Recipe from Nicola Graimes's Superfood Energy Balls & Bites: "I’m a big fan of carrot cake and this recipe encapsulates all the flavors of my favorite cake, especially the warming mixed/apple pie spice, but in an energy ball. Whenever possible, I like to include vegetables in snacks and root vegetables, such as carrots, work particularly well as they add a slight sweetness, along with vibrant color, flavor, and valuable nutrients. For an extra energy boost, the carrot cake balls also include quinoa, nut butter, and vanilla protein powder. Tip: The recipe will taste just as good without the vanilla protein powder. The balls will be a slightly softer in texture but still hold together well."
First toast the desiccated/dried unsweetened shredded coconut. Place the coconut in a large, dry frying pan/skillet over a medium-low heat and cook for a couple of minutes, tossing the pan regularly, until light golden—take care as the coconut burns easily. Tip the toasted coconut onto a large plate and set aside while you make the balls.
Put the quinoa flakes (or oats) and carrot in a food processor and process until very finely chopped. Add the apricots, nut butter, mixed/apple pie spice, and protein powder (if using), and process again to a thick smooth-ish paste, occasionally scraping down the mixture from the sides when needed. Stir in the hemp seeds.
With damp hands, shape the carrot mixture into 8 large, walnut-sized balls, then roll each one in the toasted coconut until coated all over (any leftover coconut can be used in another recipe). Chill in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm up. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.