I’ve been meaning to post this recipe forever.
Peanut butter energy balls. When I was getting things ready for Del’s birth day, one thing I really wanted was a snack I remembered from childhood that my mom used to make – these peanut butter ball thingees with wheat germ on the outside. That was all I could remember of the recipe, so I set out hunting the Inter-tubes for a recipe. (Mom later said she could have found the recipe for me… I never even thought of that, so reliant I am on the ol’ web.) I easily found a dozen different recipes and managed to glean from them what ingredients must have made up my mom’s recipe.
Basically: peanut butter, dried fruit, granola, powdered milk, honey and wheat germ. I gave all the info I had to my friend Kristi who had offered to make them for me. She made them and brought them when I went into labor. While they were a winning snack for labor, they didn’t rise to heroic status until a little later: after 32 hours of labor at home and stalled progress, we transferred to the hospital where you’re allowed nothing but ice chips for what is the hardest physical labor of your life. Sadists. So when Del was born four hours later I was FAMISHED! After we’d been moved to our room, I discovered that resourceful Kristi had brought the peanut butter balls along when we’d come to the hospital. Oh happy day! She gave me a pile of them wrapped in foil. While Zach was with Del in the nursery, I ate about 6 of the peanut butter balls in less than two hours!
Once we were home, settling in, I could grab a peanut butter ball while nursing for a one-handed, high energy snack. Or a quick bite at night if I was hungry. Bliss. So here you go: Lifesaving Peanut Butter Energy Balls, ala Mom, via Internet, as made by Kristi and adapted by Katie:
1 cup or entire small jar of all-natural, crunchy peanut butter (all natural to minimize extra sugar and sodium)
1/4 c. honey or agave nectar (more or less, to taste)
1 c powdered milk (if baby is dairy-sensitive, use wheat germ instead)
1 c or so of your favorite granola (I use one that has puffed rice, love the texture of the puffed rice in there)
1 c or so of your favorite dried fruit (mom used raisins, I use dried cranberries and currants)
Mix this all together (and add choco chips or whatever else you want in there) and put in the fridge for a bit. When cool and stiff, roll it into balls of whatever size makes you happy. Bite sized, hand sized, head sized, suit yourself. If you didn’t use the wheat germ in the mix, roll your finished balls in it for a little extra fiber, vitamins and crunch.
A few tips:
- If you roll them in different sizes, you can grab according to need: tasty morsel, filling snack or “I didn’t get any breakfast and lunch isn’t looking good either”.
- Using powdered milk cuts down on the softness/meltiness because it absorbs some of the moisture and oils. If you didn’t use, you’ll want the wheat germ coating even though it’s already in the mix, to keep your fingers from getting peanut butter oily when you eat one.
- “Energy” is a code word for calorie packed. These are healthy but not low-calorie. So if you’re not pregnant, nursing, or running marathons, eat responsibly. If you are pregnant, nursing or running marathons, go nuts.
- Keep them in the fridge. Technically nothing in them is perishable so you don’t have to refrigerate, but they’re so freaking good you’re going to want a minor barrier between you and them or they’ll get eaten all at once.
- Tip o’ the Hat to this blogger, whose recipe most closely resembled my mom’s.