Wednesday, May 1, 2013

RECIPE: Chocolate Power Balls

Ever since I bought a jar of sunflower seed butter that both of my kids promptly rejected as a sandwich filling, I've been trying to find a way to use it up that my family would deem palatable. It would be even better if it was something that made a tasty, transportable snack suitable for my son's school lunch and other nut-free environments.

These Whole Food No Bake Cookies looked promising, so I gave them a try. I found they came out too soft and "gloppy" for my liking and did not hold their shape well at all as a cookie.

I thought they might do better in ball form (kind of like a truffle) and decided to tweak the recipe to pack in a few more goodies for extra nutrition and overall yumminess.

I have to say that these are a new favourite snack at our house. They hold up well in my son's lunchbox and make a great afternoon pick-me-up for us busy moms, too. Best of all, they are very easy to make (although that may be a bit of a downfall as it's a bit *too* easy to gobble them up and whip up another batch).

This is also a great recipe for messing around with; you could use any type of nut butter if you don't need a nut-free option, and any type of dried fruit would work well in place of the apricots. You could also sneak in some ground flax seed or just about anything powdered and mild flavoured (you know, those things your kids - or you - really don't want to eat on their own). I like to use a darker, stronger tasting honey like wildflower or buckwheat in these balls, but any honey you have should do just fine!

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter of choice)
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup *uncooked* rolled oats or *cooked* quinoa
1/3 cup finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
coconut for coating

In a small saucepan, combine the honey, coconut oil, cocoa powder and sunflower seed butter.

Heat over medium-low heat just until mixture blends together well.

Remove from heat  and add coconut, oats, apricots, cinnamon and ginger.

Chill for about 30 minutes or until mixture firms up enough to roll into balls (I just stick a wooden cutting board under the saucepan and put it in the fridge).

Shape teaspoon-sized amounts of mixture into balls; roll in coconut. Store in refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen balls.

Do you have a favourite easy-to-make lunchbox treat? I'd love to know what it is!

For more simple, tasty and family-friendly recipes like this one, check out my book: Cheap Appétit: The Complete Guide to Feeding Your Family for Less Than $400 a Month (While Eating Better Than You Ever Thought Possible)

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