These are seriously THE best grab-and-go snack! They're made with oats for a quick boost of energy and peanut butter to keep you satisfied. They even have the perfect amount of sweetness to satisfy that sweet tooth!
As a busy mom and nurse, I really struggle to sit down and eat. I don't have the time or energy to make food several times a day, so meal-prepping (or would it be snack-prepping?) is a must! These are super easy for me to whip up and will last me several days. I just grab one or two whenever I'm walking through the kitchen and it helps keep my food intake up.
One of the best things about this nutritious snack is that you can completely customize the recipe to your needs/taste. The recipe I had growing up was made with honey and coconut flakes, but I never keep those stocked in my pantry, so I substitute with what I have on hand.
Other ingredients you could add in for some extra flavor:
- Chopped walnuts or pecans
- Dried fruit
- White, dark, or milk chocolate chips
- Almond butter
- Maple syrup
- Coconut flakes
- Flax seeds, Chia seeds
- Hazelnut PB2
I also chose to use PB2 Powder instead of regular peanut butter. PB2 is basically dehydrated peanut butter and you add water/milk to create a creamy consistency. For this recipe, I used coconut milk to mix a thin, silky peanut butter.
I love using PB2 because it doesn't have the added sugar that pre-made peanut butter does. Depending on what you're eating it with, you can adjust the water to powder ratio to create a thicker or thinner paste. I really like to use it as a drizzle for my apple slices or oatmeal. It's also super easy to transport in lunches!
Also, side note: Is there such thing as a PB2 cookbook? If not, I think this needs to be the start of one! (@PB2 plz sponsor me!)
And a quick preface: I apologize for not including measurements for the ingredients. I am a firm believer in measuring with your heart and just adding the ingredients until it looks right. That's also how I was taught to make home-made biscuits!
Energy Protein Balls
Dark chocolate chips
First, throw about a cup of dates into a food processor until they form a crumbly ball. Dates are very sticky, which helps hold the balls together while also adding a hint of sweetness.
In a large bowl, add the dates and a good helping of oats. I prefer the quick oats, but I've also used steel-cut before. Again, your preference. The oats are the "bulk" portion of the energy bites, so you need a hefty amount.
Add about a quarter cup of ground flaxseed.
Flaxseed and oats are both great for milk production, which is vital since I'm still breastfeeding a hungry 5 month old! But don't worry—if you're not breastfeeding, this won't induce lactation. I'm talking to you, Chase.
Dump a good helping of cinnamon in there. Measure with your heart.
In a separate bowl, mix your PB2 and coconut milk. You need a pretty good amount, probably half a cup of powder. Add the milk or water until its a silky, heavy-cream like consistency. It might be a little lumpy, but that's okay.
Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well, until it forms a sticky crumble. It should crumble when stirred, but stick together when pressed with your hands.
If your mixture is too wet, add more oats. If your mixture is too dry, add a little more peanut butter.
I like to let the mixture chill in the fridge for about half an hour, but this is completely optional. It works just fine if you skip this step, but I think it makes rolling the balls a little easier.
Roll out 1 inch balls, then store in the refrigerator.
Enjoy these within 5 days, although honestly they've never lasted that long in my house! Eat these on-the-go, packed in your lunch, or just as an easy at-home snack.
Try some different variations of flavors and let me know how they turn out!