Project Ultra’s coconut balls

In our continuing bid to eat stuff so you don’t have to, we’ve been munching our way through several forms of race nutrition to see what happens. This time, we’re trying out sugar-free alternatives.

Many runners swear by race fuel in the form of intense hits of sweetness – energy gels, jelly beans and so on – but we all know that sugar rushes are short-lived, ultimately leaving us tired and depleted. Read Lisa’s story here to discover some of the surprising benefits of sugar-free running.

It turns out that if you do break through the sugar-free pain barrier, you basically stop wanting half a packet of Hobnobs after every meal. I would have sworn a sweet tooth was part of my DNA, but I’m now realising exactly how toxic this stuff must be given the amount of biscuits and chocolate I was previously certain I ‘needed’. Anyway. The aim is not to get rid of every grain of sugar in your diet; that would be impossible as it’s present to some degree in a vast number of foods. The chief culprit, apparently, is fructose – see the link below to find out more about why we should all be eating less of it.

Chocolate and Coconut Balls

Here’s a great energy snack from Sarah Wilson’s I Quit Sugar series. It’s actually from her cook book for kids and, although fun to make with children, they’re also great race food because they contain lots of healthy fat and a hit of fructose-free sweetness.


100g 85-90% dark chocolate
185g unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
4 tbsp coconut milk


Place all the filling ingredients in a food processor until the mixture holds together but still has some texture. Roll tablespoons of the mix into round balls and freeze until firm, at least an hour.

Meanwhile melt the chocolate over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove the coconut balls from the freezer and roll them in the melted chocolate until completely coated. Refrigerate until cool.

It’s that simple!




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