“Energy Balls” coated with Chia Seed Granola
I’ve seen various nut butter “balls” or “truffles” all over the blogsphere. They are really easy to make and so delicious — great for a portable snack and much cheaper than buying an energy or protein bar.
Basically, you can just mix equal parts nut butter with liquid sweetener and two parts powder, such as non fat milk powder. I have also made them with protein powder and roasted peanut flour with great results. For the nut butter, I have used almond and peanut butters, but cashew or walnut or macademia nut butters would be divine. It is easy to make your own nut butter if you can’t find the kind you like.
This is what the ideal texture of the truffle “paste” looks like after mixing together your ingredients:
This is a combination of almond butter, honey, and milk powder mixed by hand.
You then just shape a portion into a ball, similar to making a meatball, and roll and coat in whatever topping you’d like. Then refrigerate to firm them up for about 30 minutes. I store them in an air tight container in the fridge.
Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
Recently I started experimenting with chia seeds because I keep reading about how great they are for you. They are full of omega-3s, protein, fiber, and minerals. They were eaten by the Aztecs and are considered to be a “super food”. When mixed with water, the seeds become gelatinous. When eaten, this gelatinous configuration slows down digestion and makes you feel full.
I actually wasn’t crazy about the gelatinous texture (a lot of people eat it in smoothies and oatmeal), so I decided to roast them instead and use them in granola.
I used to make granola all the time and hadn’t for awhile. Granola is great to make with kids too – it is so easy and is a delicious and healthier snack alternative.
At the store gathering ingredients for granola
When I saw my friend, Anna’s extra chunky granola recipe on her fabulous blog, Cookie Madness, I had to make some.
I had a few “fails” at first. One was that the pumpkin seeds I used turned out to be stale! People, always check your ingredients before putting them into whatever you are making whenever possible! Grrr… This was remedied by me letting my OCD tendencies run wild and I hand picked each one out of the batch.
They look harmless, but I had to throw them out, they tasted so stale.
The other “fail” was that since I used liquid egg whites instead of a fresh egg white, AND I didn’t squish the mixture into a tight slab before baking as Anna’s recipe instructs, my granola did not have the cluster like texture I was hoping for.
Since it was like regular granola (i.e. not chunky), I used some to coat some Almond Butter Truffles and renamed them “Energy Balls” as they are a healthier version of the more decadent ones I had made before.
These were gobbled up at a Memorial Day picnic this past weekend. I love the crunch the granola adds. The chia seeds were crunchy, like poppy seeds, so the gummy texture did not happen until in my stomach!
Nut Butter Truffles
Use a 1:1:2 ratio of peanut butter or almond butter or other nut butter, honey or other liquid sweetener, and twice the amount of non-fat instant milk powder.
Mix together, shape into balls, and coat with whatever you like, such as mini chocolate chips, dried coconut, wheat germ, cinnamon sugar, almonds, cereal, granola, etc.
Chill to firm up for about 30 minutes or longer in the refrigerator. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator.
Chia Seed Granola, based on Anna’s Extra Chunky Granola
Note: I halved the recipe because I baked it in a Cuisinart toaster oven
I didn’t add the mixed nuts because I didn’t have any — just sliced almonds. This also worked well with the Energy Balls, because the nuts would have been too big.
3/4 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (or other oil)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds (preferably not stale!)
1/3 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons dried coconut
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tablespoon liquid egg white (this will make the granola a regular granola texture. If you want extra chunky, use 1/2 tablespoon fresh egg white, as per Anna’s recipe after halving and press together very tightly in to a thin slab before baking)
1/4 cup chopped dried fruit (I used three dried apricots)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray.
2. Heat butter, oil, brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and salt in a small sauce pan on stove. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let cool.
3. Mix dry ingredients except dried fruit together in a large bowl. Evenly coat oat mixture with egg white. Then pour the sweet liquid mixture over and evenly coat. Spread in one layer on baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool, and then stir to break up, add dried fruit.
Makes about 10 ounces.