Maintaining a busy and physically active life while properly fueling can be difficult to manage, especially in our on-the-go culture. As a busy bee (who trains like she’s competing in the 2018 Winter Olympics), having prepped whole food snacks is essential to being fed and reaching my goals. This is where I turn to nut butter energy balls to solve my fueling issues. Here’s a few reasons why:
- They are easy to make and take about 10 minutes to prep, mix and roll (with minimal distractions).
- They typically use up 1 bowl, 2 measuring cups (if you use the 1/4 cup to make 1 cup), 1 tablespoon and 1 container to store them in during the process.
- They can be thought of as eating dessert when you’re snacking (win, win!).
- They are easily portable in a small container or ziplock bag.
- You can switch up the flavorings by using cocoa powder, dried fruit, different nut butters, etc.
To fuel training in between meals, have one with a small banana an hour or two pre strength or endurance training to power your lifts, conditioning or long run. Post training, mix one or two balls into a yogurt for a protein and carb rich on the go fueling.
I often make them with my 2 year old nephew and he loves helping out when we make these, eating the chocolate chips instead of putting them in. Older kids will probably have fun rolling them into balls. This can be a good opportunity to work on teaching kids about having fun with healthy foods while working on some fine motor skills!
Coconut Almond Butter Energy Balls
Yield: 10-12 balls
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1/3 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 tsp pumpkin spice mix
- 1 cup almond butter
- 2 tablespoons honey (or sweetener of choice)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (milk or dark-minis are best for this)
- Mix oats, spice, flax and coconut together.
- Next, combine almond butter and honey into the dry mixture until completely mixed.
- Fold in chocolate chips until evenly spread throughout the batter.
- Using a cookie scoop, scoop the batter into wet hands (this will prevent them from getting too sticky). Roll into a ball shape and place onto a sheet or plate. Make sure all balls are evenly spaced on the plate, avoid stacking as they may stick in the fridge.
- Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, then transfer to an air tight container for storage.
- Enjoy, and try not to eat them in 2-3 days like I do! And if you do, that’s OK!