I think we’ve all been there – it’s 3 pm and you’re out of energy. Unfortunately, despite your foggy brain and flagging focus, there’s more work to do! What’s more, you’re eyeing the snack shelf or the vending machine. Well, binge not! These delicious peanut butter protein balls (or energy bites, if you prefer) are here to save your afternoon! They’re also great for a power-up before or after the gym.
So, do they taste good?
Absolutely! These energy bites aren’t some kind of supplement you need to choke down. Firstly, their base is soft, rich Medjool dates (check out this great post on Medjools). Or, as well call them, “nature’s caramel”. Next, we mix in plenty of smooth salted peanut butter. We love the Trader Joe’s version because the ingredients list reads:
- Dry Roasted Peanuts
That’s it! Talk about a “whole food”. Of course, you can use any peanut butter you like – just pick one that’s only peanuts (and salt, depending on your preference). There are far too many sugar-stuffed varieties out there.
Finally, we add rolled oats to soak up some moisture and bind everything together. Without oats, your protein balls will be a sticky, peanut buttery mess. We also roll the balls in crushed peanuts to add crunchiness to every bite! And in this recipe, we went one (totally optional) step further and gave each protein ball a crunchy peanut center!
But if they taste good, then are they healthy?
Well, we’ll let you be the judge! Peanut butter and oats both bring plenty of protein, but check out the other nutrients in our protein ball ingredients:
- Peanuts & peanut butter are a source of healthy fats, proteins, and other nutrients. In fact, Harvard studies have linked peanut consumption to increased longevity. Furthermore, in 2003 the FDA agreed that peanuts may improve heart health as part of a balanced diet.
- Medjool dates are fresh fruit! Interestingly, their dry and wrinkled appearance is the way they look on the date palm. The growers simply pick, clean and package them. They contain sugar for a big bump of energy, fiber for digestion, and plenty of potassium.
- Oats: As you’re probably aware, oats are good for you! For one thing, oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan. This nutrient can slow digestion and control your appetite. In addition, the science shows that oats are heart-healthy!
Overall, these peanut butter bites do pack plenty of energy from fat and sugar. However, these calories come with lots of useful nutrients. Therefore, think of these protein balls as a convenient energy boost with bonus nutrition. Like all foods, stick to the serving size as part of a balanced diet!
So what’s the Catch – are these Hard to Make?
Good news! These protein balls are (almost) as easy to make as they are to eat! To begin with, put all of the ingredients in a food processor. Note: we find that a food processor works much better than a blender for this.
Next, process everything, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides (the oats will tend to stick). The end result is a smooth(ish) paste with no large chunks.
The final stage is rolling! Of course, it can be difficult to know how much mixture to use for one ball. We used around 1 tablespoon of the mixture for each. It can help to wet your hands before rolling so the mixture doesn’t stick! Once you have a nice stack ready, coat the balls individually in crushed peanuts and you’re done!
Now, for bonus points (and extra texture) we added a twist. First, we roughly rolled each ball and pushed a depression into the center. Then, we filled the hollow with 2 – 3 peanuts. Finally, we pinched the mixture over the peanuts and rolled again. Voila – a crunchy peanut surprise!
Looking for more Snack Recipes?
Here are a few of my readers’ favorite snack recipes. I can’t wait for you to try them!
- Fall Spice Energy Balls
- Roast Pumpkin Seeds (Sweet + Savory)
- Late Night Snacks (round-up of the best late night snacks)
- 5 Minute Creamy Hummus
- ‘Baked Apple In The Microwave with Caramel Sauce
Did these peanut butter protein balls keep you fueled up? If you made them, we’d love to hear about it with a comment and a rating. Every bit of feedback makes The Plant Riot even better.Print
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