Totally Moreish Peanut butter, Choc Chip Protein Balls!
For my first food post, I thought I would start with something small. Manageable. Bitesized. As I take myself literally, I made protein balls (because they're bitesized, get it?!). Not just any protein balls though, probably the best protein balls you'll eat this year.
Look at that picture, don't you just want to pick one up and pop it in your mouth? I certainly do. Just looking at it is making my mouth water. In this household we find ourselves so regularly helping ourselves to "just one more" that we demolish the lot in a couple of days. In fact, it has been known for a tub of these to disappear within 24 hours. We won't speak any further about that though.
So, I think you get what I'm saying here - these protein balls are delicious. More than that, they are insanely easy to make. There's no baking involved, you literally just have to measure out the ingredients, mix them all together and squash them into balls. That's it! So, as long as you have basic maths skills this recipe is for you. Also, if you don't have a peanut allergy. If you do, then it's best to give this one a miss (sorry guys! I promise I will make plenty of delicious peanut free treats too!).
I don’t actually recall where I first stumbled on a recipe for these peanut flavoured delights, I do, however, recall assuming that I wouldn’t enjoy them all that much. They too closely resembled “health food” for my liking. I had decided (as I do on a semi regular basis) that my snacking habits were going to be the death of me, so I needed to introduce some healthier snacks rather than reaching straight for the chocolate and crisps. Introducing peanut butter protein balls.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the place where you believe that something perceivably healthy couldn’t possibly also be delicious? Well, that was me. Anything that looked as though it belonged in a health food store instantly tasted like cardboard in my mind. Good for my body? Obviously bad for my taste buds. That’s all part of the ride, right? Eating healthily involves some level of suffering, as you deny yourself the beautiful, rich, fatty, sugary flavours you love so much and chew on a thoroughly unsatisfying, limp lettuce leaf instead. Or worse, one of those tasteless, raw cereal bar things that bear no resemblance to food whatsoever. I wouldn’t even feed my rabbit one of those.
If I had a rabbit that is.
I digress. I made the peanut butter choc chip protein balls with about as much enthusiasm as taking a trip to the dentist. Heck, at least if you're good at the dentist you get a proper treat at the end. This, I felt, was not going to have such a happy ending. (Also, I happen to really like my dentist, he's great. Hi Dr Israr Razaq!)
However, as I gingerly bit into one of these peanut butter, chocolate chip protein balls, my taste buds swooned and my saliva glands went into overdrive. Hurrah! It actually tastes good! More than good, this tastes delicious.That was what I said to myself, while mopping up the puddle of drool on the floor. How wonderful it was to be proven wrong.
I am quite a stubborn person by nature, but I will admit when I am wrong about something and these protein balls made me do just that. I had to confess that not all health food is bland! In fact, a heck of a lot of it, I have since discovered, is damn tasty. There, I said it.
Admittedly, these are helped out a lot by the addition of chocolate chips. Lots of them. The thing is though, peanut butter and chocolate is a classic flavour combination for a reason = it works and it’s dang delicious. I also reason that cacao itself is a superfood, because that's what the all wise oracle google search engine tells me, and I choose to believe it. Did you know that it’s full of antioxidants, nutrients and all things good? Even more so than green tea! Therefore, we have every right to class dark chocolate as a health food. Lucky us! So, my advice is to go nuts with the chocolate chips. Think you’ve added enough? Add more!
Have I sold these to you enough yet? I really should get to the recipe or we’ll be here all night, dreaming about peanut butter and chocolate chips, but not actually eating any which would be a travesty.
So, without further ado, please follow the trail of peanut butter choc chip protein balls to find the recipe:
You made it! Also, I should have probably mentioned before that this recipe uses cups as a measurement. So, if you haven't already got some, pop down to your local Sainsbury's (don't forget your mask!) and buy a set of measuring cups. They make life so easy.
Jen's totally moreish peanut butter choc chip protein balls
16-24 protein balls
1 1/4 cups gluten free oats
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I prefer dark, but you do your thing)
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 cup raw honey
4 tbsp mix of chia seed, flax seed, ground nuts (I tend to use ...)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp madagascan vanilla extract
Optional: milk (or almond milk etc)
1. Prepare a baking sheet, tray or board by covering it with baking paper. This is where you will put your protein balls once you've rolled them.
2. Measure out all the ingredients in whichever order you choose (I tend to go from top to bottom, but it really is your call) and add them to a large mixing bowl. Stir them together; this should create a slightly sticky, slightly crumbly texture. If it is too dry, you can add some milk. I find that the mixture tends to be fine though - you don't want to have sloppy balls!
3. Taking the mixture a tablespoon at a time, roll it in your hands to create balls and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Leave them to set for a short while and then try your hardest not to eat them all!
Store in an airtight container. Happy eating!