One of the hardest parts of eating healthy is my ridiculous sweet tooth. I literally feen for chocolate, ice cream or candy every night. They weren’t kidding when they said sugar is highly addictive. As I’ve told you guys many times, I’m always trying to find inventive ways to satisfy certain cravings the healthiest way possible. Most importantly though, I still want whatever I’m making to taste good. Believe me my husband will let me know if it doesn’t.
I personally do not like oatmeal so I assumed I would not like oat energy balls. A friend of mine made some for a road trip once so I tried it, and I was surprisingly impressed. I had to tweak it mildly to my personal preference but that’s the awesome thing about these oat balls, they can be edited to your liking. The best part is they are super easy and do not require any baking.
Things you’ll need:
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats, dry
- 2/3 toasted coconut flakes
- 2/3-1 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup ground flax seed
- 1/3 cup honey (use more if the oat balls don’t stick together well)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup wheat germ
- 1/4 cup almond pieces
Chocolate: I prefer dark chocolate chips but you can also use milk chocolate, cocoa nibs, or white chocolate.
- Dark chocolate in high cocoa content contains a decent amount of fiber and is loaded with minerals, such as potassium and zinc.
- It is good for you heart and circulation, and helps restore flexibility to your arteries.
- It reduces a risk of stroke.
- It has been shown to reduce the bad cholesterol and raises the levels of good cholesterol, which could lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It could help you lose weight. Scientific studies have shown that a small square of high quality dark chocolate melted on your tongue 20-30 minutes before eating can trigger the hormones in the brain to signal that you’re full.
- The flavanols in dark chocolate can reduce memory loss in older folks.
- It just makes you feel better. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine and that is the same chemical that your brain creates when you’re falling in love. PEA aids your brain in releasing feel good endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t kill people, they just don’t. (Elle Woods from Legally Blonde quote if you didn’t catch that)
Peanut butter: Usually I use almond butter but recently I used Buff Bake Protein Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip (Geez that’s a long name) in addition to peanut butter. Other choices would be sunflower butter, cashew butter, coconut butter, nutella, hazelnut butter, or tahini to name a few.
A lot of people have peanut allergies, it is one of the most common allergens. That is why it is good to have other options because if you’re making them for your kids, you wouldn’t want peanut butter around other children. In fact, in most schools it’s not allowed to pack peanut butter products. Also read labels to steer clear of added sugar.
Nut Butters include many nutritional benefits including:
- Healthy Fats
- Vitamins and Minerals, such as potassium, magnesium and antioxidants.
I use honey as my sweetener but you can also use agave nectar, I like to use local honey to kill two birds with one stone and help with allergies.
- Diminishes allergies
- Boosts memory
- Cough Suppressant
- It energizes you.
- Provides nutrients. Honey contains small amounts of numerous vitamins and minerals including niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc
- Kills antibiotic resistant bacteria such as E.Coli and Salmonella
- Good source of fiber
- Can help reduce blood pressure
- Source of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, selenium, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium and zinc.
- They are also rich in carotenoids, tocols (Vitamin E) and flavonoids
- Protein & Fiber
- Zinc (which helps your immune system)
- Packed with Vitamin B
- Healthy Fatty Acids
- Phytosterols which promote a healthy heart
- Minerals such as iron, zinc, magnesium, calcium, selenium and Vitamin E
- Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants
- High in quality protein
- One of the best sources of fiber
- High in Omega-3 fatty acids
- High in bone nutrients
- Lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes
- High in fiber, low in carbs
- Benefits healthy hair and skin
- Lower cholesterol
- High in antioxidants
- Aid digestive health
Mix all of the ingredients together with a spoon or your hands. I personally prefer my hands and usually use plastic gloves to keep it from sticking to my hands. Once you get it all mixed up, put it in your refrigerator for about 15 minutes so it will harden a bit.
Once the mixture has had the time to cool, shape it into small balls. You can also mold it into a baking pan and make energy bars. The best part about these oat balls is the flexibility of the ingredients. If by chance you don’t like any of this ingredients or you are allergic, you can substitute many different things. Also you can add more ingredients if you prefer, such as craisins, sunflower seeds, walnuts, and pecans.
I just play around with the consistency. If it’s too “chalky” and not molding very well I’ll add more nut butter or honey. If it’s too runny, add more oats or one of the dry ingredients. You’ll get your niche for it. At this point I barely measure anything for them,
I put mine back in the refrigerator in a tupperware container. They stay fresh for me up to 2 weeks, Hope you guys like when I share a recipe or two every week. I absolutely love to cook/bake for my family and I, so hopefully this will you give you healthy ideas as well.