Back, with Balls

Eating and chatting are two things I do a lot of but this blog came to a halt a couple of years ago when nausea and fatigue supplanted them. When you're pregnant people regularly ask with giddy anticipation what your crazy cravings are but I'm afraid I pretty much lived on Carr's water crackers and ginger ale for the first half of bumpdom and lucky you were spared posts on those culinary firecrackers. Then before I knew it my bump was a toddler, and boy does he love to eat. I'm inspired to get back to cooking and baking, and uh even better, get OUT OF THE HOUSE to try what all the amazing talent out there is whipping up.

As my son seems insatiably hungry (wonder where he gets that from...) I'm on the look-out for quick snack recipes that are low sugar and low salt but tasty enough to inspire the yum-yum dance. I was without an oven for a couple of weeks recently as ours went kaput, but sought baked-good style snackage. A recipe for no-bake energy bites caught my eye and after trying it once we are now big on balls in this house.

They are that magical combination of easy to make, store and transport as well as wholesome, yet just sweet enough to feel like a treat. Great to grab when you don't have time for a proper breakfast, perfect to pop in your mouth with an afternoon coffee, and ideal for stashing in a packed lunch. And because these balls are bespoke, you can roll them into whatever size you like; I do about a third of the batch to suit toddler paws.

No-Bake Energy Balls 
Adapted from: Gimme Some Oven 

1 cup dry oatmeal
2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes (do toast, it's much tastier plus your house will smell like vacation)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup dried fruit (I've used dried blueberries and cherries)
1/2 cup nut butter (I prefer almond butter)
1/3 cup runny honey or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Yields: Approximately a dozen balls
Take your rings off. Stir all the dry ingredients together in a medium sized mixing bowl, then add the wet and sticky stuff. Get your hands in and really combine the mixture. Lick fingers. Put a plate over the bowl, place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Now you're ready to be a baller. Put the chilled plate on the counter. Scoop up some of the mix and roll it between your hands then place on the plate. Continue creating balls of whatever size you like until finished then pop them all into an air-tight container and store in the fridge (no one wants sweaty balls). I like to put mine in the freezer for about 15 mintues to firm them up.

Try alternating what type of dried fruit and nut butter you use, maybe add a dash of chia seeds or go wild and toss in some chocolate chips. Kids love them, adults love them. Balls for all y'all.

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