Immunity boosting lemon poppy seed balls
The shift in temperatures, wind and pollen levels from winter to spring can also bring with it the unfortunate increase in colds and sniffles.
Transition into spring with more nutrient-rich, immune-loving foods like these lemon poppy seed balls. Bursting with flavour and satisfying any sweet tooth, you can pop them in lunch boxes or enjoy as an afternoon treat.
Are cashews good for immunity?
Cashews aren’t just a satisfying snack food, they’re also packed with protein, healthy fats and essential nutrients. Just 30g or approximately 15 cashews contain 11 grams of protein, as well as zinc, iron, copper, phosphorus and manganese - all of these nutrients are vital to maintaining a healthy immune system.
What are the health benefits of lemons?
We know that lemons are packed with vitamin C which is an essential nutrient for a healthy immune system, but why else are they good for us?
Lemon zest (or “peel”) is packed with polyphenols, plant compounds with an antioxidant effect that helps to protect cells from free radical damage.
Polyphenols also help to protect against invading viruses or bacteria, while on of the main flavonoids in lemon peel, quercetin, helps to reduce mild allergy symptoms.[2,3]
Why we love coconut
Coconut contains caprylic acid, a type of fatty acid with antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. In fact, caprylic acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing effects.
Coconut is also rich in satiating fibre and healthy fats that help to keep blood sugars stable and manage cravings.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Makes: Approximately 12 balls
- 1 cup medjool dates, pitted
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 1/4 cup coconut flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Pinch sea salt
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds + save a pinch to top the coconut butter
- 1/4 cup coconut butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup/agave
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- Place the dates into a food processor and blitz until it forms a sort of paste. Scoop out the date paste and set aside for the moment.
- Add the cashews into the processor and pulse until you get a fine meal - about 30 seconds.
- Add in ground almonds, coconut flour, lemon zest, juice, date paste and vanilla and pulse until it all comes together and sticks together in a ball.
- Lastly, add in the poppy seeds and pulse until combined.
- Line a baking tray with bakingt paper to place all the balls on.
- Scoop out a heaped tablespoon at a time and roll into balls. Repeat until all of your mixture is used up.
- Transfer to the freezer and freeze for 10 minutes.
For the icing
- Melt the coconut butter in a saucepan on low heat.
- Take off heat and whisk in the maple syrup and almond milk, stirring well until it becomes smooth and creamy.
- Remove the balls from the freezer and dip them into the icing, or drizzle the icing over with a spoon.
- Once all the balls are iced, pop them in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle them with a few extra poppy seeds.
Keep the balls stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
- Gao X, et al. Front Nutr 2021;7:606776.
- Koolaji N, et al. Curr Dev Nutr 2020;4(5):nzaa025.
- Mlcek J, et al. Molecules 2016;21(5):623.
- Roopashree PG, et al. Journal of Functional Foods 2021;87(104882).
- Korrapati D, et al. Clin Nutr 2019;38(6):2889-2899.