Peanut Butter and Oat Snack Balls

Hello! I hope all is well with all of you. Sorry  I've been away from the computer for the last couple of weeks.  I went out of town to visit my dearest friend who sadly lost her terribly unfair but courageous fight with a brain tumor.  We had not seen each other much in recent years as our lives had taken different paths and we lived far from each other. She told me last year that regardless of that, she felt I was her "back pocket" friend, always there with her and committed if she ever needed me.  She was the same for me.  It was an honor to be there to help her in the last week of her life.  I have to admit I am sad and angry.  Since her children are grown and independent, and I finally live driving distance, now was our time.  We had plans for girls weekends, beach sitting, catching up for all the time together that we missed.  I feel robbed. The lesson here is not to wait.  Do it now.  Whatever it is, whomever it is, the time is now.  You may not get another chance.  Enjoy every moment. Notice the beauty.  

On a walk this week, I noticed the Spring flowers are making their way up.  New beginnings.  A reminder that even after a cold winter or dark times, there is new life, beauty and joy. Circle of life.  Hold hands and embrace it all. 

So...all sadness and deep thoughts aside.....I made a nutritious and delicious snack today. I am going to Maryland tomorrow for my friend's funeral mass and reception and wanted to take something in the car to snack on.  If you've read Michael Pollan's Food Rules, you may remember one of his rules for eating for health is not to fuel your body where you fuel your car.  Indeed there is very little worth eating that you can buy at a gas station.  

These little snack balls are full of nutritious ingredients and are quick to mix together.  A one bowl wonder -  just mix together oats, chia and hemp seeds, dried cranberries and a little chocolate with peanut butter and a spoonful of maple syrup.  Form into balls, and voila, a perfect snack with no junk you'll find in a package.  You can easily substitute the peanut butter for almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower butter. Just be sure to read the label and get a version with no added sugar or oil.  If you have not read the peanut butter label lately you might be shocked at the sugar.  Really, all you need is peanuts and a little salt.  I would suggest carrying these in a small glass container or if you must, a plastic one.  They are a little soft and will be squashed for sure if you throw them in a sandwich bag.  So that's it for today. I'll be back next week sometime.  In the meantime, make a homemade snack, call your friends, and hug your loved ones.  This life is just too short. 

Peanut Butter Snack Balls

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Keywords: raw snack gluten-free vegan vegetarian oats peanuts

Ingredients (18 balls)

  • 1/2 cup raw oats
  • 2 Tbsp dried cranberries
  • 2 Tbsp mini chocolate chips or 1 ounce chopped dark chocolate
  • 1 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

Instructions

Mix the oats, cranberries, chocolate, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and salt in a bowl.

Add the peanut butter and syrup and mix well with a rubber spatula.

Use a small scoop or spoon to form the mixture into 18 balls. Roll them lightly between your palms as needed to shape them.

Store in the refrigerator.

Note: you may substitute almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower butter if peanuts are not your thing!

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