I giggle a little each time I say this title out loud. I guess it’s the 11-year old boy living inside me. But there isn’t really anything else to call these, you know? So let’s be mature and move on to what makes these Peanut Butter Cup Energy Balls so amazing and delicious!
Is there a more perfect food marriage than peanut butter + chocolate? Me thinks not. It’s truly one of my favorite combos of all time. But because I can’t spend my days popping peanut butter cups into my mouth before workouts and in-between tennis sets, I set out to make something just as tasty but that wouldn’t weigh me down or give me a sugar buzz and crash. These healthier balls are my nod to the beloved Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
We’re a family that is on the go. A lot. And I don’t say this like it’s a bad thing because it’s not. It’s just the facts and where we are in life right now. My kids have after school sports 4 days a week, my husband and I both try and fit in workouts 4-5 days a week, we ski together on the weekends, hike our dogs, and the list goes on. I’m grateful that my kids are so into being active. We live in a super active community and they see their parents making it a priority. Sports have always been huge part of my life and I can only hope that my boys carry their love into adulthood!
Because of said busy schedule, I’m constantly making snacks for the road, packing mini meals for after school or before basketball, and stuffing easy-to-eat food in my tennis bag and ski pocket respectively. I know that I feel better when I eat better so having easy, grab-and-go snacks around are key. We do a lot of nuts, cheese and crackers, whole fruit and cut veggies but sometimes a little something sweet is in order.
Who am I kidding? Something sweet is always in order. 🙂
These Peanut Butter Cup Energy Balls are just that- something sweet, feels like a treat, but won’t cause a sugar buzz. These are gluten free, dairy free, refined sugar free, and packed with protein thanks to the hemp seeds and protein powder. They’re totally portable, look beautiful, and pretty much my favorite thing if I need a quick bite to eat before a workout or as I’m chauffeuring my kiddos around. I love the salt on top, my boys prefer it without. I like my energy balls on the drier side but they prefer them more dough like- play with the amount of almond milk and make them yours! You can sub the peanut butter for another nut or seed butter, omit the chocolate (but why?), use a different milk, and/or swap protein powder flavors to your hearts content. Or make them just as written and enjoy!
Happy, happy Monday to all of you and hope you have a wonderful week ahead. As always, thanks for reading. xo, Kelley
- 2 cups rolled oats- use gluten free if necessary
- 1/2 cup ground flax
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 scoop plant based vanilla protein powder (my favorite is Arbonne)
- 2-4 tablespoons of almond milk
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (I am loving these allergen free chocolate chips from Enjoy Life)
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- sea salt for sprinkling, optional
- Place oats, flax, hemp seeds, chia seeds, honey, peanut butter, vanilla, and protein powder in the base of a food processor. Pulse just until dough comes together. Add almond milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get desired consistency. I like mine on the drier side so usually only add 2 tablespoons though I've added up to 4 for a more "dough" like energy ball.
- Roll energy balls into 2-inch size balls. Place on a roll of parchment while you finish.
- Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in a small bowl. Microwave in 20 second increments until chocolate is fully melted. Dip top half of each energy ball into the chocolate and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt if desired.
- Let chocolate cool completely and harden before transferring the energy balls to an air tight container. I store mine in the fridge and they keep for about 5-7 days.
images by Kellie Hatcher/ recipe by Mountain Mama Cooks