Tiny Balls of Energy

My oldest son (age 5) and I made these recently for our mom and son time.  We made 2 flavors, a “regular” kid friendly chocolate chip and a mom inspired pumpkin spice. I had wrongly assumed that the pumpkin spice ones would be all mine, however, they ended up being a hit with everyone.

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Dark Chocolate Chip and Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls

These balls are a delicious and portable snack, while still managing to pack a healthy punch.  The oats, flax and pumpkin are full of healthy carbs and fiber, that helps to keep you feeling satisfied and providing fuel for your day. Not to mention the pumpkin provides lots of micronutrients, like vitamins A, E, C, K and potassium and magnesium.

Now, don’t freak when you see the fat content. There is a healthy dose of monounsaturated and omega-3s (aka healthy fats) from the pumpkin seeds, flax, chia and nut butters. We need healthy fats in our diet. Look for an article later discussing the importance of healthy fats, but the short of it is: there are many body tissues (hello, our brain!!) made up of fat. (EDIT: updated article on Fat is here.) This makes the type of fat we consume pretty important.

Pair these bad boys them with some lean protein (maybe some cottage cheese? Or how about a latte with skim milk?) and you have a nice balanced snack.

The Pumpkin Spiced Energy Balls

  • 1 1/2 cups Oats (Use old fashioned or Rolled.  Do not use instant or quick)
  • 1 cup Pumpkin (look for pure pumpkin, not pie filling. I like Libby’s brand, it doesn’t taste as vegetal)
  • 2 Tb Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, toasted
  • 6 Tb Ground Flax Seeds*
  • 1/3 cup Maple syrup (Use the real stuff!)
  • 1/3 cup Natural Peanut Butter
  • 1 tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. Chia Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
  • 1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds

Mix all ingredients.  Then place in fridge for ½ hour.  After they have gotten nice and chill, roll into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze.  Once frozen, transfer them to whatever you plan to store them in (I use a freezer baggie)

I keep them in the freezer and defrost what we plan to eat. They defrost quickly and will keep for probably 1 week in the fridge.

Makes about 20-24 balls (depending on the size and how much sampling happens.) *Depending on the consistency of your Peanut butter you may need more or less ground flax.

Nutrition info:  Calories: 153 Fat:9 Carbs: 15  Protein:6

Pumpkin Spice not your thing? No problem! Try this regular chocolate chip variety.

Chocolate Chip Energy Balls

  • 1 cup Old Fashioned Oats (again no quick or instant here)
  • 2/3 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup Almond Butter
  • 1/3 cup Maple Syrup (use the real stuff!)
  • 1 Tb Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Flax Seed
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chip
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seed

Mix all ingredients.  Then place in fridge for ½ hour.  After they have gotten nice and chill, roll into balls.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and freeze.  Once frozen, you can transfer them to whatever you plan to store them in (I use a freezer baggie)

I keep them in the freezer and defrost what we plan to eat. They defrost quickly and will keep for probably 1 week in the fridge.

Makes about 20-24 balls (depending on the size and how much sampling happens.) *Depending on the consistency of your Peanut butter you may need more or less ground flax.

Nutrition: calories: 133 Fat:10 carbs:11 protein:3

Adapted from Clean Food Crush and Gimme Some Oven

 

 

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