My New Balls!

Hehehe…

Now that I have your attention, please allow me to explain!

If you have been following me for a while, you’ll know that I don’t used refined sugar in my recipes and when I enjoy a treat, it’s usually sweetened with fruit. But when I want something a little more decadent, I use natural sweeteners like maple syrup and honey.

These energy balls have become my new go-to post workout snack and make a delicious after-dinner treat, and I think you are going to LOVE them!

If you know me, you’ll know that my favourite sweet-salty pairing is chocolate and peanut butter. Nothing hits the spot, to me, like this flavour combo.

So when Freshii landed in our neighbourhood and everyone started raving about their “Cocoa energii bites”, I had to give them a try for myself–YUM! Although the price isn’t craaazy ($2.49 for 2 balls), the ingredients are so simple that it was a no-brainer to try to recreate them at a fraction of the price. Plus, I get to customize the recipe to my own taste and preference. For example, I omit the chocolate chips (they really aren’t necessary), I use local, raw honey, and I prefer to use organic ingredients.

Freshii's bites have an almost "truffle meets cake" type of texture, and I wanted to recreate that, so getting the ratios right is key. I think I've done it here, but you may want to play around with the ingredients to satisfy your own taste and texture preferences.

In Freshii's recipe, they use walnuts. I have used pecans because I am a big fan of the chocolate-pecan combo, but feel free to use any nuts you like.

Freshii's are much sweeter, and I find the extra sweetness unnecessary, which is why I omit the chocolate chips and use far less honey than they do. I also make sure to buy unsweetened coconut. Mine are definitely sweet and delicious, and I think you'll find them plenty sweet enough, but add a little more honey, if not. The nice thing about this recipe is that it is no-bake, so you can taste as you go!

Remember that not all honey is created equal. You want to use local, raw honey, not the stuff on the shelves at the grocery store (unless your store carries local, raw honey!) Raw honey is pure, unheated, unpasteurized and unprocessed. This means it preserves all the natural vitamins, enzymes, phytonutrients and other nutritional elements. Personally, I use Truebee honey by Peachey honey farm, and if you live in Ottawa, they supply all Farm Boy locations and are found in many other stores, as well. Wherever you live, you will want to buy your own local honey. Eating your own local honey can help with seasonal allergies and it can be so much fun meeting the farmers, too, at markets and on their own farms. A quick google search will help you connect with them.

Once you have the basic ingredients in this recipe--oats, peanut butter (or another nut/seed butter) and honey--you can honestly add anything else you like to these balls.

I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Sarah Roberts
Makes 20 balls

Why I Make These: I LOVE the flavour combo of chocolate and peanut butter and I am a fan of using whole grains and natural sweeteners in recipes. Plus, they are completely customizable. These are so easy and tasty and they are most definitely kid-approved!

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups quick cooking oats (See Note)
1/2 cup organic peanut butter (I like crunchy for the texture, but smooth also works)
1/4 cup raw honey (note that if you use liquid honey, it will change the texture)
1/4 cup organic raw cacao powder (I like the Navitas brand)
1/2 cup unsweetened organic shredded coconut (plus more for rolling)
1/4 cup raw pecans, then place them in the food processor
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water, give or take. You may need to add more or less to get the right consistency.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the oats, peanut butter, honey, cacao powder, 1/2 cup coconut, crushed pecans and salt. I start with a spoon and then use my hands to mix well.
  2. Add in water, a little at a time, to get the right consistency. You don't want it too wet, but you want it to stick together when you form balls in your hands. NOTE: You can either start making your balls now or allow the mixture to rest in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes.
  3. Use a tablespoon to portion your balls. I like to really press the mixture together in my hand, and then begin rolling them, but any method that gets your balls made will work!


  4. Place them on a plate and coat them in shredded coconut.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and then enjoy!

Store them in a sealed container in the fridge for about a week, or longer in the freezer.

Notes:
1. Quick cooking oats are still whole grains, they've just been cut smaller. You can use regular rolled oats, but the texture will be chewier. I prefer quick cooking, myself, but feel free to play around and maybe use half quick cooking, half regular. Just don't use steel cut oats--they would be too hard.

2. Freezing: Store them for several months in the freezer (they won't last that long, though!) and I actually really like the texture of them out of the freezer because they never get rock hard. They just get super chewy and yummy. 🙂

3. I'm sure you could also easily make these into squares by pressing the mixture firmly into a lightly greased pan and topping with shredded coconut. Refrigerate until firm and then slice into squares.

4. I know kids can't take nuts to school, or if you need a nut-free option, you may want to make these with sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. Omit the pecans or walnuts, increase the shredded coconut or oats slightly, and perhaps reduce the water. You'll have to play with it. I would freeze them overnight and then put them in their lunchbox in the morning. By the time they eat them, they will be perfect!

5. For a high protein ball, add in 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds, 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds and 4 tablespoons of hemp hearts.

Freshii's energii bites are on the left and mine are on the right. As you can see, theirs are a little bigger, but I prefer the smaller size. I typically have two per serving and it's enough.

Because I want you to love your life one (energy) bite at a time!

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P.S. Have you recovered from something (cancer, divorce, addiction, etc.) and have a desire to write about your experience? I am putting together an online Writer’s Retreat, called Write. Heal. Help., that will teach you how to write your story–from start to finish–and self-publish your book, the way I did, in order to heal yourself and help others. If this speaks to you, then send me an email at Sarah@SarahTalksFood.com and I will be in touch with more details. Class starts soon! 

P.P.S. If you would like to make a change in your life and create a new relationship with food, The 6 Week Sugar Freedom eCourse might be for you. You will be surrounded by a group of like-minded people who will support you. I encourage you to join us here

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2 Comments

  • Brandy Janosch

    Reply Reply August 8, 2017

    Omg!! These look Delish! Robbie looooooves coconut so for sure think these need to get on the weeks menu 😉
    Thank you for sharing!

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply August 9, 2017

      You are both going to LOVE them!! 🙂 xo

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