OT - Tone-up Tuesday
We're going balls out today! Energy Balls, that is. To be honest, when I first heard of Energy Balls, I thought they were some kind of exercise ball!
Energy Balls may also be known as Energy Bites, Protein Balls, Power Balls, and Vegan Truffles. There are TONS of recipes on the internet. Energy Balls are quick to fix, freeze well, and easily portable. They are actually handy snacks that provide a good balance of complex carbs, healthy fats, and filling protein. Yeah, sorry, but those sea salt chocolate cheesecake truffles do NOT fit the bill. ~sobs~
This basic Energy Ball recipe is the little black dress of them all. It’s four basic ingredients:
While you can use other flours, oatmeal is the champion. It’s filling, inexpensive, versatile, and gives you the sensation that you're eating oatmeal cookie dough instead of a healthy snack.
Nut butter, like peanut butter or almond butter, helps bind the balls, adds healthy fats, and makes the energy balls sustaining. It’s also delicious.
STICKY LIQUID SWEETENER
Honey or pure maple syrup. Honey is the most common, but maple syrup is a nice option if you’d like vegan energy balls or are making a recipe where the maple syrup’s flavor complements the other ingredients.
This is where the tasty experimentation begins. Add a combination of superfood, such as flaxseeds and chia seeds. Then throw in your flavor addictions: chocolate, chopped dried fruit, mini chocolate chips, coconut lakes, cocoa powder, cinnamon, some chocolate…
- Toss all of your ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. If the mixture seems too wet, add more oats. Too dry? Add more nut butter. It should resemble a somewhat sticky dough that holds together when lightly squeezed. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.
- Remove the ball from the refrigerator and portion the dough into balls of the desired size. (A scoop will help you measure them evenly).
- Store leftover energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
NUT ALLERGIES?? Here are some substitutes:
- Sunflower see butter
- Soynut butter
- Coconut butter
- Cookie butter *shok* (yeah, baby!!)
What’s YOUR favorite recipe?
No Bake Pumpkin Energy Balls
- 1 cup pitted dates (about 8 oz or 10-12 large dates)
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
- 1/4 toasted pecan halves
- 1/4 pumpkin puree
- 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup, more as desired
- 1 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal or chia seeds
- 2 ¼ tsp pump pie spice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- If the dates are dry or hard, let soak in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain and pat dry. Transfer the dates to a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until the dates are in small pieces and form a sticky ball.
- Add the oats, pecans, pumpkin, 1 Tbsp maple syrup, flaxseed/chia, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla extract, and salt. Pulse to combine. The oats and nuts should be in small pieces of roughly the same size, but not completely smooth. Taste and add 1-3 teaspoons additional maple syrup if you desire a sweeter mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a bowl, then cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. With a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop the mixture then roll it into balls. (If you’re one of those people who likes pumpkin and chocolate, roll the balls in mini chocolate chips.) Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 2 months. If the balls are frozen, there is no need to let thaw—just eat immediately, or let them sit a few minutes to warm up if desired.