with new found work and old fussy husband. These turned out to be great for mid-day snacking and the best part is- there is no fixed recipe for the same and you can easily tweak and mould them as per your liking.
Now, we are all aware of the health benefits of Dates. High in fibre, minerals and aids in digestion etc. They are great! But I can’t stand an all-dates fudge so had to mix some more things into it. Hello apricots!
Apricots are an excellent source of Fiber, Beta Carotene, Iron, Calcium and Vitamin C. They are low calorie and help in fighting skin disorders, constipation and even cancer. I have also used Flax seeds and sesame in this recipe to boost up the Omega-3 content.
And then it has Oats. The new superfood and currently advertised as an answer to all health issues (Pun intended!). So you see.. why these little bits are so power packed with energy and goodness. This is a perfect go-to breakfast or mid-day snack item and even great for fussy kids!
You may call these energy balls as Laddus. Laddu is an Indian sweet which is typically made of variety of flours/ground lentils/dry fruits. The concept is exactly the same, just with lesser oil (or ghee) and more of nutrition.
These are vegan, gluten free and low GI. What more do you want?
The method below might seem a bit lengthy but honestly its pretty simple. Simply roast the dry flours, and grind them with the chunky bits. Easy peasy. Read notes on how to spread the work over 2 days and avoid all the hassle.
Recipe makes: 10-12
What you need?
- 2 cups rolled Oats
- 1 cup besan (gram flour/chickpea flour) Read more about besan and its health benefits here
- 5-6 dried apricots
- 8-10 dates, seeded
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp flax seeds
- ¼ cup cashews
- ¼ cup peanuts, roasted and unsalted
- ½ cup raisins
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil (or ghee)
How to make?
Seed the dates, chop them roughly and soak them in about ½ cup warm water for half an hour.
Roast the ingredients:
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Roast Oats at a low gas setting for about 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once it starts turning light brown and the raw aroma fades off, transfer to a plate and keep aside.
In the same pan, heat the remaining tbsp. of oil. Add besan (chickpea flour) and roast at low gas setting for about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow it to cool
Again, in the same pan, roast the sesame seeds and flax seeds together for another 5-6 minutes. Keep aside and allow to cool
Assembling everything together:
Once the dates are soaked long enough and all the roasted ingredients are at room temperature- combine all dry ingredients (Oats, besan, peanuts, cashews, sesame seeds, flax seeds) and pulse in a blender a few times till it’s a course powder there. Transfer in a big mixing bowl.
Now in the same blender jar- throw in soaked dates, apricots and raisins and churn everything together to break into small sticky pieces. Add in the ground powder from above and give it a few pulses so everything comes in together as a big chunky lump. The nuts and seeds would release enough oil to bind it all.
Take it out in a bowl, and roll into balls onto your palms. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.
You may wish to spread the roasting job while you are doing some other stuff in the kitchen. Like I roast the flours and seeds a day before I have to prepare these Laddus. So while I am cooking some sauce or curry, these get roasted slowly aside. And the next day all I have to do is to churn them together. It saves a lot of time and headache.
Take care while blending the things since dates and raisins can get really sticky. You may add a few drops of water only if required and keep scrapping the sides until it all gets broken into tiny pieces.
You may want to use more oil to make it better in binding and taste. Try 4 tbsp coconut oil or Ghee if keeping vegan is not a constraint.
You may also soak dates in milk if not keeping this vegan. Although in that case, you would need to refrigerate these laddus, and they would stay good for upto 1 week.
If you can’t find besan (easily available in Indian shops, even Tesco now)- substitute it with whole meal flour. The taste would be slightly different and it wouldn’t be Gluten free.
If you are looking for more snack bites, try these cardamom spiced Peanut butter cookies. These are crumbly and so yummy.
Or these melt in mouth Indian whole wheat eggless cookies- Naan Khatayi