Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A Little on the Weird Side: "Powerballs"

I am sure that some people out there would describe some of the things I do as being a little on the weird side (mostly members of my own family).  That's OK.  I kind of like being weird.  Being just like everyone else would be a little boring.

One of the weird things that I've been really interested in for the past year or two is finding ways to make things for my family from scratch.  Sometimes this helps to cut costs at the grocery store.  Other times it is convenient because I can make lots of different things with many of the same ingredients.  But I also think that a major benefit to doing this is that I know exactly what is going into things--whether they be cleaning products or foods we eat.  In our foods, I can cut down on sugar, salt, and preservatives.

Lately, we have been enjoying "powerballs" made with recipes from Katie's ebook Healthy Snacks to Go.  She has packed a ton of great snack recipes in this ebook, but I haven't ventured beyond the "powerballs" yet.  They are meant to be an alternative to something like Larabars (which are are least $1 each at Target), and everyone at my house loves them!

Many recipes I come across use a food processor or a blender.  Because I don't have either of those, I use my Ninja instead.  It works just fine.  When it comes to the "powerballs", I've tried Tropical, but last night I made Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight, German Chocolate, and PB&J.  PB&J is one of my favorites, but my family definitely loves the Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Delight "Powerballs"

1/3 cup peanuts
2-3 Tbsp chocolate chips or dark chocolate
1/2 cup dates
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp coconut oil

Put the peanuts and chocolate chips in the food processor (or Ninja, ha!), and process until it's the consistency of a coarse meal.

Add the dates and process until well-blended.  Then add the remaining ingredients and process until they are well-mixed.  The coconut oil helps things to stick together, so if your mixture is sticky enough without it, then you can feel free to omit it.

I use one of those nifty little cookie scoops to easily make my balls.  I take approximately 2 loose Tbsp of the mixture, and then form it into a ball with the palms of my hands.  Repeat with the rest of the mixture.  This usually gets me 5 balls.

If you are like me, this process can get a bit messy!

I place them in a container and then refrigerate them just to get them to firm up some.  The coconut oil will be more solid at cooler temperatures, but you don't actually have to refrigerate the "powerballs."

If you think you might want to take a stroll over to the weird side and make some of your own snacks, then I highly recommend Katie's ebook.  She has included recipes for different kinds of granola, muffins, biscuits, crackers, bars, and other yummy treats.  She has also included lots of basic tips about healthy snacks in general.  I have several more of these recipes on my "must try" list for the summer.

disclosure - If you click on one of the links above for Healthy Snacks to Go, and you decide to purchase a copy, then I will receive compensation.

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