Sounds to good to be true doesn’t it. Peanut butter… no bake… less than 100 calories. We live in a world of convenience, and all too often we choose to reach for the sugar packed granola bars or trans-fat laden potato chips when looking for a quick fix. What if I told you that a healthy and tasty treat may only require 15 minutes of your time? Put ingredients into a bowl and roll into balls, easy right? And in return you will get 3 weeks worth of these healthy and convenient peanut butter energy balls!
“Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated fats which are a major component of the heart-healthy, Mediterranean diet and have been linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Peanut butter has been getting some bad press lately. Some of the blame may be stemming from a popular diet book which unfortunately aims to demonises all legumes, peanuts included…yes peanuts are a legume. Aside from just the simple fact that peanuts are related to the humble chickpea and kidney bean, peanuts are vilified because the peanut plant is susceptible to a mold that produces the carcinogenic aflatoxin.
Aflatoxin can contaminate other products as well, including milk, cheese, corn, cottonseed, nuts, figs and spices. Peanuts are amongst the highest risk of aflatoxin contamination and therefore many countries have imposed strict regulatory limits to help control exposure to this toxin. I for one love my peanut butter and am not ready to surrender this healthy, convenient food in fear of this fungi. To limit our exposure to aflatoxin we should purchase our peanut butter from a reputable brand and country, to ensure it has been handled and stored properly. It is also important to store peanut butter in the fridge; mold loves hot and humid and is less likely to grow in a cooler environment.
Peanut butter is one of the healthiest convenience foods around. Not only is it high in monounsaturated fats, it is also a good source of protein and can make a quick and filling sandwich for kids (and adults) on the go. Just make sure your peanut butter doesn’t contain any added sugar or funny additives that prevent the oil from separating. If peanut butter is not for your household, try it with almond butter! Yum!
Recipe for No Bake 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Makes: 22 snack balls
Recipe by: Rachel
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Time To Finish: 50 minutes
Ingredients for No Bake 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Energy Balls
2/3 cup shredded toasted coconut, unsweetened
1 cup whole rolled oats*
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
3 tbsp. flaxseed, ground**
1/2 cup dried, sour cherries***
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/4 cup honey
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp. water (optional)
*oats are OK on a gluten free diet but standard oats are not appropriate for those with Coeliac Disease
**purchase whole flaxseeds and grind them yourself to ensure all the nturients are intact and the flaxseeds have not gone rancid. They are simple to grind in a coffee grinder or magic bullet.
***if you do not have dried sour cherries, dried cranberries can be used instead.
Method for No Bake 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Energy Balls
If your coconut is not already toasted, you will have to turn the stove on a give it a quick toast. This helps to intensify the flavour. To do this, heat a frying pan on medium heat and add the coconut. Watch carefully as it will burn quickly. Toss around the frying pan for about 1 minute, or until golden brown.
Combine all ingredients except for the water in a large mixing bowl. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Once it has sit for half an hour check it, and if the mixture seems to dry add the water. You want the mixture to stick together, and not be too crumbly.
Now the fun begins! Roll into 22 small, equal sized balls. They should be about 1.5″ diameter.
Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week, or freeze them and take them out as needed.
Nutrition Information for No Bake 100 Calorie Peanut Butter Energy Balls
Saturated Fat 2g