Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, and I find myself prepping a bit for the week ahead. Something I try to do is make easy-to-grab snacks that are healthy and filling. Today I decided to make protein balls. One thing my friends know about me is I hate to exact measure ingredients, which I know, is not the greatest trait for recipes. But in my defense, I like the freedom it allows me in the kitchen, and once I have a recipe down then I figure in the needed amounts. So here we go with today’s Sunday creation.
Last week I listened to a lecture by a man named David Wolfe. For anyone who may not recognize this name, Wolfe is a well-known superfoods guru. He has traveled the world and done extensive education on various things like cacao and spirulina, learning and teaching about how powerful superfoods can be for the body in today’s toxic environment. Something new I gleaned from this lecture was a superfood called Maca. Maca is from the Peruvian Andes and is known to help increase energy, endurance, strength, and even libido. Maca powder also contains more protein and fiber than a potato, and it is loaded with 20 amino acids, seven of those being essential amino acids. So in a nutshell, this superfood is a great addition to one’s diet.
Maca comes in a powder form, making it easy to throw into smoothies, yogurt, or even on top of your morning cereal. Just don’t put it in something you plan to cook, like soup, because it breaks down the nutrients.
After finding some Maca powder at my local health food store I decided to use it in my protein balls. This recipe is super quick and easy, plus you don’t have to bake a thing! I made these gluten-free, but you can tailor it to your own health needs. Here is what you need for this particular recipe:
- Gluten-free rolled oats
- Crunchy peanut butter
- Almond butter
- Local honey
- Carob chips
- Protein powder (I used hemp in this case because of its nutty flavor)
- Maca powder
- Ground Chia seed
I mixed together one cup of the rolled oats, one cup of the chunky peanut butter, 1/2 a cup of almond butter, 1/4 to 1/3 cup of honey (just do it to taste here, you know how sweet you want it), 1/4 to 1/3 cup of carob chips, two tablespoons of protein powder of choice (you may want to steer clear of flavored powders here and go for the unflavored version), one to two tablespoon of Maca powder and one tablespoon of the ground chia seed. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and don’t worry if the powders and chia seeds slightly change the color of the mixture. Then simply form small balls using a rolling motion between the palm of your hands. I make mine about the size of a golf ball, maybe slightly smaller. Store in an airtight container and enjoy throughout the week!
If you have a peanut allergy, substitute a crunchy almond butter, or some other kind of crunchy nut butter. You can even make your own at home in a blender to get it even closer to the source. If honey is not your thing, you could use the same amount of brown rice syrup or agave nectar. But honey is a wonderful sweetener, especially locally grown honey because it is full of antioxidants, probiotics, minerals, and enzymes.
These are great for on-the-go breakfasts and snacks, or as a sweet ending to a meal. Either way, you choose, you know you are putting good stuff in your body that your taste buds will enjoy.Until next time,
Until next time,