It is no secret that I cannot survive without snacks. My biggest fear is going somewhere and running out of things to snack on. For a long time, this meant a handbag full of chocolates and biscuits, but recently I’ve been more conscious of what I put in my body and how it affects me. I’ve been trying to avoid too many sugar filled snacks that leave me tired and lethargic after the initial sugar rush. Yet I’m not entirely ready to give up sweet things just yet. So I’ve been experimenting with energy balls as a quick, easy to make, healthier, energy providing alternative. I can’t say I succeeded entirely in making something healthy, but it sure was tasty!
They’re called energy balls because the main ingredients are often oats and fruit, with either peanut butter or dates to bind everything together. Rather than sugar and chocolate, you can combine healthier alternatives to make a filling and tasty snack. Add to that things like turmeric, chia seeds or even matcha green tea powder and you’ve got healthy goodness, disguised as a sweet treat!
If you’re not too concerned about the health factor, you can just use whatever you have in your kitchen cupboards to create interesting taste combinations.
What I love about making these energy balls:
they’re quick and easy to make
made with accessible ingredients
no stovetop/oven required
easy to pack for lunches
can be tailored to your diet (gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan) and food allergies
For these energy balls, I literally used what I could find in my kitchen. The first batch consisted of a premade granola mix (rolled oats, crispy rice and shredded coconut), peanut butter and dried cranberries.
For the second batch, I substituted the cranberries for pieces of dark chocolate, and a hint of cinnamon. To be honest, I was more interested in how delicious they would taste rather than how healthy they were at this stage. But hey, dark chocolate is healthy right?
- Gather your ingredients (see suggested list below). You will need something like peanut butter or dates (blended in a food processor) to bind the ingredients, with oats as your base ingredient.
- Add all your ingredients together in a large bowl and stir.
I’m not going to give you exact measurements of what to add. I believe how much you add of each ingredient is entirely dependent on what you prefer. Taste as you go along and trust your instincts.
- If necessary, nuts and dates may need to be blended in a food processor beforehand.
Don’t worry about processing it too fine, you’ll want to retain some of the texture.
- Put the mixture in the fridge for at least an hour to harden slightly.
This is really important. Without refrigerating, the mixture may be too soft/mushy to roll into balls.
- Once the mixture has hardened, use your hands to roll into bite size balls.
- Eat immediately or store in a wax paper lined container in the fridge to enjoy later.
Some ingredient ideas
crushed nuts: pecan, cashews and almonds are great
dry cranberries, blueberries, cherries
And if you want to make it healthy…
matcha green tea powder
The most important part is having fun with taste combinations and enjoying the result after.