Date Coconut Energy Balls
THEME: #101 SAAWAN/SHRAVAN VRAT SPECIALITY
RECIPE: DATE COCONUT ENERGY BALLS
What are Date Coconut Energy Balls?
Simply put Date Coconut Energy Balls are as the name suggests energy balls. Generally energy balls are a combination of protein, good fat, carbohydrates and high in fiber snack. Usually enjoyed to curb hunger pangs in between meals, or enjoyed as a healthier dessert option as usually they may contain no refined sugar. Some may have agave, stevia, maple syrup, honey or any other natural sweeteners. The whole name of energy balls came about as they are often consumed after a workout. Date Coconut Energy Balls contain nuts, dates and desiccated coconut as the main ingredients. They are also known as Bliss Balls or Bites.
Shravan – A Holy Month
Shravan or Saawan is the holiest month in the Hindu Calendar. Many Hindus fast for the whole of the Shravan Maas or month. Different Hindu Communities begin the fast on different dates. Some begin the fast immediately after Guru Purnima and some later on in the month. This holy month then culminates with Raksha Bandhan, a festival where the sisters tie a rakhi or thread on the wrists of their brothers. Some people fast the whole month i.e. every day for the whole month and some fast every Monday of this holy month and are called the Shravan Somvar Vrat.
Why is this month so important to the Hindus?
According to the Hindu Mythology, when the Gods and Demons churned the Ocean (Samudra Manthan) many precious gems came out but also poison came out from it in the month of Shravan. This poison would have destroyed everything. However none of the Gods or Demons wanted to deal with the poison. Lord Shiva came to the rescue, he swallowed the poison and kept it in his throat, which turned blue. So thus He is also known as Neel Kanth, the blue throat one. This way Lord Shiva saved the world and therefore Shravan month is auspicious and many Hindus conduct poojas, and chant the holy name of Lord Shiva.
Fasting During Shravan
Different communities fast in different ways. Some consume only fruits and dairy products, no salt, no grains or vegetables. Some observe the fast by consuming only certain types of vegetables like root vegetables, but no onion and garlic. They do not consume grains but only tapioca pearls (sabudana), samo(barnyard millet), amaranth, water chestnut, quinoa, buckwheat etc. And some observe the fast by taking only one regular meal. Devotees are encouraged to visit the temples and offer flowers, bilipatra and panchamrut to the Shiv Ling. They also have to chant the Mrityunjay Mantra.
However one is encouraged to chant this mantra not only during the month of Shravan but everyday. It basically means:
“We worship the three-eyed one who is fragrant, and who sustains all living beings. May he liberate us from (Samsara) death. May he (Lord Shiva) lead us to immortality, just as the cucumber is released from its bondage.”
FoodieMonday/ Bloghop is a group of enthusiastic food bloggers who endeavor to cheer you up every Monday with new recipes prepared according to the theme chosen. Poonam who blogs at Annapurna suggested we make any food/dish that we would prepare for the fasting month. Poonam follows all the Hindu festivals by performing poojas, preparing numerous dishes to offer to the Gods and keeping fasts. So, its not surprising that she has a huge collection of recipes that one can make during fasting days. On my list is her Ratalyacha Kees/ Sweet Potato Stir Fry which I want to try.
Shravan Month and Gujaratis
When Poonam suggested the theme, I was all excited. For Gujaratis Shravan is the tenth month. Many just fast on Mondays and others fast by eating only one regular meal but without any onions and garlic and strictly no meat, fish or alcohol should be consumed during this month.But most Gujaratis will fast the whole month by consuming farali food. That means no grains and legumes are consumed. As you may know Gujjus love their food and fast also in style:) During this month several important fastings are observed and rituals followed. During this auspicious month many other festivals occur. Gujaratis celebrate days like Nag Pancham, Janmashtami, and Shitala Satam besides Raksha Bandhan.
I prepared Date Coconut Energy Balls
I wanted to make some farali handvo for this theme. However, my joy was short lived as in Montreal I was not able to find samo, rajgira and sabudana. I had to put on my thinking hat again and finally decided on an ultra healthy treat. Not so Gujju but modern Gujaratis may love to consume these energy balls or laddoos during any fast. I personally enjoy energy balls during the fasting months.
Different Energy Balls you may want to make:
- Beetroot Energy Balls– oats, beetroot and dates make these colorful energy balls taste so good.
- Mina prepares rolls which are rich in Omega 3 as she uses pumpkin, sesame and flax seeds. Check out her Nuts, Dates and Omega 3 Seed Mix Rolls.
- If you want to make energy balls that are full of nuts, dried fruits and seeds then you’ve to head over to Preethi’s Pistachio Coated Dry Fruits & Seeds Balls.
- On my list to try is Swati’s Apricot Fig and Nut Energy Bites.
- Batheeth – made from dates and roasted wheat flour, without any sugar.
- Chocolate Date Bliss Balls by Rafeeda will definitely make a good dessert option.
Ingredients required for Date Coconut Energy Balls:
DATE COCONUT ENERGY BALLS
- 1 cup pitted dates lightly pressed (I used 18)
- 1 cup mixed nuts lightly roasted
- ½ cup desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1 tsp orange zest
- extra desiccated coconut for coating
- Put the nuts in a food processor and process them till the nuts are chopped into a coarse powder.
- Add the dates, orange juice, orange zest and coconut and process till the mixture comes together like a paste.
- Take about a tablespoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball.
- Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Roll each ball in the coconut till its coated.
- Put the balls in the fridge for an hour or so.
- Serve. Put the remaining balls in an airtight container and store in the fridge.
Adds nuts of your choice.
If you don’t like orange flavour then add milk or water instead of the juice and add vanilla extract instead.
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