Sunday, September 11, 2011


Who doesn't like to snack a little? I was pondering this the other day trying to help a friend come up with some appropriate snacks and then I was pondering it again last night when I really had a desire for a little something good to snack on. Sometimes I get irritated with myself for not having anything sweet in the house because it means that I have to make something acceptable and that takes time! So this afternoon I decided to make the time so I wouldn't feel the need to send Miles to DQ for a splurge. I have been wanting to try making "energy balls" for a healthy alternative to a no-bake cookie and as a way to sneak nuts and seeds into my kids' diet. They don't like nuts. They say, "Have you been eating nuts? Eeww!" But I LOVE nuts. It is quite ironic too since my mother used to down a whole can I could never understand why as a child. They were disgusting to me too then. But did you know they can blast belly fat, especially pumpkin seeds? They are full of fiber and antioxidants and rich in omega-3's. They have heart health benefits, are free radical scavengers as well and are also rich in vitamin E. They are also SUGAR FREE! I am always trying to reduce sugar consumption around here. So this is what I did with the nuts today. These measurements are very approximate because I am a "dumper" so bare with me!

Add about 2 cups of your favorite nuts to a food processor and blend them up very finely. I used a  mix of walnuts, peanuts, and a pistachio lovers nut mix because that is what I had on hand.

Now you can get creative as to what you want to put in this mixture. I added about 1/2 cup old fashioned oats and some wheat germ at this point. You will need to also have some "glue" that will help them stay together and be shaped into balls.

My "glue" today was all natural almond butter and all natural chocolate peanut butter as well as some raisins and agave nectar. I wished I had some dates or figs to add. I will try that next time. I added heaping spoonfuls of everything but did have to add more of the chocolate peanut butter and more agave to get it to come together better.

It looked like this after mixing it all together. I had already rolled some of the balls when I remembered to get a picture. Grab a small amount and roll it into a ball.

Now you get to be creative again! After shaping the balls then roll them in something yummy of your choice. I then refrigerated them for about 45 minutes to let them firm up a bit. Here is what they looked like.

I got about 24 of these little energy balls. I rolled mine in wheat germ, cocoa powder, sesame seeds, and unsweetened coconut.

These were so delicious! Keep in mind though that nuts are high in calories so don't eat all 24 by yourself in one sitting! I really wanted to make these for a quick snack before or after I run, however I don't know if there will be any left in the morning because someone likes them an awful lot!

He picked the chocolate ones first of course.

But I guess I can forgive him because he gave me two thumbs up! I never told him there were nuts in those little yummy treats and I think I might keep it that way!

So here are some ideas for other things to mix in or to roll them in: granola, sunflower seeds, finely grated carrots, craisins, dried apricots, honey, any kind of nut butter or peanut butter, vanilla, powdered milk, soy milk, flax, ground up dark chocolate, dates, or figs. You could then roll them in sesame, coconut, wheat germ, or cocoa like I did, or more ground up nuts. If you have other creative ideas let me know!

If you make some you might also have to invite me over so I can have one of yours. I kid you not there are only 8 left on the tray. I guess we have some squirrels who like nuts and don't even know it!

In other snack news, have you tried Veggie Straws before or better yet have you tried the Apple Straws? Here is what the package looks like and I did get these at our local Cashwise store but do know that Walmart also has the Veggie Straws.

Here is what they look like.

The funny thing is my kids don't care too much about the apple cinnamon straws, they prefer the veggie straws and they even prefer the green and orange ones to the plain ones! We have made strides I am telling you! I however have been downing the apple cinnamon ones. So I wouldn't say these are the healthiest snack you could ever choose but they are a great alternative to chips and a sneaky way to get some more veggies down the hatch. They are low in sugar as well. Even the apple cinnamon ones have only 2 grams a serving. And I love this about them!

So give them a shot and let me know what you think! As always I would love for you to share with me the healthy products you have come across too! 

My portions of goodness have been big today! A community worship service to remember 9-11 with almost 4000 people in attendance, yummy healthy snacks made, uploaded pictures from snapfish for the one cent sale (hooray), and my husband is giving our daughter a bath so I can finish this blog post. Good day!

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