Everybody wants to have a quick snack on hand. Even better is a snack that’s also healthy and will also give you that much-needed burst of energy mid-morning or afternoon. I've come up with a yummy recipe that's a big hit in this household. It's a bit of a mash-up of two recipes I found online: Roots and Rosemary and California Walnuts.
The hardest thing about making these energy balls is getting the ingredients out of your pantry. (Or maybe it’s having to wait 30 minutes to sample your first one.) Not only that, but it’s very forgiving and easily adaptable. Make it once and you’ll want to double your next recipe. As written, this recipe makes about twenty balls.
A few energy ball ingredients.
I’ve made it with raisins, cherries, and bananas. All dried, of course, and all were equally delicious. Blueberries would be a great choice, too. Or how about apricot?
As I mentioned, the recipe is forgiving. A little more or less of any ingredient won’t make a big difference. Substitutions? No problem. Any seed or nut butter will do, for instance. Don’t like chocolate? (What?!) Leave it out. And if you prefer a vegan option, you can eliminate honey and double the maple syrup.
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup dried fruit of your choice, preferably unsweetened (for larger fruit, chop into raisin-size bits)
- 2-4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (100% cacao)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
Just dump and mix.
Chill, covered, in the fridge for at least half an hour. (This will make the next step much easier.) After the mixture has chilled, use your hands to roll it into balls, each approximately an inch in diameter. If the mixture seems too dry or crumbly, add a few drops of water or a tad more peanut butter or syrup.
Luckily, these don't stick to each other in the fridge or freezer.
These balls will keep for a long time in the refrigerator—if given the chance. I store mine in a covered glass bowl in the freezer for strategic reasons: these tasty little bites last longer when they are not in plain site. It takes only a minute for a frozen ball to soften enough to be chewy.
Carole Coates is a gardener and food preservationist, family archivist, essayist, poet, photographer, and modern homesteader. You can follow her Mother Earth News blog posts here. You can also find Carole at Living On the Diagonal where she shares her take on life, including modern homesteading, food preparation and preservation, and travel as well random thoughts and reflections, personal essays, poetry, and photography.
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