I found this recipe on the Washington Post, and altered it to fit our needs. The original recipe had chia and/or flax seeds. I used flax seeds the last time and something about them made my mouth itch and feel irritated. So, I remade them this time with wheat bran and had no problem. Wheat bran has 6g of fiber (24% of your day) in a 1/4 cup! I found Bob’s Red Mill brand and it was affordable, unlike almond flour (LOL).
My son, age 9, would almost never eat sunflower seeds, peanuts, or raisins by themselves, but mixed in this awesome recipe, he’ll unknowingly gobble them down. And I snuck in the wheat bran too! I know him too well to know he wouldn’t eat it had I put cranberries in there, plus I can’t have cranberries, so it’s moot.
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (or any nut butter or faux nut butter)
- 1/2 cup honey (add more if excessively crumbly)
- 3 cups old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup wheat bran (such as Bob’s Red Mill)
- 3/4 to 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 1 cup total of (chopped peanuts / sunflower seeds / raisins) combined**
- 2-3 drops of vanilla extract
**1 cup any combination (that works for you) of nuts, seeds, soft dried fruits, raisins, cashews, peanuts, etc, sunflower seeds, or dried cranberries.
- Combine the nut butter and honey in a large mixing bowl and stir until smooth.
- Gradually add the oats and wheat bran until well combined. Add the chocolate chips and the nut-seed/fruit mixture, and mix gently to combine.
- NO BAKING NEEDED! Use your hands to roll the mixture into balls (I used a cookie scoop for sanitation and uniformity) approximately the size of ping-pong balls. If desired, roll them in shredded coconut.
- Place the balls in paper mini-muffin cups. At this point, you can eat them, but they’ll be less sticky and less crumbly after a night in the refrigerator. They taste best after one day in the fridge.
- Layer the balls in an airtight container, using inexpensive wax paper (parchment paper is not necessary here)*** to separate the layers, and refrigerate for 7 to 10 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
***Parchment paper vs. wax paper debate:
–Parchment paper is for cooking and baking and can handle high temperatures, up to around 420 degrees F. You can use it to separate the energy balls in a container for storage, but don’t. Parchment paper is much more expensive than wax paper and is a waste to separate the energy balls. I keep both parchment and wax paper on hand at all times. Even though parchment’s safe in the oven, make sure your paper doesn’t extend beyond the rim of the baking sheet, the extended paper will brown horribly.
–Wax paper is NOT for cooking or baking. It’s not heat safe, it’s covered in a wax coating to give it a smooth, non-stick surface. It will smoke in the oven and cause a mess. It can ruin your food!
Here – Whisked Foodie explains it much better than I have time or desire to do, LOL: