The Ball That Started It All …
~ These delicious no-bake Energy Balls are loaded with nutrition to keep you powered up and energized – filled with lots of whole grains, fiber and protein! They’re quick and easy to make, and freezable, too! A healthy snack your family will love, and you’ll feel absolutely terrific about giving them! ~
This Recipe Is: • Ready in 30 Minutes or Less • Freezable • Make Ahead • Vegetarian •
Welcome to Two Healthy Kitchens and our very first post! We’re thrilled you stopped by!
We had to choose just one recipe to kick off our blog, so here is the story of how we found our yummy little hero:
Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far-away, there were two beautiful princesses (sorry, got carried away there) … we were chatting about our kids’ hectic schedules, and we came to a realization. … The weak link in our families’ otherwise nutritious lives was the grab-and-go snack – hands down!
We had always tried to be really diligent about providing super-healthy meals, but somehow the wheels totally fell off at snack time.
Oh sure, we had the best intentions. But, as the kids came home from school and the whirlwind of homework and afternoon activities began, we often found ourselves reaching for those convenient (and maybe not-so-healthy) snacks.
We knew there had to be a better way!
We scoured cookbooks and the Internet looking for fun and healthy ideas. We tested, tasted, retested, retasted … you get the idea.
And finally we found a winner! (aaaaahhhhhhh – picture a choir of angels singing here)
Actually, we found lots of winners (some were even hiding in our own recipe collections!), and we can’t wait to tell you all about them!
This recipe, however, quickly found its way into our hearts (and our tummies, again … and again …)! We just knew that this HAD to be the first post – it’s so yummy, so nutritious, so quick, and so easy!
We adapted our recipe from Maggie at Smashed Peas and Carrots, and you can find her original recipe here.
While we absolutely loved her recipe, we wondered if we could amp up the nutrition without losing any of the flavor … ’cause that’s just how we roll.
We concocted about 8 or 10 different variations (yeah, we’ve been eating A LOT of these!) before finding the perfect balance. In our version, we swapped in wheat germ for some of the flax, which allowed us to keep a decent amount of the beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, while reducing the calories and total fat a bit, and increasing the Vitamin E and folic acid a smidge. We also reduced the chocolate chips (less sugar), and used crunchy peanut butter (for, well, some added crunch).
Taste-testers in our homes couldn’t tell the difference!
Our families are even content to have these tasty nuggets of joy for dessert!
You can feel good about handing these over to your kids (if you don’t eat them all yourself!) for a quick snack as you dash out the door. With all the whole grain, fiber and protein packed into these little gems, you can be sure this snack will stick to their ribs and give them the power they need!
So, without further ado, here is the delicious little ball that started it all – the superstar that helped us launch our Two Healthy Kitchens blog. We hope you enjoy our very first recipe as much as we do. And, we hope you’ll be back to THK again soon!
Begin by adding all ingredients (hold off on the chocolate chips – for now) into a medium bowl.
See that open bottle of vanilla behind the bowl? Yeah … you’re gonna want to close that bad boy up right away. It spills. And it stains clean white countertops. Trust us on this one, friends. It happened seconds after this picture was taken.
Remember those bottles of colored sand you used to make at carnivals? This totally reminded us of that … but this one tastes way better! Not that we ever tasted the sand … we’re just guessing …
See how it’s all mixed together? Now you can add in the chocolate chips and give it another quick stir.
Ideally, you would shape the mixture into little balls and then lovingly share them with your family. But seriously, who are we kidding? Just grab a spoon – we won’t judge!
Update: Over the Years, We’ve Created Other Delicious No-Bake Energy Ball Recipes You’ve Gotta Try …
- Crunchy Granola Snack Bites
- Almond Joy Snack Bites
- Oatmeal-Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Snack Bites
- Peanut Butter Cup Snack Bites
- Maple-Walnut Oatmeal Snack Bites
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Snack Bites
- Tropical Snack Bites with Almonds and Chia
- 1 cup quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup natural, crunchy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
- 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
- In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except chocolate chips.
- Stir to combine.
- Add chocolate chips to mixture and stir again, just until combined.
- Using your hands, press FIRMLY to form one-inch balls.
- Place in air-tight container and refrigerate as needed.
Trouble getting the balls to stick together: Be sure that you are pressing these balls together FIRMLY (not lightly rolling the balls like cookie dough). If you're still having trouble, it could be that you're using a type of natural peanut butter that's stiffer/firmer than what we usually use (some brands are very thick) or that your coconut is quite dried out (I normally use Baker's brand, which I've noticed is moister than some others). Also, you'll have a lot more difficulty forming balls if you try to substitute regular-sized chocolate chips, instead of the minis we specify. Regardless, to correct for this issue, we recommend slightly decreasing some of the dry ingredients (such as the oats, flax, or wheat germ).
Reducing sugar (Update 2020): Through all my years making batch after batch of these (usually quadruple batches!), I've often started to decrease the honey by even as much as about 1/3 – and nobody seems to notice. (And they stick together just fine for me.) I do still recommend starting with the recipe as written the first time you make these energy balls, but then you could try a slight reduction in the honey in subsequent batches.
Storage and freezable make-ahead tips: If your peanut butter is one of the natural brands that needs to be refrigerated, then so do your Snack Bites. Actually, regardless of the peanut butter you use, these will keep much better in the refrigerator. They can even be frozen (so you may want to make a triple batch!). When frozen, these Snack Bites will be thawed in about 20 minutes.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 18 servings Serving Size: 2 Snack Bites
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 126
Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.