I actually did it. I used the word “balls” in a recipe…*sigh*. I couldn’t avoid it forever. I suppose I could have called them “bites” but come on, let’s be real. They’re balls. Sweet, slightly salty, protein-packed BALLS – and you’ve gotta try them!
I’ve been working on this recipe for months now, but only through very slow trial-and-error. I’d make a batch, decide on a few things that need to be changed, write it down, and try it again a few weeks later when the last batch of balls were eaten up.
You guys, I’ve found the winning combination!
I knew I wanted to keep them naturally sweetened, as I’d be primarily feeding them to my kiddos. Honey combined with Medjool dates add just the right amount of sweetness, as well as the right amount of “hold” to keep it all together.
For a pack of protein, I used peanut butter, cashews, and the star secret ingredient: hemp hearts! This is the brand I always buy. Hemp hearts are an awesome way to sneak protein into your (and your offspring’s) diet. There is 11 grams of protein in just 3 tablespoons!! I will often throw hemp hearts into a stir fry or smoothie for dinner. Super sneaky!
These snack balls are ideal for taking along on a trip, and they will keep at room temperature for hours without falling apart or turning into mush. Overall, they’re a super healthy snack – if you don’t count the chocolate drizzle. I had to add the chocolate drizzle! Not only does it make them a little prettier, they add the perfect amount of sweetness and the chocolate is enough to get my boys to take notice.
I will warn you, the chocolate can certainly make for a mess with your little ones. That’s what baby wipes are for!
Use your food processor to first crush up the cashews, then pulse in the dates, to make a bit of a “dough”. Add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse until you’ve got a smooth-ish looking dough. Pop the mixture into the fridge for a little bit to firm up, then take it out and roll out your balls, at whatever size you want! I made about 14.
The next time you want to make a quick and easy homemade snack, give these protein-packed snack balls a “roll”. 😉
Peanut Butter Snack Balls
Yield 14-16 snack balls
Naturally sweetened peanut butter snack balls - convenient, delicious and filled with protein!
- 1/2 cup dry, roasted cashews
- 5 Medjool dates, pits removed
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1/4 cup peanut butter*
- 1/4 cup liquid honey
- 2 tbsp hemp hearts
- Optional: 1 oz dark chocolate
- Place the cashews in the bowl of a food processor and pulse in intervals until the cashews are broken into very small bits; don't pulse too far that you start making cashew butter! Add the dates and continue pulsing until a thick "dough" has formed.
- Add the remaining ingredients, and pulse until a smooth-ish dough comes together, about 10-15 times. Place the mixture into the fridge for 10 minutes to set.
- Placing the finished balls on a parchment lined baking sheet, roll the mixture into equal sized balls until all the mixture is used.
- Optional: Melt 1 oz of chocolate in a small bowl. Use a fork to drizzle the chocolate evenly across the balls. Place in the fridge to set the chocolate.
Snack balls should be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container. They will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, and for 1-2 days at room temperature.
- Try almond butter, or seed butter for a nut-free alternative.
Need more balls in your life?
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