Craving moments happen to me quite often nowadays as I’m eating smaller portions during mealtimes. Instead of reaching out for that chocolate bar, or that bag of potato chips, or that cake with frosting that I just baked, I decided to make my own healthier snack – in the form of energy balls.
Most energy balls require the use of puréed dates in their recipes, but unfortunately dates are not something I enjoy eating (despite their supposedly high nutritional value). I chanced upon this no-dates recipe while browsing through a new cookbook and adapted it a little so I can use whatever I have on hand instead of buying new ingredients. They contain peanut butter (one of my favourite food!), rolled oats, nuts and chia seeds, sweetened with a mix of honey and maple syrup. It’s imperative to get natural peanut butter which does not contain any hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, salt, colours, preservatives and other hard-to-pronounced ingredients.
I love how these energy balls are so easy to make and they do not need to be baked. Each ball contains about 112 calories with Vitamin E, calcium and iron and some other nutrients, and I usually eat 2 at one go whenever I feel a little hungry. Whether or not they are healthier than other snacks I can’t be sure because I’m not a nutritionist, but I’m quite sure it’s better than devouring a bag of potato chips! 😉
|1) Place oats and nuts in a food processor. Process briefly until the nuts are chopped into small pieces.||2) Transfer the oats and nuts into a large mixing bowl.|
|3) Add in chia seeds and salt.||4) Followed by peanut butter, honey and maple syrup|
|5) Mix them together with a spatula.||6) Scoop balls of mixture, squeeze each ball with your hand to compact the mixture then roll them into a ball.|
- 100 grams rolled oats
- 60 grams nuts (I used a mix of almonds, pecans and cashew)
- 10 grams chia seeds
- Pinch of salt
- 65 grams natural peanut butter
- 30 grams maple syrup
- 20 grams honey (for a vegan version, replace with brown rice syrup)
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat. Set aside.
- Place oats and nuts in a food processor. Process briefly until the nuts are chopped into small pieces. If you prefer the oats to be smaller, process the oats and nuts separately.
- Transfer the oats and nuts into a large mixing bowl. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well with a spatula.
- Using tablespoons or a small ice cream scoop, scoop out balls of mixture. Squeeze each ball with your hand to compact the mixture then roll them into a ball. Place the energy balls on the lined baking sheet.
- Freeze for 30 minutes or chill for 1 hour. Transfer the energy balls into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Consume within 1 week.
- Natural peanut butter can be substituted with any nut butter you like.
- Chia seeds can be replaced with ground flaxseed.
- Adapted from Maple, Pecan and Oatmeal Energy Balls from Energy Balls by Christal Sczebel