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We've Got Balls: The Maple Energy Kind




Have you ever gone to make your favorite recipe and realized you were missing an ingredient? I was making my favorite energy ball recipe from Gimme Some Oven and realized that we were out of honey. I found a pouch of Embark Coffee Maple Energy that I had been carrying in my hydration pack over the summer while training for the Marji Gesick 50. As it turns out, the pouch of maple syrup was exactly the 1/3 cup that I needed. After refrigerating the mixture, I noticed that the texture was more uniform than when I used honey. Rave reviews came from my family & an idea was born.


Last month in Self-Support Nutrition, we focused on the specific nutritional considerations when fueling cold weather training and races. Two key nutrients were emphasized; fat and carbohydrates. Fat is the most nutrient-dense macronutrient as it has over double the amount of calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein. This makes it a very packable macronutrient. Carbohydrates are important in cold weather training and racing because they fuel both during training and post-training shivering. Not that your body can't get energy from other fuel sources, but if you have carbohydrates then it's much more efficient. The last important thing to note in cold weather training and racing, is that moisture content of food is key in determining if foods will still be edible when the temps are below freezing.


I reached out to Embark and they graciously sent me a box of each of their Maple Energy Flavors; Coffee Maple, Elderberry Maple, and Salted Maple. I started brainstorming the substitutions and add-ins for each of these flavors. Each flavor was available at packet pick-up for Polar Roll Mass Start and at gear check & checkpoints for the Polar Roll Ultra. Based on everyone's feedback, you're going to want to try them for yourself!



For the Lemon Berry Matcha Energy Balls:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and toast coconut for 8-10 minutes. Checking half way through and stirring if needed. Allow coconut to cool while you are gathering your other ingredients.

  2. Zest one lemon and set aside. Cut that same lemon in half and squeeze out juice into a bowl.

  3. Pour 3 ounce pouch of Embark Elderberry Maple Energy into a bowl & mix in 1/2 tablespoon matcha and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until combined.

  4. Add all ingredients into a stand mixer bowl. Using the flat attachment, mix until combined.

  5. Cover bowl and refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  6. Remove bowl from refrigerator and roll into balls. Store in refrigerator and enjoy! This recipe makes ~20 energy balls. Three batches will fit nicely in a standard stand mixer bowl.


For the Salted Maple Bacon Energy Balls:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and cook bacon for 14-18 minutes. Flipping bacon half way through. Allow bacon to cool on paper towel before dicing.

  2. Add all ingredients into a stand mixer bowl. Using the flat attachment, mix until combined.

  3. Cover bowl and refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  4. Remove bowl from refrigerator and roll into balls. Store in refrigerator and enjoy! This recipe makes ~12 energy balls. Three batches will fit nicely in a standard stand mixer bowl.


For the Coffee Chocolate Energy Balls:

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and toast coconut for 8-10 minutes. Checking half way through and stirring if needed. Allow coconut to cool while you are gathering your other ingredients.

  2. Add all ingredients into a stand mixer bowl. Using the flat attachment, mix until combined.

  3. Cover bowl and refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

  4. Remove bowl from refrigerator and roll into balls. Store in refrigerator and enjoy! This recipe makes ~15 energy balls. Three batches will fit nicely in a standard stand mixer bowl.

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