These tasty little treats are loaded in healthy ingredients including collagen protein, cacao, and beets. They are great for school lunches, after school snacks or taking with you in your purse or bag. We took these camping and they were gone by the end of the first hike.
I use collagen protein in a lot of my recipes. Why? Well, it’s the most abundant protein in the body and while we do make our own, as we get older we make less and less of it. It’s a great supplement for joints, tendons, bone, hair, skin and nails. It’s easy to digest and will not spike your blood sugar like some other protein powders can. It also has various other health benefits. Want to learn more? Check out this post here which has a detailed play by play of each of the types of collagen and if it’s right for you. I used the Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen protein in this recipe, but if you are vegan try the Sun Warrior brand.
The Health Benfits of Beets
Of course, I used organic beet powder to make my red velvet bliss balls that perfect chocolate red color. But why beets?
- Beets can significantly lower your blood pressure thanks to the heavy concentration of nitrates in them.
- Improves mitochondrial efficiency.
- Improves athletic performance including extended time to exhaustion, increased oxygen use, and increased performance time. Best to take 2-3 hours before exercise as this is when blood nitrates peak.
- Beets contain betalains which have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Are a good source of fiber which is beneficial for digestive health.
- Improves blood flow and oxygen to the brain which may contribute to improved cognitive function, brain health and prevent chronic diseases such as dementia.
- Beets have anti-cancer properties and have been shown to reduce the growth of cancer cells.
I have been adding Organic Beetroot Powder to ALL. THE. THINGS. It’s so easy to do! And a lot less messier than preparing fresh beet juice or roasted beets (although that’s delicious and I do that too!) Bring on the beets!
Red Velvet Bliss Balls
- 3/4 cup raw organic cashews
- 7 medjool dates, pit removed
- 1 scoop collagen powder I used Ancient Nutrition Multi-Collagen. If vegan, try Sun Warrior plain collagen.
- 2 squares Ghiradelli 100% cacao dark chocolate bar or similar
- 1 tbs organic cacao powder
- 1 tbs organic beet powder
- 1 tbs organic agave nectar
- Chop chocolate and dates. Then pulse all ingredients in a food processor until a dough forms.
- Scoop out in rounded tablespoons or 2 (depending how big you want these) and roll them into a ball with your hands.
- Put in the fridge for an hour or so to set. Keep stored in the fridge until you eat them.
Cell Metabolism. 2011. Dietary inorganic nitrate improves mitochondrial efficiency in humans.
Journal of Applied Physiology. 2009. Dietary nitrate supplementation reduces the O2 cost of low-intensity exercise and enhances tolerance to high-intensity exercise in humans.
Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 2012. Whole beetroot consumption acutely improves running performance.
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 2014. A single dose of beetroot juice enhances cycling performance in simulated altitude.
Journal of Human Hypertension. 2016. Improvement of hypertension, endothelial function and systemic inflammation following short-term supplementation with red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) juice: a randomized crossover pilot study.
Nitric Oxide. 2011. Acute effect of a high nitrate diet on brain perfusion in older adults.
Anticancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 2011. Cytotoxic effect of the red beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) extract compared to doxorubicin (Adriamycin) in the human prostate (PC-3) and breast (MCF-7) cancer cell lines.