‘The Healthonist’ Recipes by Pamela Ryan – Cacao Tahini Protein Balls

This weeks recipe by nutritional therapist Pamela, is Cacao Tahini Protein Balls. Perfect for gym goers and athletic folk, pre or post training.

I’ve been getting lots of requests from my athlete friends for some decent protein/energy balls.  Tired of spending a small fortune on processed protein bars, and not so much fans of sugar-laden chocolate milk drinks, I have been tasked with the job of creating some tasty protein balls with enough carbohydrate for replacing post-training muscle glycogen. To make things more difficult, there was a specific request for a nut-free recipe!

These Cacao Tahini Protein Balls are just sweet enough without being sickly-sweet. In place of nut butter I use light tahini (a calcium rich sesame seed butter) and coconut oil (coconut is not a true nut…botanically its a ‘drupe’ or fruit, nut & seed!). Nua Naturals raw organic cacao powder and cacao nibs provide a gorgeous rich chocolatey flavour. Cacao provides a natural (and less potent) caffeine hit which can be useful pre-training, but is also rich in blood oxygenating iron and chromium, which regulates blood sugar.

Dried dates lend their sweet caramel stickiness into the mix, whilst scoring additional points for being particularly rich in potassium, magnesium, selenium and zinc…all of which are vital co-factors involved in cellular energy production. Chomp these pre- or post-training. The recipe makes about 16.


To make the balls:

  • 10 dates
  • 2 scoops (50g) of vanilla pea / hemp protein powder
  • 1 cup Nua Naturals raw cacao powder
  • 1 heaped Tbsp Nua Naturals cacao nibs
  • 1/2 cup light tahini
  • 1 heaped Tbsp coconut oil (room temperature/unmelted)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Coating options:

  • Chia Bia whole chia seeds
  • Poppy seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Cacao Powder
  • Ground almonds


  1. Put the dates in a glass bowl and pour over a half-cup of hot water. Allow to soften for about 10 minutes.
  2. In a food processor briefly blend all of the remaining ingredients.
  3. Drain the dates and add them to the food processor. Blend the mixture until it resembles a slightly moist gravel or clay that when pressed together, will hold.
  4. Roll into individual balls (should make about 16 balls).
  5. To coat the protein balls, spoon out your chosen coatings onto individual saucers and get rolling.
  6. Chill the balls in the fridge for an hour before eating.
  7. Store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


Website: www.thehealthonist.com

Instagram: @the_healthonist

Pharmaton Active Life – The answer to your energy crisis!

Being a working mammy, I’ve tried every trick in the book to boost my energy levels, caffeine, sugar, ALL variations of red bull.The fact of the matter is that all these measures are temporary fixes that lead to a slump after a while and a severe case of crankiness.In order to maintain a constant level of energy throughout the day, you need to have a good balanced diet and also excercise regularly.

Sometimes however, we probably dont eat as healthily as we should or we simply just need more energy to get all the everyday tasks done. One day in the shop I picked up a pack of Pharmaton Active life. I had tried the regular Pharmaton before and felt they worked great, as per many vitamins, you need to be taking them for at least 3 weeks to feel the benefit. The main difference between Pharmaton caps and Pharmaton Active Llife is the sustained release of energy that the active life gives.

By this I mean that the Active Life releases its energy slowly throughout the day, meaning that you’re not hit with a big burst of energy first thing and then left knackered for the rest of the day. 7 different types of B vitamins help with building and maintaing energy levels while vitamin C and Zinc boost your immune system.A common ingredient to the two types is Ginseng. This powerful extract provides an extra boost that helps you to feel not just ok but also super productive and energized.

A good thing about the active life is that it comes in an easy to swallow caplet, as opposed a large capsule.This vitamin may not be suitable for anyone on blood pressure medication however as the Ginseng can increase the heart rate slightly and can in turn raise blood pressure.All in all this product is value for money, and definitely does what it says on the tin, so to speak! I will definitely be buying it again.

Written by Charlene