Spheres of Vitality

This July marks an important threshold in medical education — the maximum number of hours a medical student or resident is allowed to spend at the hospital without a break is now 16 hours.  No matter how tough life gets in the next year, I’ll never endure the 100+ hours a week my dad used to work during his own residency and fellowship.
Even so: I was warned that during the two months of surgery, I should be prepared to eat lunch out of my white coat pockets, in an amount of time equal to a bathroom break.  Maybe even: during a bathroom break.  I searched around for some homemade, quick energy recipes and stumbled upon an energy ball made with nuts, fruits, chocolate, and something called maca powder.
My dad and I went to Clover’s Natural Market in my hometown to find this ancient Peruvian powdered root.  We finally accosted a sales clerk, who led us to the herbal pharmaceutical section.  “So…what’s the benefit of maca?” I asked, eyeing the yellowish dust.  “It’s supposed to be an energy enhancer,” she said to us.  “You know: endurance.  Vigor.  Sexual enhancement.”
Let us all take pause for a moment of awkward silence.
Anyway, I bought a couple of tablespoons and used it to make what I’m rebranding Spheres of Vitality.  They’re not ridiculously tasty — they taste healthy.  But I like them.  And according  to some studies, maca may have a viable role in wakefulness and energy as well as sexual enhancement and semen quality.  So: there is now an overeager third year medical student roving University Hospitals with ancient Peruvian proto-Viagra in her pockets.
Here’s wishing you a healthy and surgery-free summer.

Ingredients (adapted from tastespace)

8 dates, sliced
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons raw maca powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
a small palm of dark chocolate chips

Place everything in the bowl of a food processor and start pulsing on low.  You may need a little bit of water to get everything to come together.  Pulse until the big pieces of everything has broken up and the mixture is sticky enough to roll into balls.  Use clean hands to roll into balls the size of large marbles.  Place in a tupperware and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
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2 Responses to Spheres of Vitality

  1. I love how you are bringing this with you while on your surgery rotation – I wish I had the forethought to make my own energy snacks when I went through clerkship. 🙂

    One of the reasons I like these balls is that they aren’t super sweet but jammed packed with healthy ingredients. A perfect pick-me-up when you think you just don’t want to retract for another 3 hours. 😛

  2. Anita says:

    For those of you reading the comments, Janet is co-owner of the blog from which I got the recipe! Thanks so much for reading!! To be honest I loved them. And I love your blog, I will give you guys more credit the next time I try something of yours 😀

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