Friday, September 28, 2012

Happy Food: Energy Balls {a recipe}

It's happy food. Simple food. Equally enjoyable at 4 pm for a snack to stave off hunger pains of little tummies or at 10 pm after a session of homework, practicing, and teaching.
They come together super fast, and are a great recipe to make with little ones. Lots of dumping and stirring and making balls.

 They're like the cute cousin of granola bars, which I have never been happy with my homemade versions and I've tried several different 'best ever' recipes. They're as a versatile as good pair of boots with as many add-in options as you want. And they are also reasonably healthy.

There's lots of different versions out there, but the concept is all the same. Cereal grains,  something sticky to smoosh it all together, dried fruit, chocolate, and whatever other add-ins fits your mood.

Energy Balls from Smashed Peas and Carrots

1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week.
I used chopped dark chocolate, because that's how I roll. Feel free to use whatever chocolate you like and in whatever form. Use unsweetened peanut butter and coconut flakes for a healthier version. The honey and bits of chocolate make it plenty sweet. 

 These are some other options, I want to try. The quinoa one intrigues me. This grain is showing up everywhere and I have yet to cook with it.

No Bake Energy Bites 

Chocolate Chip Quinoa Trail Mix Balls

What are some of your favorite snack ideas (I need some more)? Have you used quinoa?

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