I am a huge snacker and over the years my snack preferences have changed a lot. One of my old favorites used to be Cheezits…don’t judge!
But now I’m a lot more particular about the snacks I choose. I look for snacks that actually have something to offer besides just (artificial) flavor. I’m talking about real nutrients as opposed to empty calories, ingredients that give lasting energy not just a quick burst, and of course, they have to taste good too.
One of my favorite snacks that checks all the boxes are these delicious nut butter energy balls. They’re packed with healthful ingredients, perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up or really any time of day. And what I love most about them is that they are easy to make, no fancy equipment or baking required and they can last for days in the fridge, making them a great meal prep option.
These nut butter energy balls are made with simple, clean ingredients. Many of which you probably already have in your kitchen:
- Any nut butter of your choice (I used the Costco brand mixed nut butter made with a few different nuts and seeds)
- Chia seeds
- Ground flax seeds
- Maple syrup (can substitute honey or another sweetener)
- Coconut flakes, unsweetened
- Chocolate chips (I used Lily’s no sugar added chocolate chips, give these a try if you see them at your grocery store. They taste exactly like the regular ones!)
These are what I had on hand, but you can customize it to your liking by swapping out different ingredients. Here are a few other ideas to try:
- Any kind of nut or seed butter
- Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, goji berries)
- Chopped nuts
- Cocoa/cacao powder
- Other spices like vanilla, nutmeg, etc.
How they energize
If you read my last blog post, 5 Reasons You Have Zero Energy, then you know that diet plays a major role in keeping our energy levels up and stable. We need a balance of carbs, protein, and healthy fat to fuel us throughout the day.
But you’re going to reach the point where you could use a little energy boost and that’s when the right snack can be just what you need.
But what is the right snack? The best snacks are those that have a combination of macronutrients (carbs, proteins, and/or healthy fats) because they give you a natural and sustained energy boost.
Carbs are the body’s primary source of energy, which it breaks down into glucose. But when you have a meal or snack that’s all carbs, especially simple carbs, the body is going to quickly convert it to glucose causing your blood sugar and energy to spike. The problem is you’ll quickly come back down and experience an energy crash.
But you can avoid this by pairing carbs with a protein and/or healthy fat source. The protein and fat slow down this conversion process and stabilize your energy levels. They also keep you fuller for longer, so don’t need as much to feel satisfied.
These nut butter energy balls are giving you complex carbs from the oatmeal, protein, and healthy fat from the nut butter chia seeds and flaxseeds, plus lots of fiber which also keeps you full. And on top of that, you’re getting nutrients like iron, magnesium, manganese, vitamin e, vitamin a, vitamin b-6, omega-3 fatty acid, and more.
Why they’re so good!
- They’re made with wholesome ingredients that you don’t have to feel guilty about, but still taste amazing!
- There’s no refined sugar, so this snack won’t spike your blood sugar and cause you to crash later in the day.
- They’re surprisingly filling because it has a balance of protein, complex carbs, fiber, and healthy fats to keep you satisfied.
- They’re easy to make and can be customized based on what you have in your pantry.
- Will satisfy your sweet tooth and cut down on sugar cravings.
- It’s convenient and you can take it on the go.
I know you’re going to love these just as much as I do. And they taste way better and are much better for you than anything you could buy at the store.
1.5 cups old-fashioned oats 1 cup nut butter of your choice, smooth (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.) ⅓ cup maple syrup 2 tbsp chia seeds 2 tbsp ground flax seeds ¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes ½ tsp cinnamon Depending on the nut butter or sweetener you use, you may end up with a drier mixture. If this happens you can add a few teaspoons of water to your mixture and stir in before putting in the refrigerator.
1.5 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup nut butter of your choice, smooth (peanut, almond, cashew, etc.)
⅓ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 tbsp ground flax seeds
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ tsp cinnamon
Depending on the nut butter or sweetener you use, you may end up with a drier mixture. If this happens you can add a few teaspoons of water to your mixture and stir in before putting in the refrigerator.
I hope you give these a try. Happy snacking!