I’m so tired of snacks. For the kids, I mean. Parents, you know what I’m talking about–you’re heading out the door, late to school or an activity or (I really do cringe at this word) a playdate, and one of your kids says she’s hungry and you realize they need a snack and augh you have to grab something they can eat in the car and sorry, yogurt in the backseat’s just not going to cut it when you’re going around curves at 45 miles an hour and would enjoy not scraping food off of the window again. But at the same time, packaged stuff is usually either unhealthy or madly expensive or just sort of kind of boring.
Enter the energy balls. Yes, I said balls.
I’ll wait for you to stop giggling.
I found these on Pinterest and modified them to make them even easier for me to throw together while the girls are eating their breakfast in the morning. The original recipe calls for toasted coconut, which truly does make them taste better, but that’s just an extra pan I need to wash, so I sometimes skip that part. What I like about them is that they’re healthy, and they’re a great punch of protein for growing kiddos, or for their grown-up parents who are trying to eat healthfully and exercise without blowing all the effort by raiding their kids’ Easter baskets when the 2 o’clock hunger pangs strike.
Oh, and I renamed them cookie balls. Because it doesn’t make me roll my eyes as badly and because SK and the Mighty are more likely to think they’re some treat they’re getting away with rather than a sphere of peanut butter and flaxseed.
Healthy Cookie Balls (very slightly adapted from gimmesomeoven.com)
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup coconut flakes (toasted or sweetened)
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (or raisins or dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl, stir all ingredients together until thoroughly mixed. Let chill in the refrigerator for a half hour. Once chilled, roll tablespoons of the mixture by hand into small balls that are approximately one inch in diameter. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Note: If I use sweetened coconut, I substitute raisins or dried cranberries for at least half, if not all, the chocolate chips, just to keep the “cookie” part of the description to as much a minimum as possible. Also feel free to add more honey if necessary if the mixture seems too dry to roll once out of the fridge.