Finally a tasty healthy snack
I’m a snacker. I’ll admit it, I graze, I snack. Our Kids graze. They live for the “S” word. As a matter of fact the “S” word in our house is said many many times throughout the day. Snacking in between meals is a healthy way to eat if snacks are packed with lots of nutrients. So for me the challenge has been to come up with multiple healthy snacks daily that won’t break the bank and that the 12 year old and 6 year old (and mom year old) will actually eat and won’t get bored of. Whew, that's a tall order!
Enter Protein Balls or Bars if you prefer. I have no idea why I didn’t embark on this journey years ago but holy moly is this a revelation! It takes barely no time at all to make a healthy grab and go snack that we all love (even hubby). I know what’s in it, I can mix em up any way, any time, and I can fridge them for a week (not that they ever last that long) or freeze them for even longer.
I also really really love chocolate. Seriously is there anyone out there who doesn’t? Last week was a bit extra stressful and busy and ended up including a bit more chocolate (and wine) than usual so I set out to make some healthy chocolate snacks we all could enjoy. I served these for a Green Up Our Clean Earth Day event we were having and wow they were a hit! I’m not sure who loved them more-the moms or the kids-but everyone was asking for the recipe.
These Triple Chocolate No Bake Protein Balls are really simple to make. Just gather the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together, then add in the wet ingredients. I use a wooden spoon and a little elbow grease and it takes just a couple minutes. I find the dryness factor is largely affected by what nut butter I’m using. If your mixture feels a little dry you can add in a little more honey and/or water-a little goes a long way.
Here’s what you’ll need:
1c organic old fashioned rolled oats
2 scoops beyond organic chocolate Life Shake Protein
2tbs organic Cacao powder
3tbs organic ground flaxseed
1/4c organic dark chocolate chips
1/2c organic peanut butter
3tbs organic raw honey (local if possible)
2tbs filtered water ( a little more if needed)
optional add ins: organic dried cranberries, raw sunflower seeds, or raw pumpkin seeds
a quick note-I know I added organic and raw in there a bunch of times, it’s what our family uses whenever we can but please know ANY time you feed your kids a healthy snack yet alone ones that are home made is a WIN so use what works for your family even if its not the "O" word. ~xoxo Jen
Once you’ve got a good mix going you can grab a spoon full and start rolling them into bite size balls. I make mine about the size of a ping pong ball. Now for some crazy unknown reason our 12 year old only likes protein bars. Same recipe, same everything, and the kid will turn away the balls but gobble up the bars. Maybe it was all those times as a toddler that I said please get that bouncy ball out of your mouth but the kid just won’t go for protein balls. Lucky enough it’s super easy to take the whole mixture or even half and press it into bars.
For bars just grab a square or rectangle pan or pyrex, ect. The size doesn’t really matter, it will just affect how thick your bars are. I typically use a 9×9 glass square. Line it with some parchment paper or grease the pan with coconut oil and then scoop a bunch of mix in and press it down to flatten. Both kiddos love helping with this part. When making bars I put them in the fridge for 30 minutes or so to make it easier to cut later.
And there you have it. Simple, easy, no bake, chocolatey treat packed with nutrition. Great for after school snack or as part of a healthy lunch. Or dare I say even with a glass of Chianti after the littles go to bed. Chin Chin my friend! Enjoy in Great Health! ~Jen