March 16, 2015

Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Do you ever get that dip in energy in the afternoon and start wavering on whether or not you want to work out? I know I definitely do. I try to work out in the morning specifically to avoid this conundrum. I'm lucky right now as I finish grad school, in that I have a more flexible schedule and free mornings. But when I was working full time and during my internship, there was no way I was getting up at 4:30am to work out. No siree. And I missed some days in the gym for sure because I was just too drained.

My boyfriend doesn't have the luxury of free mornings, so he usually works out after work. But he definitely gets those low energy slumps. This is super hard to overcome when you're sitting all day without proper blood flow. (If you can, try to stretch and walk around 10 minutes each hour. Easier said than done, I know.) Anyway, he noticed that his ability to lift weights and maintain stamina during his work outs was decreased significantly after work. But when he ate a healthy snack, he was able to sustain his energy and lift a lot more weight. So I was watching Trisha Yearwood's cooking show the other day (um, can I just tell you how much I love her?) and she made "power balls" with oats, peanut butter, and chocolate chips. My boyfriend loves all of those ingredients, so I thought this would be a great pre-workout snack!

The cool thing is, there is no cooking involved AND you probably have most if not all of the ingredients in your kitchen. Win-win.

You just add all the ingredients to your food processor and blend together.

I made golf ball sized balls because my boyfriend is a strapping young lad, but you could easily make gumball sized balls too. They are pretty filling, and a lot better for you than those vending machine atrocities. The other morning I had one for breakfast and I was plenty satiated. Slip them in a baggie to take as snacks throughout the day, add them to your kid's lunch as a healthy dessert, or keep in the fridge at work for that afternoon pick-me-up. They taste delish.

Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Makes 15 golf sized balls or 30 gumball sized

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup crunchy peanut butter (I didn't use natural PB because I thought it may be too oily for the balls to stick together, but if you are successful with it, let me know!)
1/2 cup honey (or agave for vegans)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons flax seeds

In a food processor, pulse the oats, peanut butter, honey, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds and flax seeds until fully combined. You may need to stop and scrape the sides a few times.

Line a container with waxed paper. Form balls from the mixture (1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons each) and place them in container. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


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