These tasty treats have gone through a plethora of names. Naming my recipes seems to be one of the hardest things about food blogging for me. I like catchy names like my Easy Peasy Nacho Cheesy Kale Chips. Isn’t that fun? I’m just not sure if it’s helping me reach my audience though. I know that the name I use has something to do with how many hits I can get off the internet. Beyond that knowledge I don’t yet know the in’s and out’s of that idea. I’m working on it though!
These Hiker’s Hemp Balls have been called many fun things since their inception. Originally their “trail name” was Karen’s Cojones. Which made for some fun conversations on the trail. The folks at my work like to call them Sweet and Salty Hemp Balls. Visions of Alec Baldwin on vintage SNL promoting his Schweddy Balls comes to mind. Least we forget South Park’s Chocolate Salty Balls made by Chef. Oh boy…
I think these names are a bit too risky so for now I will call them Hiker’s Hemp Balls but feel free to have fun while eating and sharing these yummy balls.
On a more serious note. These snacks pack a nutritional and caloric punch. We are talking about around 80 calories for each ball. Wow! So that is why they are a hiking snack. BUT! They are way more than just a hiking snack really. They are great for any endurance sport you are doing that requires some quick healthy and tasty energy.
- Keeps in the refrigerator for two weeks (if you can keep your hands off of them).
- Best to eat within the first three days on the trail.
- They tend to get a little “sweaty” (seriously- from the oils) the longer they are out of the refrigerator.
- This recipe uses cacao powder not cocoa powder. The difference is that cacao made by cold pressing raw cocoa beans. Cocoa is roasted.
- I use cacao powder because it retains more nutrients and enzymes.
Hiker’s Hemp Balls
Yield: 25-35 balls
Time: 30 minutes – less if you put the kids (or hiking buddies) to work rolling!
- 1 cup Hemp Seeds
- 1/2 cup raw walnuts
- 1/2 cup cacao powder
- 2 Tbsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. Himalayan salt
- 15 medjool dates (pitted)
Measure out all ingredients and remove the pits from the dates.
Add hemp seeds, walnuts, cacao powder, cinnamon and salt to a food processor.
Turn on the food processor and add one date at a time. After the last date has been completely combined into the mixture, turn off the processor.
The mix should feel moist but also have a crumbly texture. Pick up a tablespoon full and squeeze it. Does it stick together well? Then let’s move on. If it doesn’t you can add more dates one at a time until it does. Fifteen dates has always worked well for me.
My technique is to roll all the balls first. I take about a tablespoon at a time and squeeze it into the palm of my hand. Then I roll it around until it is a ball.
After I have all the balls rolled, I add one ball to a bag of hemp seeds and squeeze the seeds into all sides of the ball. Some adjusting will be required afterwards to reshape the ball. Repeat until finished.
I add five balls each to a snack bag for the trail. You can add as many as you would like.
This is a great snack to bring out when you summit and share with your fellow hikers. Call them what you will but no one will be able to resist your balls! 😉 In the end though (after all the jokes), just give me a little credit and share the blog too. Thanks and enjoy!