As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, back in October I moved to a small walnut farm. We have 57 producing walnut trees, though some are much more productive than others. When we moved here, it was the beginning of walnut season, so we harvested as many as we could. We didn’t quite have the means to harvest all of them, and honestly there are still some on the trees as I type (though the insides have most likely burnt up and aren’t any good), but we did the best we could and ended up with about 120 gallons of walnuts (still in the shell). That’s a big haul for people who have never really harvested anything besides the fresh herbs growing on the kitchen windowsill. Having more walnuts than we know what to do with, I’ve been trying to find different ways to use all these ultra-nutritious nuts.
Walnuts are considered on of the healthiest nuts out there, not to mention they’re completely rich and delicious. They’re high fats, which keep you nice and full, and are full of omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3’s are not only anti-inflammatory, but they’re also so great for brain health and memory! So needless to say, I’m happy eating my daily dose of these brain-shaped nuts!
Another powerful brain food that is becoming increasingly popular in wellness circles is powdered lion’s mane mushroom. Lion’s mane has been used for ages as a brain-boosting, medicinal mushroom (click here for more information). Now, I know it may seem weird to put mushrooms in things like morning drinks and sweet treats, but the powdered lion’s mane mushroom is basically tasteless and adds a powerful neurological punch. If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to improve your brain power, so why not try this adaptogenic mushroom powder?
So, with brain power and sweet treats in mind, I decided to make up some convenient, but filling, balls of deliciousness. Brain Balls, to be exact. With a base of walnuts, almond flour, coconut oil, and flax meal, these babies are gluten-free, full of omega-3’s, and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up or post-dinner snack. And they are so simple to make.
Adaptogenic Walnut Brain Balls
Makes: 15 balls; Serving Size: 1 ball
- 2.5 cups raw California walnuts (unsalted)
- 2 tbsp finely ground flax
- 0.5 cups almond flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill Natural)
- 1 tbsp solid coconut oil
- 4 small pitted dates
- 2 tsp lion’s mane (I use Om Mushrooms brand)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 scoops collagen (optional, I use Neocell)
For Chocolate Coating:
- 1.25 cups chocolate chunks (I use Enjoy Life)
- 1 tbsp solid coconut oil
- Pink Sea Salt
- Coconut Flakes
- Anything your heart desires
- Add all ingredients to food processor or blender. (I use this one, with the medium, food processor-like attachment.)
- Blend until soft dough forms.
- Cover a large baking sheet in parchment paper (or silicone mat). Roll dough into small balls using hands and space evenly on parchment paper.
- Place in fridge to set for at least 1 hour.
- Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil by microwaving in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until melted.
- Coat balls in melted chocolate. I held each ball on a fork and poured the chocolate on top with a large spoon.
- Sprinkle on desired toppings. I used sea salt on some and coconut flakes on others. I left some plain as well.
- Place in freezer for at least 1 hour (the longer, the better) to set. Inside will still be slightly soft.
- Store in freezer and enjoy!
Estimated Macros (per serving): 243 calories; 20g fat; 13g carbohydrates (4g fiber, 7g sugar); 5g protein. Note: For few calories/less sugar, top with less chocolate, or use a “no added sugar” variety.