I am always looking for healthy snacks to keep me on the straight and narrow in between meals. My daughter Sara is like-minded. She found a recipe for these energy balls on Pinterest and tweaked it to her liking. Sara has said on more than one occasion that if she didn’t get into medical school she was planning on going to culinary school. (She did get in!) Last weekend, she made the two-hour drive home for a visit and brought a sandwich bag of these energy balls to snack on in the car and for me to try. I loved them!
They are a no-cook snack although I must confess that they are not a no-calorie snack. They contain protein in the form of ground almonds and peanut butter–and oats, dried cranberries, agave syrup, and chocolate chips provide the carbs. The beauty of them is that just one of these energy balls is a reasonably substantial snack and quite satisfying.
We had a lazy Saturday morning, so breakfast was late. Consequently, I was later than usual heading out to do my Saturday errands. It was 11 am, and I knew that I wouldn’t be back for around three hours at which point I would be really hungry. I took one of the energy balls with me and snacked on it around noontime. As expected, I didn’t get back until around 2 pm. I was definitely ready for lunch, but I wasn’t hungry enough to eat paper which I attribute to having had the energy snack. Works for me!
I will warn you that these energy balls took some concentration to form them. I had to add about another tablespoon of agave syrup to make them cohesive. Prior to that, I was muttering under my breath and Sara’s ears must have been burning! Once formed, they should be stored in the refrigerator. They will crumble a bit when you bite into them, so have a napkin handy.
Thanks, Sara—keep ‘em coming!
Sara’s Energy Balls
- 3 cups of quick oats
- 2/3 cup raw almonds, ground to a fine meal
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup agave syrup (plus additional tablespoon if needed)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional (I chopped up some bittersweet chocolate)
Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and use a wooden spoon to mix together.
Form mixture into balls by squeezing rather than rolling. They will be difficult to form if you roll rather than squeeze. I used a 3-tablespoon cookie scoop and dropped the mixture into my hand and squeezed. You will find that some of the mixture falls off. Don’t try to pick it back up and squeeze it into the ball because that will be a losing battle! I just worked with the core of what remained in my hand. I did find that I had to add more agave syrup to make the mixture more manageable when forming the balls.
Source: My daughter Sara