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May Ball of the Month

Hey there, ballers!!!! So I am getting this in juuuuuust under the wire here as it is the evening of May 31st. I really, really wanted to get a May ball of the month out there for you, so I am squeezing this in at the last minute, which is often how I roll (no pun intended). May is kind of like December in terms of business for me. There is just so much--graduations, teacher appreciation, dance recitals and baseball--and I can't seem to stop for a breather. But here I am tinkering in the kitchen again so that I can give you, my lovely readers, something healthy to snack on. Soon I will give you more content than this--like a smoothie of the month. Or maybe a salad of the month? Fat-loss friendly breakfast ideas? You tell me what you want to see!

Back to the balls :). Today I give you a recipe for Hawaiian Protein Balls. Aloha, my friends! These little babies are GOOD and give you that fresh, summery, pina colada-in-hand kinda boost. Keep them in the freezer, and treat yo-self to a frozen pina colada bite of healthy goodness when you need a sweet nugget of protein and fiber before or after a workout! As you know, I love keeping balls on hand for a quick snack, because they are SO much better for you than any processed food you might be tempted too reach for! These are sweet, my friends, so they can absolutely serve as dessert when you need just a little sweet sumpthin. I buy a big canister of dry-roasted macadamia nuts at my beloved Costco, and here they are below! The protein powder I used for this recipe is called Aloha, and it works well here. Sometimes it can be tricky to use protein powder in recipes, but this one was a success. You can find it at Target! See pic below

Hawaiian Protein Balls

1/2 cup chopped dried pineapple

3/4 cup macadamia nuts

1 cup toasted coconut*

2 T. water

1 serving Aloha Vanilla Protein Powder

1/2 t. vanilla powder**

1 T. honey

Place chopped pineapple in a bowl or saucepan and cover with 2 Tablespoons boiling water.

Let the pineapple reconstitute for a few minutes.

Meanwhile place macadamia nuts in the food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Pour into a bowl or on a cutting board, and set aside.

Place reconstituted pineapple and the water in which they are soaking in the bowl of a food processor. Process until pineapple starts to break down and turn into a paste. Scrape down the sides and process again. Add macadamia nuts, 3/4 cup toasted coconut, vanilla powder, protein powder and honey and pulse until the mixture comes together.

When you pinch it, it should stick together. Roll into balls and then roll each ball in the remaining 1/4 cup toasted coconut.

Freeze or refrigerate until firm. I got 1 dozen balls from this recipe!

* To toast coconut, spread onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet in a thin layer. Toast in a 325 degree oven for about 3 minutes or until lightly golden. Toss coconut and toast for another couple minutes, but be careful not to overdo it!

**Sometimes I like vanilla powder better than vanilla extract. Vanilla extract can taste a bit like alcohol, and the powder is just a little more mellow. If you want to sub extract, use 1-2 teaspoons.

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