Sweet & Malty Brown Rice Balls
I just got back from attending and presenting at the Elysia Yoga Convention in Greece on the island of Amorgos. My goodness was it an incredible and life changing week. In fact, I am kind of lost for words. Speechless at the absolute blissful energy and healing quality of the experience i had. It kind of blew my mind how much can change for you in a week. How much growth, expansion and HEALING can happen in such a small space of time. It made me realize the importance of consciously choosing who you spend your time with and what you spend your time doing. It made me realize the importance of connection, community and being around like-minded people who can support and love you and hold space for you on your journey and more importantly, who you can learn from too. I feel like my metaphorical cup is full to the brim, teeming with joy, love & bliss and all the other fluffy adjectives I could possibly think of. I feel vibrantly alive and electric with inspiration.
I will be writing a full on blog post about my experience in Greece with these amazing people, what we did, what I learnt, healing that happened, exciting news for the future and so much more – SOON. For now, these balls will have to do until I have a moment between writing University essays, integrating back into the space here in little old Grahamstown, teaching and maintaining my personal life & relationships!
These balls are (!!!). They really are, simply put, my newest obsession without doubt. They hit all of the spots as they have that perfect balance between flavors, textures, and energetic qualities – they are sweet, salty, hearty, uplifting, nourishing, soft, crunchy, chewy, soothing and grounding. They are a perfect mid-season-change snack, specifically when moving into Autumn and Winter. A time when the body craves something substantial, energizing and warming. They are just so darn YUM. The transition into Winter is a time of introspection, of moving inward, of finding stillness and subtlety in our lives. It's a time of reflection and contemplation. A time of inner exploration. And with that external macro shift in energy, comes an internal subliminal energy shift too. You might find that you start to crave heartier things like oats and rice and roasted veggies, soups and the like. It is important to listen to this cue from the body to eat seasonally so that we can find our rhythm of being in-tune with our natural surroundings and environment. When we are in alignment and balanced in relation to our external world, we become balanced and in alignment internally, too. This is often a time where you move away from the robust and intense flavors of Spring and Summer - metaphorically and literally. So creating snacks that reflect this change and making dietary changes that align with these greater shifts is important. These balls are subtle - they are not overly sweet or bursting with flavor, but they truly are a divine sweet treat that is satisfying and balancing. Finding the balance among all the flavors and textures and different energy qualities in foods is one of the main objectives when following a Macrobiotic diet or macrobiotic principles. I will be posting a large post on the Energy of Food & Macrobiotics soon, but for now, I will jump straight into the energetic & taste properties of these here beautiful balls of goodness!
They are grounding and soothing, calming and balancing due to the brown rice & oats. Grains generally impart a very stable, grounding energy, an energy that both gives energy and grounds energy. They can help us to feel balanced, calm and accepting of the changes around us. These brown rice balls also give a sense of renewed life energy from the seeds (pumpkin seeds & sesame seeds & hemp seeds). Seeds are one of the most nutrient dense foods out there – they are also naturally hormone balancing and contain the energy of NEW LIFE as they are at the beginning of their new life cycle. Thus, they give you a true hop in your step by imparting that energy onto/into your energetic body (more on this in the article coming soon!). The dates make these subtle-y sweet; just enough sweetness for those times where you feel like something that is sweet but not overly sweet. Those times where you feel like something that is subtle, soft and nourishing. They also contain miso paste, which may sound quite unusual for a sweet treat. But Miso not only imparts a delicious salty flavor, but also a delicious umami flavor that helps to really balance the flavor profile of the balls. Not to mention the amazing health benefits and nutrient density of miso paste, which is a fermented bean product that contains many probiotics and healing mineral salts. In macrobiotics miso paste is used often and is considered to be very healing. So in short, they are delicious & good for you aka: they are the perfect snack to have on hand for any time of day when you are needing a little pick-me-up. They make a great on the go breakfast option, too. They are also great for people who are ill and need something substantial but nutrient-dense and nurturing, too.
· 1 heaped cup of brown & wild rice, cooked
· ¾ cup quick cook oats, dry
· 1/8 cup of almond flour or ground almonds
· 4-5 medjool dates
· 1 tablespoon of tahini
· ½ heaped tablespoon of dark miso paste
· 1 heaped tablespoon of raw pumpkin seeds
· 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (and more for rolling – this is optional though, you can also use sesame seeds to roll them in or leave them as is)
· Pinch of Himalayan Salt
1. In a food processor add in your brown & wild rice mix, the almond flour, the dates (pitted), the tahini, the miso paste, the pinch of salt, and the 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds. Blend until the rice is partially blended but not overly mushy – they should still hold some of their structure.
2. Then add in your oats and blitz/pulse for one last time for just a moment to incorporate well – you don’t want to blend the oats, it's more just so that it's evenly distributed throughout your mixture.
3. Then take off the lid of the processor and add in the raw whole pumpkin seeds. Mix well. Taste, and adjust to your palette.
4. Take heaped tablespoon measures of the mixture and roll into balls. Then place the sesame seeds or remaining hemp seeds in a plate and roll the balls into them to coat.
5. Store in fridge and ENJOY!