These have been my salvation since making every attempt to eat better foods and cut out some of the sugar and processed crap in my diet.
I don’t know about you, but for me 4:00 p.m. is the witching hour. I’m hungry. I’m tired. I’m hungry. Did I already say hungry?
I make a batch of these on Sunday night and they last us all week. I keep them in a big baggie in the freezer and grab a few to stash in my lunch bag for a late afternoon snack. These stop my belly from growling and they are sweet enough that I don’t want to hit the vending machine. Not to mention they give me some great fuel for my afternoon run.
Oatmeal is a whole grain and has so many health benefits. It maintains blood sugar control, satisfies your appetite, can help lower the bad “LDL” cholesterol, maintain a healthy blood pressure and lowers risk of heart disease. The USDA recommends at least 3 servings of whole grain food every day.
Peanut butter is high in healthy unsaturated fats and contains a significant amount of protein, minerals and some vitamins.
Honey contains vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is sweeter than sugar and has a healthy Glycemic Index.
Dried cherries are a good source of copper, Vitamin C and Vitamin A. And apricots and prunes are rich in potassium, dietary fiber and iron.
And yes even those little chocolate chips are good for you. Flavenols increase blood flow, shown to be a benefit to your brain, polyphenols have been shown to increase good “HDL” cholesterol and mixed with a glass of red wine has been shown to reduce inflammation. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Health benefits aside. These babies are super simple and contain only a few ingredients all mixed together in one bowl. Yessah! They’re also easy to switch it up and throw in whatever you want. Use the peanut butter, oats and honey as a base and feel free to throw in any kind of dried fruit you have on hand. Raisins, cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, prunes, coconut, maybe even some sunflower seeds and flax meal.
It’s a plus that the family enjoys them also. Any kind of healthy snack I can get them on board with is a keeper.
Let me know what you would put in yours.
Peanut Butter Balls
1 1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
2 c. old fashioned oats (dry)
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. chopped dried cherries
1/2 c. chopped dried apricots
1/2 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
Combine all ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Use a mini ice cream scoop (about 1/2 tablespoon) roll em up like meatballs and place on a sheet in the freezer until solid, then I transfer them to a baggie and voila! Grab what you want, when you want! They don’t have to remain frozen, but I do keep them in the fridge or they can get messy. Eat them frozen or not. Delish either way.