Oatmeal Peanut Butter Energy Balls (Vegan, Wheat-free)

These energy balls are a go-to around our house as they’re easy to make, delicious and most importantly they’re also nutritious! We often have these as a snack, but they can also make a great breakfast alongside a green smoothie, or a satisfying post-workout snack.

The hemp seeds and natural peanut butter provide plenty of protein, while the oats provide a healthy source of fiber. Another fun fact about oats (when used in their whole rolled or steel cut form) is that they can increase butyrate production in our digestive tract. If you’re not sure what the heck “butyrate” is, it’s a short-chain fatty acid produced by gut bacteria and it helps the body in many ways such as weight loss, reducing inflammation, brain health and even protection against cancers!

If I’ve convinced you to try them, here’s the recipe below 🙂

Ingredients:
– 5 cups whole rolled oats
– 2 cups natural peanut butter (avoid using the “sugary” peanut butter as my kids call it as it’s full of refined sugars & hydrogenated oils) – note: to make this nut-free you can use Sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) which substitutes perfectly for peanut butter and still tastes delicious!
– 1 cup dried, organic cranberries (or organic, sulphite-free raisins – I often use a mixture of raisins & cranberries 🙂
– 1/2 cup hemp seeds
– 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I like the Enjoy Life brand as they’re dairy-free) – *Note: if you’re not a chocolate lover or want to give these an extra pop of protein & immune-supporting zinc, you can substitute the mini chips for raw pumpkin seeds.
– 1 cup maple syrup or honey (I find they turn out best when I use 1/2 cup each of honey & maple syrup)
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:
1. In a small saucepan over low heat, stir the honey/maple syrup and peanut butter together until melted and smooth.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, dried fruit, hemp seeds, mini chips, cinnamon and sea salt.
3. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula (although sometimes mixing by hand works best here).
4. Roll into balls (about 1 tbsp per ball) until all batter is used up.
5. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes until firm.
6. Keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks (or freeze for longer storage).

Hope you enjoy!

Dr. Ali