I recently did my second round of 9v9 with the amazing Helen Padarin and Alice Nichols. The concept behind the 9 day challenge is to eat 9 cups of vegetables per day for 9 days. While I eat a fair amount of veges everyday (5-6 cups) I have to say, it is amazing how being a little more mindful and preparing ahead can push you up to that 9 cups! The idea is that if you make eating the 9 cups a priority, then you are less likely to eat other not so desirable foods. The program is aimed at “sweeping your gut, detoxing your cells and improving your energy” Along the way, your body gives you some pretty impressive signs on what’s going on inside. Many of the challengers experienced some pretty intense detox symptoms such as bloating, nausea, skin rashes, headaches and changed bowel habits. While I am sure this was unpleasant, it is also a great sign that their bodies were getting rid of toxins and making space for rebuilding a baseline of optimal health. While on the challenge it was hard to not still crave something sweet, particularly in the first couple of days.. Enter – CACAO AND BEETROOT BALLS! While still not overly sweet, they hit the spot when I felt like a quick snack other than another carrot or celery dipped in hummus. And look at how pretty they are! There are heaps of variations to this recipe, you can sub the almond meal for ground seeds such as pepitas or sunflower seeds, or you could even use oats. My kids loved them and didn’t flinch at the thought of beetroot in a healthy snack. Give them a go and tell me what you think.



1/2 cup of almond meal

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

1/2 cup buckwheat goats

1/2 cup of roasted beetroot (make sure it is just tender)

2 heaped tablespoons of cacao

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon of organic hemp seeds

1-2 teaspoons of honey or sweetener of choice (maple syrup would work fine here too)


1/2 cup of shredded coconut

1/2 cup of cranberries

What’s next?….

1- Place all ball ingredients into a food processor and combine till crumbly. You should be able to make balls out of the mixture if its wet enough. You may need to add a tiny bit more coconut oil if the mixture is too dry and won’t stick together

2- Place the coating ingredients into the food processor and blitz until they form a breadcrumb like consistency.

3- Roll balls in the coating mixture and press to help stick.

4- Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

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