Friday, February 26, 2010

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

One of my favorite healthy foods is natural, unsweetened peanut butter. It's delicious and packed with 'good' fats. I often eat it on whole wheat toast or celery for a pre-workout boost. However, ants on a log gets old after a while, so I set out to create a new grab-and go energy snack. I came up with these Peanut Butter Energy Balls. Very chewy, with just enough crunch from the nuts. A perfect amount of sweetness from the raisins and coconuts, and very east to make. Want to make them your own? Try adding oats, protein powder, almonds, dried cranberries, and other various nuts and dried fruits. If you like, the energy balls are easily cut in half, or when softened in the microwave for 15 seconds, can be spread on toast or used for an apple dip. However, I prefer to eat them directly out of the fridge!

For one Energy Ball: Calories: 107.5 Total Fat: 7.8 g Saturated Fat: 2 g
Carbohydrates: 4 g Dietary Fiber: 1.4 g Protein: 5 g
Have fun experimenting, and enjoy!
Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Makes about 19 balls

1 cup unsweetened, smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons unsalted soy nuts
1/2 ounce cashews
1 tablespoon milled (ground) flax seed
1 ounce raisins (2 miniature boxes)
2 tablespoons shredded, sweetened coconut
1. Chop or roughly grind the cashews and soynuts and set aside. 2. Place the peanut butter in a double boiler, and heat over low heat. The peanut butter should just start to glisten, and should be soft enough to stir. (If you don't have a double boiler, place a glass bowl over a small saucepan filled with water, careful that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.)

3. Using a spatula or wooden spoon stir in the cashews and soynuts. This may be difficult, but will become easier as the peanut butter softens as you stir.

4. Stir in the flax seed.5. Remove from heat, and stir in the raisins and coconuts (and any additional ingredients you may want to add).6. Move the mixture to a bowl and into the refrigerator until thoroughly chilled and thickened- about 1 hour.

7. Cover a cookie sheet or plate with wax paper. Scoop 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture, and quickly roll in your hands to form a ball. Place on the waxed paper and repeat for a total of about 19 balls...If you need an even number of balls...Just eat one!

8. Finally, place the balls in the fridge to 'harden' about 20 minutes. Enjoy! Note: The protein balls should be stored in the refrigerator, preferably in an air-tight container.

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