A Date Balls Recipe from Olympian Colleen Quigley

Although Colleen Quigley’s athletic resumé is crammed with spectacular working credit—competing within the 3000-meter steeplechase on the 2016 Olympics, setting a world file within the 4×1500-meter relay—she’s been attempting out a brand new problem currently: triathlons. She’ll compete in her first, a dash distance race (half mile swim, 12.4 mile bike course, and 5K run) in San Diego on Feb. 11.

An expert runner since 2015, Quigley’s greater than used to logging main exercises. But it surely seems that coaching in three totally different sports activities concurrently—swimming, biking, and working—comes with one huge distinction: “I’m tremendous hungry on a regular basis!” she says. “I will eat a meal after which actually an hour and a half later, I will be going about my life, attempting to be productive, and it will be like, ugh, I am hungry once more.”

The morning we spoke, she’d simply gotten again from a six-mile run and was about to go to the pool for an hour of exhausting tons of, then deliberate to relaxation for a pair hours earlier than hopping on her bike. No marvel she’s hungry: Crushing exercise after exercise, day after day takes critical gasoline.

Quigley has a level in dietetics from Florida State College, so she is aware of the worth of filling up on nutritious, complete meals. Though many endurance athletes depend on gels and bars to maintain up their vitality (and glucose shops) throughout exercises, Quigley likes to arrange her personal exercise meals at any time when she will. “Anytime I could make snacks that do not come pre-packaged, that is a win,” she says.

Her go-to? Date balls. “I used to see them round at fancy grocery shops, they usually’re often fairly dear, however so scrumptious,” she says. Figuring out that dates are a terrific supply of pure sugars that your physique can rapidly flip into gasoline, she determined to make her personal.

As she constructed her recipe, she folded in almond butter for a tasty dose of protein, fiber, magnesium, and monounsaturated fatty acids, chia seeds for a heart-healthy enhance of omega-3s, whey protein powder to jumpstart her muscle restoration, and low grounds for a caffeinated efficiency enhance.

At present, she makes a batch about each two to 3 weeks. They take about 20 minutes to place collectively (your blender or meals processor does many of the be just right for you, she says). Quigley retains them within the freezer for simple storage, then will sometimes seize a pair to let thaw and munch on earlier than a exercise, or will stash some in her pouch for a scrumptious enhance on lengthy bike rides.

One of the best half? You’ll be able to combine and match elements based mostly on what occurs to be in your pantry—pistachios, chocolate chips, coconut flakes will not be listed within the recipe however they’re all honest sport. As Quigley says, “You’ll be able to’t actually mess it up.”

Colleen Quigley’s Date Balls

Yields 20–30 balls, relying on measurement

20 medjool dates (pits eliminated)
1/2 cup almond butter (or nut butter of alternative)
1/2 cup roasted cashews (or different nut)
1/4 cup chia seeds
3 Tbsp finely floor espresso
1/4 cup protein powder (Quigley makes use of Important Efficiency chocolate protein powder or Important Proteins chocolate collagen peptides)
1/4 cup rolled oats

1. In a meals processor or blender, mix the dates with a few tablespoon of water (or extra if wanted) till easy.

2. In a medium bowl, mix date puree with almond butter, chia seeds, espresso, and protein powder.

3. Pulse the cashews in your blender/meals processor (no want to wash it out from earlier than) till you get small chunks and a few finer mud.

4. Add the cashews to your bowl and blend till easy and sticky. In case your combination is just too dry, add a tablespoon or two of water. If it is too moist, pulse some extra cashews or oats and add to the combination to dry it out.

5. When the consistency is correct, scoop the batter into balls—as huge or small as you want. (Quigley makes use of a heaping tablespoon to measure hers out.) Roll along with your fingers till easy and set on a plate.

6. Place within the freezer for just a few hours till they’re exhausting and pop off the plate. Then retailer in a plastic bag within the freezer till you’re able to take pleasure in!

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