Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls

When it comes to eating healthy, for me, some of the most difficult challenges come during snack time.  Should I hit the vending machine? Is it possible to find a snack that doesn't have high fructose corn syrup in it?  Should I really spend $3.99 on a power bar I don't really want?  Do peanut M&M's count as a source of protein?  Should I feel guilty about eating 2 bags of 100 calorie Oreos?  Is there an ingredient in a bag of Doritos that actually counts as food?

Oh the dilemma.  Snacks have always been tricky for me, but necessary.  Like most people I often fly through the day and count on snacks (and coffee!) to sustain my energy levels between meals.  That's why I created these delicious little power protein peanut butter balls (I dare you to say that 3 times fast).  They are the perfect snack.  No processed sugar and no artificial ingredients plus protein, sweetness and whole grain.  Ah, the perfect solution!

I make these snacks based on what I'm craving for the week.  I use peanut butter or almond butter depending on what I have.  Almond butter is not as sweet or creamy as peanut butter so most people will prefer peanut butter.  I add mini chocolate chips when I want some chocolate or roll them in coconut flakes when I'm feeling creative.  When I'm feeling adventurous, I add both.

Peanut Butter Balls
Makes 8-10
1/4 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)
1 cup oats
1 Tablespoon water
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
Shredded coconut flakes (optional)

Mix the peanut butter, oats, water and honey in a bowl and mix well.  If you are using mini chocolate chips, mix them in as well.  Form the mixture into 1-inch balls using your hands.  You might need to squeeze the mixture together to get it to stick and then gently roll it between your palms to create a smooth ball shape.  The technique is just like making meatballs.

If you are using coconut flakes, pour them onto a plate or piece of wax paper and roll the ball until it is completely coated.  Place on a piece of wax paper and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes before eating.  Store in the refrigerator.

What makes this bite better?
When choosing a snack, you want to make sure that it has a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates to keep you full and energized.  The combination of nut butter and oats provide the perfect ratio.  In addition, whenever you enjoy a sweet snack, adding fiber helps regulate the impact of the sugar on your blood sugar levels.  The oats in this snack will slow the absorption of the sugar to prevent a spike in blood sugar that would lead to a crash in energy levels.

1 comment:

  1. Simple and delicious thing :) I think I should try it