Saturday, August 11, 2012

Unicorns, Will Ferrell, and Superfoods (all in one post)!

Well the 2012 SF Ultra Marathon is officially over, and our sponsored runner was one of 35 people to officially cross that finish line. HOW AMAZING IS THAT! He ran 52.4 miles barefoot, and we cannot congratulate him enough. (For those of you tuning in late Girl On Top Catering sponsored marathon runner Dan Czerwonka, and prepared weekly meals for him to aid in training and recovery.) In his awesome blog about the experience he gave us a shout out, and made us blush with his kind words. He also highlighted our "Energy Balls" in his blog, and sang such praises about them I thought it made sense to share them with you folks. 

Here's the link to his blog if you feel like reading about his crazy journey:  **Disclaimer, he mentions a few ingredients that we in fact did not use as I have no idea where I would purchase unicorn poop or a few of the other items he mentioned... Ah the many facets of human humor. Enjoy ;)

In these little round morsels I include raw organic cacao powder, raw organic cacao nibs and organic chia seeds, and I think it is worth a quick moment to talk about the greatness of these items. Here is a fascinating article on raw cacao: "Cacao contains over 300 compounds including: protein, fat, carbohydrates, fiber, iron, zinc, copper, calcium and magnesium." The FDA has actually recently approved labeling dark chocolate using cacao as beneficial to heart health. So you can see why this would be a great food for an athlete to be consuming. 

Chia seeds are an amazing resource for athletes and have been mentioned in countless articles and books on exercise. Their health benefits are extolled by nutritionists everywhere! "They have an extremely high concentration of omega-3 acids—even more than salmon." Link: Note: While they are fabulous for your health, be sure you aren't going on an important date after eating chia seeds. It is absolutely mind boggling (or mind bottling for you Will Ferrell fans) how well these seeds wedge their way in between your teeth!! 

Bwahahaha, found this on Google image search
There's countless other ingredients in these bad boys that are superfood-health-benefiting-machines, but I really wanted to take a moment to highlight these two! And without further ado, here's the recipe:

Cacao Energy Balls
makes 16-18 golf sized balls
gluten free

1 and a 1/4 cup gluten free rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2/3 cup almond butter (I opt for chunky)
1/2 cacao nibs
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup cacao powder
1/4 cup chia seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon maple powder
1 and a 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. 

Take your cup of coconut flakes and spread them evenly over a baking sheet. Place in oven to lightly toast for 5 to 7 minutes. Once finished set aside and let cool

While your coconut is toasting place all the above listed ingredients into a large bowl. Once the coconut is finished add it to your bowl of amazing goodness. Stir everything together! This takes a wee bit of man power as you really need to make sure the almond butter is evenly distributed throughout your tasty menagerie of ingredients. Once you feel like this is achieved place the bowl in your refrigerator for 15 minutes to let the flavors set. 

Once the time has passed take the mixture out of the fridge, and lets get rolling (literally). I find the best plan is to get your hands wet with warm water first. Then grab a small handful and roll it together between your hands. You only want the ball to be about as big as a golf ball. So keep that in mind when rolling. I use the same baking sheet to place my beautiful little energy balls once they are rolled to perfection. You will probably need to keep rinsing your hands with warm water so the oats and other ingredients don't stick to you and stick to the ball instead. 

With all your mixture rolled into cacao energy balls place the baking sheet into your freezer for 15 minutes to set the little buggers. Once that timer rings they are ready to eat. They are perfect as a pre-work-out snack or a post-work-out snack. Save them in a air tight container in the fridge. Happy running and snacking. :) 


  1. Yum, can't wait to try these! As always, keep them coming.

  2. Great post, Casey. These things are amazing! Thanks sooo much for all the time and research you put into your food, and all the chemicals you keep OUT by going local/organic for yor ingredients. GOT's shown me time and again that a delicious, healthy, responsible diet is attainable for everyone, not just "health nuts."

    To your readers - If you're already reading this blog, you're already on the right track. Now start making a difference in the lives of your friends by forwarding Casey's posts to them and showing them how simple it is to eat well too!

    Thanks again!

  3. Hey, I have all these ingredients in my pantry right now. I think I'll create a batch after posting this post...and then start training for a race :-) Also, thanks for including the link to AlternativeAthlete -- WOW, 52.4 miles barefoot! What an amazing story to read!