This is the perfect solution to eliminating or at least reducing the amount of processed foods you eat. They are quick and simple to prepare and so delicious. Just keep a stash in your freezer and grab a few before you head out to keep you from reaching for something else later. Perfect!
Sometimes you just need something quick to grab for a mid-morning snack, or something to eat just before your afternoon workout, or maybe you just need something to keep you from eating something you’ll end up feeling guilty about later (i.e., candy bar, protein bar which is basically a glorified candy bar, bag of chips or pretzels, etc.). If you have something on hand that tastes good and will keep you satisfied until your next meal you’ll be able to avoid those unintentional snack attacks. Here’s the perfect answer.
These yummy little treats are so quick and easy to prepare, yet super tasty and nutritious. Make a big batch, store them in the freezer, and simply put one or two in a storage bag that you can take with you to school, work, or when traveling. Voila! Your perfect solution to store bought granola bars or other processed, packaged snack foods that are full of unhealthy food additives and other things you definitely should not be putting into your body. And best of all, they taste better!
Pumpkin isn’t just for fall. Not only is it delicious, but pumpkin is loaded with beta-carotene and other healthful nutrients such as fiber. I love adding pure pumpkin puree to all kinds of things such as smoothies, porridge, nut butters, and puddings. You can also replace some of the fats in recipes (i.e., butter, oil, nut butter, etc.) with pumpkin to keep the integrity of delicious cookies, bars, and other treats while reducing disease-promoting saturated fats. And pumpkin is DELICIOUS!!!
SO…combine the pumpkin with the other healthful ingredients in this recipe and not only are these little balls super yummy and convenient, but they are full of nutrition too.
CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN SNACK BALLS
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Makes: 18 balls
- 4 medjool (about 45 grams) dates, pitted
- 1 tablespoon (18 grams) natural almond butter
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons (42 grams) organic agave nectar
- Dash of pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (80 grams) rolled oats
- ¼ cup (30 grams) pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup (30 grams) hemp hearts
- 60 grams dairy-free mini chocolate chips
- Combine the dates, almond butter, pumpkin puree, agave nectar, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, vanilla and ½ cup of the oats in a food processor. Process until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a medium sized bowl. Fold in the remaining oats, pepitas, hemp hearts and mini chocolate chips.
- Cover and refrigerate the dough for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- With clean, wet hands roll the dough into18 1-inch balls (about 1 ounce or 28 grams each) and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer or refrigerator and allow the balls to harden. Store in an airtight container.
Once you start making snack balls more and more you’ll learn how to vary the ingredients to make a bunch of different kinds. Experiment with different kinds of nuts and seeds, dried fruits (always make sure they don’t have any added sugar or oil), and a variety of binding ingredients such as nut or seed butters, coconut oil, melted raw chocolate, or pureed fruit or vegetables (i.e., pumpkin, squash, apple butter). I always find the fewer the ingredients the better, so don’t try to fit everything into one recipe. One of my favorite (and simplest) snack ball recipes is for my peanut butter & jelly balls. Stay tuned and I’ll share more of my personal favorites here.