Anytime Protein Peanut Butter Balls Snack
Let’s face it, we all want dessert and snacks. How can we integrate healthier foods for dessert? After workout protein punch? This little goodie packs a good protein punch and satisfies that sweet tooth.
When I was younger an aunt used to make bull’s eyes for the holidays. I believe it was like powdered sugar, highly processed peanut butter, potato chips of all things and “dirty” chocolate. I LOVED those things, creamy, crunch, salty, sweet, chocolate, what’s not to like?
I’ve always loved chocolate. Over the years I have become quite the chocolate snot! Really I have. I can’t eat our American made chocolate companies chocolate any more. It’s really become the darker the better, little to no sweetener and organic please. This recipe can adjust easily to sweeter if you like. Experiment, change your palate.
I encourage you to buy organic, if you want to use canned beans, please use BPA free cans and organic beans – they really aren’t that much more expensive. You can add texture to these delights with cereals (organic of course), adding chopped nuts, dried fruit, the possibilities are only limited by your imagination.
So here’s what you’ll need. A good food processor – a hand mill or grinder or high powered electric food processor. Parchment paper is helpful for no stick. Clean hands.
1 15-oz BPA-free can of Organic Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
1 cup Fresh Peanut Butter (no sugar or salt, just ground peanuts)
10 Dates (5 if using medjool)
fresh cracked salt (optional)
1/2-3/4 Cup Organic Chocolate Chips for coating (low or no sugar, I sometimes use Ghiradelli)
Putting the protein peanut butter balls all together
Rinse and drain the chickpeas, put in food processor or grinder, process until pasty. Add in peanut butter and process again, add in dates, process until smooth. You may need to scrape down sides a couple of times. (Takes me about 5 minutes with a couple scrape downs)
Turn out into a bowl and mix with hands or stiff spoon. Roll into dime to quarter size balls or press into 8 x 8 pan – use parchment paper to help release balls or pressing later. Place in fridge for 3-4 hours or freezer until very firm. (See notes for pressing.)
When the balls are firm, melt the chocolate – I like to add 3-4 Tbsp. of organic cacao powder, to make it darker. Be sure to use the smallest bottom bowl you have, makes it easier to dip evenly easily. Take balls from fridge and roll in chocolate, place on parchment paper – do this as quickly as you can. Some folks like to double dip, but be sure to re-chill between dippings.
You decide – Press or Ball
If I think I’ll get through the batch quickly (I share a lot), then I keep them in the fridge, otherwise I keep them in the freezer 1 or 2 to a small bag or wrapped in parchment so I can grab one or two at a time.
Variations – Use soaked almonds to replace peanut butter and blend it fresh. Cashew butter makes an excellent option as well.
When pressing or rolling, you can put on a little salt – use a good salt, I like Himalayan.
Instead of chocolate, roll through crushed organic puffed cereals or salt.
Replace dates with a tablespoon or two of raw honey.
A little about pressing – after you pour the chocolate, let it set a few minutes, then cut the pieces – if you wait too long the chocolate will crack when cutting.
Well that’s about it! Enjoy!