If you’ve spent much time at the grocery store recently, you might have noticed a sudden flood of so-called “healthy” snacks. While at first glance they appear to be fast, easy, and wholesome, a quick perusal of the ingredient lists will most likely leave you terribly disappointed. Mind-boggling amounts of refined sugars, processed grains, unhealthy fats, and, of course, unpronounceable preservatives and other chemicals make up the majority of products on the shelves. Well, you may have also seen this new trend called “energy balls”. They’re just as quick and convenient as those “healthy” store-bought snacks, but truly good for you, and better tasting. Packed with healthy protein, fat, grains, fruit, and even “super foods”, these little dynamos are customizable to your favorite flavors and are limited only by your palate. I’ve chosen peanut butter, oats, dark chocolate, coconut, and chia seeds, but try your favorite nut butter, dried fruits, seeds, and grains. Oh, and did I mention they only take about ten minutes?
Here’s what you’ll need:
1/2 c. natural creamy peanut butter (or almond butter)
1/4 c. honey (agave or coconut palm syrup also work)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/3 c. protein powder of your choice
1/3 c. flaxseed meal
1/3 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 c. rolled oats
2 T. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 T. chia seeds
In a large bowl, stir together the honey and vanilla. Add in protein powder, coconut, flaxseed meal, oats, chocolate chips, and chia seeds. Because the mixture is quite thick, I find it easiest to use my hands to get it blended well. Once mixed, it should hold together when you form a ball. If it’s too dry, add a little more nut butter or honey; if it’s too wet, add a little more of the coconut, oats, or flaxseed meal. Using about a tablespoon-sized amount, roll into balls and store in an airtight container. This will make about a dozen that will keep in the fridge for up to a week, you make a larger batch and freeze them.