Passeroses first recipe! We know you love our little afternoon treats....

Every afternoon at Les Passeroses we have Tiffin Time when we serve a spicy chai tea and a
sweet snack. Depending on the day's culinary theme the snack might be dates stuffed with
almonds or no bake brownies, but is usually a flavour variation on my vitality balls. They give
everyone an instant boost and help to avoid that afternoon slump.

They're really easy to make, healthy and very nutritious. Once you are confident with the basic
recipe you can put whatever you like in them. I often use raisins, sultanas, chopped dried figs, goji berries and pumpkin seeds etc. Sometimes I use a little rose water or orange flower water (half a tsp) and small pieces of chopped nuts like almonds, macadamia, walnuts etc. You can also add nibs of 85% (or more) chocolate if you feel the need! Or go the whole hog and add a few tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. This also works well with coconut.

Put the following ingredients into a vacuum jug or flask, add boiling water and leave for an hour or so to infuse. If you make some in the morning you can have it at home throughout the day, or take a flask with you to enjoy at work.

A couple of slices of fresh ginger. Add more if you like the taste.
Half a teaspoon of each of the following:
Whole black peppercorns
Whole cloves
Five or six whole green cardamoms
1 whole black cardamom (optional as it can be quite strong)
A small stick of cinnamon

If you like a stronger drink and don't have a caffeine problem, also add a black tea teabag.
We serve the tea without milk or sweetening. You could add creamy milk of some kind to your mug or cup if you like it and a spoon of honey or agave syrup. If you're trying to ween yourself off sugar, add less and less sweetening each day until you can drink the tea without it!
Once you've made up the spice mix it will last for three or four days before the flavour fades and ou have to top the spices up. Just keep adding boiling water as required. And remember, the longer the spices infuse the better the flavour.

I cup ground nuts of your choice
1 cup ground oats or dessicated coconut
2 large tbs of creamy honey OR the same of maple syrup if you don't do honey
2 large tbs of peanut butter (or almond/cashew/tahini depending on allergies)
2 large tbs of seeds (hemp/chia/sesame/poppy or your choice)
Optional flavours: grated zest of a large lemon or orange

You could put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until everything is combined. Then roll the mix into balls. I prefer to wear food prep vinyl gloves and mix it all by hand. The mix sticks a little at first, but as you work it the stickiness subsides. If the mix seems a bit dry, add some more nut butter, honey or maple syrup until the balls hold together when pressed firmly. You should get about 24 balls.
Chill them in the fridge before serving. They keep well in the fridge, but they don't tend to hang around for long when we put them out for the guests!