Packed with protein, healthy fat, and fiber and inexpensive to make, these peanut butter balls make the perfect easy to eat snack. They don't have to be refrigerated so they can be taken in lunches or out to the field for a post game fuel up. This is the recipe I use for meal prep many times throughout the year. I make a bunch and store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Dried fruit can be added to these if you want a little different variation.
You might be wondering why it's important to make your own snacks as opposed to buying granola bars or a ready to eat food. Many of the commercially prepared granola and energy bars have a significant amount of added sugar in them and in many cases, are not made with whole ingredients. For example, when you make your own snacks and the recipe calls for walnuts, usually you add halved walnuts which add significant fiber and minerals to the food. In the case of commercially prepared energy bars, they grind the nuts and add smaller portions to the mixture. You simply don't get the same amount which makes a sizeable difference in the nutrient content of the food. In many cases, when you control the ingredients you can control the nutritional value...and that's important!
Let's talk about fiber. We're learning more and significant information about maintaining a healthy gut and microbiome. Researchers are learning just how eating prebiotic foods impacts health, mental wellness, digestion, sleep and disease prevention. Knowing this, I look for recipes that include high fiber foods like the oats and flax in this recipe.
1 cup natural peanut butter ⅔ cup honey 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 2 cups shredded old-fashioned rolled oats 2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut 1 cup ground flaxseed 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Mix peanut butter, honey, and vanilla. Add the remaining ingredients and roll into balls and place individually on a baking sheet. Refrigerate until slightly hardened.
1. Mix peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract well.
2. Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
3. Scoop mixture into 1" sized balls and place on a baking sheet.
4. Refrigerate and store in an air-tight container.