today’s taste: peanut butter breakfast balls
Although you may not know it from the HDHM blog or Instagram, I travel quite a bit for work. Consulting often means I fly to a client site on Monday and return home on Thursday. Even if my project is within driving distance I typically leave my apartment before the sun rises – the joys of LA traffic. There are certainly upsides, though – thanks to consulting, Emily has been able to pay me a couple visits here in Orange County! But because of my schedule, I rarely have the luxury of a sit-down breakfast on a weekday morning. For a while, I relied on store-bought granola bars, bags of cereal, or even oatmeal from Starbucks in a pinch. But these options can get expensive – and, while I have few qualms about spending money on food (fewer qualms than most, in fact), I prefer to spend it on meals and desserts slightly more remarkable than Starbucks oatmeal.
Last winter, my mom stumbled upon a bakery in Minneapolis selling “protein balls.” This happened before these snacks took the food blogging world by storm, and she was intrigued. Like any good baker – or detective – she struck up a conversation with the owner of the bakery, who kindly scribbled down the recipe on a scrap of paper for her. She shared it with me, and after a few tweaks and adjustments they have become my staple breakfast – hence, the fond nickname “breakfast balls.”
These balls are perfect for almost any occasion; breakfast, mid-morning snack, afternoon snack…you get the idea. They’re even an easy dessert if you have a stockpile in the fridge! The combination of peanut butter and oats will keep you full and awake. And, like our chocolate chip banana bread, the balls contain ground flaxseed – which has the glamorous “superfood” label due to its high content of omega-3 fatty acids.
Plus, the balls are a cinch to make – simply stir together the ingredients and, using either a cookie scoop or spoon and your hands, roll them into balls approximately one inch in diameter. The recipe produces a large batch; you can store them in the fridge for about a week. As long as they don’t grow too warm, the balls also travel well. A recent batch of mine flew from California to Korea and then Japan – but more on that later! The recipe is highly customizable, too; my favorite substitutions are crunchy peanut butter rather than creamy and unsweetened, shredded coconut for chocolate chips. Feel free to get creative, though – raisins or dried fruit for the chocolate chips, maple syrup or agave for the honey, or other nut butters for the peanut butter may all work well. Regardless – toss your choices into a big mixing bowl and say hello to the most addictive new snack in your kitchen!
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup ground flax
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup honey
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- Stir all ingredient together in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Using a cookie scoop (or a normal spoon) and your hands, roll dough into balls (approximately 1” in diameter). Store in fridge until ready to eat.
- Balls keep in fridge for about a week.