I saw this recipe on Money Saving Mom‘s menu plan last week, and decided to give it a try. As I said yesterday, I’m sort of a slacker when it comes to making homemade desserts (especially in the summer when I don’t much feel like turning on the oven), but this looked so easy, I thought even I could get motivated to make it.
The first batch I made was just ok…it had sort of a weird flavor, and after a bite or two, I realized that the problem was a super-strong vanilla taste. The recipe called for two teaspoons and that much vanilla in an unbaked product produces a really unpleasant vanilla overload.
So, for the next batch I made, I reduced the vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon, and the results were waaay better (and cheaper, too! Vanilla’s kind of expensive).
This recipe is fairly customizable…you can use any type of nut butter you like, and you can vary a number of the other ingredients too. And since these are so simple to make and don’t require any heat, they’re a great project to do with kids.
First, mix the nut butter, honey, and vanilla together.
As I’m sure you know, measuring nut butter is kind of a pain since it sticks to everything. To make this simpler and less messy, I put 1/2 cup of water into a measuring cup, add peanut butter until the water level reaches 1 cup, drain the water, and dump the peanut butter into my bowl.
This process looks exceedingly unappetizing, but it’s very not messy.
(I thought about not putting the picture in there but then I thought that you might forget the measuring trick if you didn’t actually see it.)
So! Add the coconut, chocolate chips, and oatmeal to the peanut butter mixture. If you have mini chocolate chips, I’d use those because they distribute better. Regular chips work fine too, though.
Stir until it’s all nicely combined.
Place the bowl in the refrigerator for a half hour to make the dough easier to handle.
Take a tablespoon of dough, compress it into a ball shape, and roll it between your hands until it’s smooth.
If your balls are still pretty sticky, or if you just want to make them look fancier, you can roll them in coconut or wheat germ.
And that’s it! You just eat these unbaked…it’s sort of like eating peanut butter/oatmeal cookie dough, except without the worry of raw eggs. My kids love them, and as far as desserts go, I feel pretty happy about them eating these. They may not be health food, but they’re definitely more nutritious than a lollipop.
I store ours in the fridge, but I don’t know if that would be completely necessary in the winter or in a colder air-conditioned house.
No-Bake Energy Balls
1/2 cup nut butter (almond butter, peanut butter, sunflower seed butter or any other nut or seed butter)
1/3 cup honey (I use a scant 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt if using unsalted nut butter
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (or wheat germ)
1-2 tsp your favorite spices or spice combinations (optional-I haven’t done this)
1/2 C other add-ins (whole or roughly chopped nuts or seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc.)
In a medium bowl, stir together nut butter, honey, vanilla, and salt (if using). Stir in oats, coconut, and add-ins.
Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes. To make the balls, scoop out about a tablespoon of dough, press to compact, then roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough.
Store in the fridge.
(recipe originally from FoodDoodles)