Cinnamon Oat Protein Balls
Kids home from school clamoring for snacks? Prepping for a big weekend backpacking trip? Heading into an afternoon of meetings and no time to take a lunch break? Need a hand-to-mouth post yoga boost? Or you're just stuck in traffic and feeling the low blood sugar hangries comin' on... No judgements here people, sometimes MF DUTY CALLS. We gotchu. For these moments, enlist the back-up snack to end all back-up snacks.
I have been making variations of these little protein balls for months, every week without fail tweaking and tweaking and never get sick of them. So clutch they save me every time I'm in a pinch. And since I make them at home I know what insanely wholesome ingredients go into them and feel confident pushing them on all my friends, and their kids! They can easily be made free of all major allergens, even leave out the honey if your are sugar sensitive! WOOO!
I had a little breakthrough around them last week on the way to the hot springs with my man. We stopped at everyone's favorite gas station outside Eugene, SoQuential Biofuels, and I spotted 2 Mom's Energy Balls out of the corner of my eye. The size is what really got me going.. ! (*Let it be known I am restraining all kinds of irresistibly bad jokes right now*) I immediately bought two in the name of R&D ("research and deliciousness"). Needless to say, I was inspired to make a larger version of the ones I have been making week after week.
All these ingredients are shelf stable for weeks, so in the refrigerator/freezer these can be made ahead and last for weeks, even months stored in an airtight container in the freezer. Though they are so easy, making a batch can take less than ten minutes if you have all the ingredients on hand. Hemp and chia are renowned as the plant-based protein heavyweight champs, weighing in around 4g per 2 Tbs serving each. Clean burning and rich in whole grain fiber, you can trust these beauties have all the tricks to stick with you. They even support healthy skin, hair, and nails. On more hardcore outdoor adventure days, I trust them to deliver the nutrient-rich protein goods when I need it most. Cuz, i mean, ain't nobody want to set up the tent in the dark. Mmmm. Makes me want to eat one right now.
So versatile, they can be made dozens of different ways; with energy boosting green powder, or anti-inflammatory turmeric, or anti-oxidant powerhouse cinnamon. Mix up and try different nut butters, switch up the sweetener (ie maple syrup, agave, use what you have!), more seeds, less seeds, try mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, these little babies are very accommodating--the mark of a true staple! You can even add Brewer's Yeast if you are a nursing mama! So fun and SO easy. Bonus if you have a food processor, but also easy enough to make in a big bowl..kids can even help this time too!
Look how easy this is:
Recipe makes 9 single servings treats.
2 c rolled oats
1 c shredded coconut
1/2 c almond butter
1/2 c hemp seeds
1/4 c chia seeds
1/3 c melted coconut oil
1/4 c honey
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
Start with a food processor or large mixing bowl. I like to add the oats, shredded coconut, and nut butter then pulse it (or mix with a fork as it were..) together a few times to avoid over-blending later on. Add in all the rest of the ingredients and mix until just combined. Then grab a solid handful (or use a 1/3 to 1/2 c measuring cup to portion size) and roll into balls between your two hands. Sing a lil blessing into each one if you want. Delight in their adorableness. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator and good luck not eating them before the week up is.
Notes: Don't worry if they don't seem to hold their shape at first, once the coconut oil cools off they will hold together beautifully. If you are in the tropics (first of all, f-ing congratulations!) just put them in the fridge for about 20 minutes and they will firm right up. If you are making them for a camping trip or hike kind of adventure and are worried they might get smashed up, add an extra 1/3 c of the melted coconut oil + 1/3 c more seeds and they'll be much more durable. Especially now that it's almost winter the coconut oil is a brilliant binder.
Enjoy and know that I love you ! Comments and feedback always warmly welcomed!