Normally when I use the words ‘crunch time,’ I’m referring to the final weeks of the semester. During which I have finals, papers, and due dates galore.
Only this time, I’m referring to the final days before I head out on vacation. Instead of papers, it’s clothes. Instead of finals, it’s vacation checklists. For once, crunch time is a good thing.
I still have one final when I return—but for the time being, I’m going to pretend like it doesn’t exist. Out of sight, out of mind? At least until next week. Then I’ll again be using crunch time as a phrase to describe my last minute studying.
A great way to power through your crunch time checklist? Make some nutty power balls.
I love chocolate. I love cashews. I love cherries. Naturally, the three would turn into a great flavor combination.
I can’t believe I ever wrote off cashews as unhealthy. I picked around them in trail mix and avoided them in the nut aisle. Too much fat, I reasoned.
Well, it turns out I was wrong. Cashews are filled with heart-protecting monounsaturated fats and oleic acid (the same kind found in olive oil)!
They’re also a great source of copper and magnesium. Not to mention that they’re just downright delicious!
Chocolate Cherry Cashew Balls
1 C. raw unsalted cashews
1/4 C. dried cherries (chopped)
6 squares dark chocolate (3 squares chopped, 3 squares whole)
1/8 C. old-fashioned oats
1 T. organic maple syrup
1/2 t. freshly ground sea salt
Makes roughly 8 balls.
Add the cashews, maple syrup, and sea salt to a high-speed blender or food processor. Process until you have a chunky, yet uniform, mixture.
Add half of your cherries and half of your chocolate—pulse a few times.
Fold in the rest of the cherries and chopped chocolate. At this point, your mixture should look like this:
Now you’re ready to make your balls!
Choose your desired size and roll between your hands into a ball shape. This is the fun part—it’s kind of like playing with play dough or clay!
Pop the balls in the freezer for about 10 minutes and enjoy!
These are delicious on their own—subtly sweet with hint of sea salt.
They’d also be great crumbled over oatmeal, frozen yogurt, or banana soft serve!
I’m glad I have these puppies to fuel me through crunch time.