These no-bake protein energy balls are loaded with nutritious ingredients such as flaxseed, chia seeds and oats. Natural peanut butter is used as a binding agent. They are naturally gluten-free, egg-free and can possibly be dairy-free (and hence, vegan) too if the chocolate chips are either omitted or replaced by cacao nibs or vegan chocolate chips. It takes only take a few minutes to mix them together and they are freezer-friendly so you can make these snacks ahead and stow in the fridge or freezer and enjoy them anytime.
Make sure to grind the flaxseed before use as whole flaxseed may simply pass through your body undigested. Having more of its nutrients (especially oils) exposed to oxidation, ground flaxseed has a shorter shelf life and will go rancid quickly. Therefore, if possible, buy whole flaxseed and grind them only when needed and store ground flaxseed in the freezer.
No-Bake Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Energy Balls (Gluten Free, Egg Free)
makes 14 balls
100 g old-fashioned rolled oats
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1/8 tsp salt (add only when peanut butter contains no salt)
120 g natural crunchy peanut butter
3 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
*For a reduced-calorie version, replace peanut butter with 80 g powdered peanut butter and 40 g water. Maple syrup can be replaced with fructo-oligosaccharides syrup
Grind flaxseed in a hand coffee grinder or a food processor before use. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the peanut butter, salt (if using) and maple syrup until blended.
Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spatula. Grab a spoonful of the mixture and squeeze it firmly together. If it doesn’t hold together then stir in a teaspoon of water. Test by pinching the mixture again until it forms a tight ball without falling apart. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes to harden slightly. This will make the mixture less sticky and easier to roll.
Divide mixture evenly into 14 portions (about 22 to 25 g each, I used a small ice cream scoop). Pack and squeeze each firmly in your hands then roll into a ball. Repeat with remaining portions.
Chill for one hour before serving. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
Powdered peanut butter contains 70 to 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter.
Fructo–oligosaccharides syrup is available from Korean grocery stores.
Grind whole flaxseed before use.
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