One of the best snacks to have on hand for easy, healthy snacking for a bustling lifestyle.
Between owning more than one business, health coaching, and teaching Pilates full time there's not a lot of time to breathe, use the bathroom, set up for my next clients, grab a beverage, or even eat. So, when I put this recipe together “Powerhouse (just another name for your abdominals) Balls” seemed like a good fit. (Core. Center. Cage. Who knew our abdominal muscles could have so many names?)
The best thing about these tasty little things is that they are just like Pilates - totally customizable! Allergic to nuts? Sub in seed butter. Have bad knees? Pilates has modifications, props, and variations for that. Not into chocolate (seriously Karen?)? Omit it and add some raisins. Lots of tension in your neck? Leave your head, neck, and shoulders down.
These Powerhouse Balls are super easy to make with ingredients that I almost always have on hand. (Check out my recent post for tips on how to prep your pantry.) Just blend and roll them into balls. If you need to save time, you can press the mixture onto a parchment-covered baking sheet, and cut them up into bars. They are the perfect make-ahead recipe to keep on hand for healthy snacking anywhere and anytime.
Chocolate Chip & Cranberry Powerhouse Balls
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
12 large Medjool (pitted) dates (Soak in boiling water for 5-10 minutes so they soften so you don’t overheat or break your blender…. speaking from experience.)
1/2 cup of peanut butter
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of (dairy-free) mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
Add 1 1/2 cups oats, dates, peanut butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract to a food processor or Vitamix. Mix until a sticky dough is formed.
Dump and scrape the dough into a large bowl. Pour mini chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and 1/2 cups of rolled oats over the dough and mix everything together.
Use a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop the dough into 12-14 small rounds and then using clean hands roll into balls. Place finished deliciousness onto a plate or cookie sheet and put into the fridge until firm and not so sticky. When forming the powerhouse balls, a medium cookie scoop is useful and helps to keep each one the same size — I try to make the balls about 1-inch in diameter, but this is up to you.
If the mixture seems too dry and crumbly, add a bit more nut (or seed) butter or syrup. If the mixture seems too wet, sprinkle in some more oats. You can also place the mixture into the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes and then roll into balls.
Contain your Powerhouse Balls
The key to storing powerhouse balls is to keep them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. When stored properly, they will last in the fridge for up to two weeks and in the freezer for up to three months. (Link Amazon Storage and organization page her……)
Switch it up
I make the basic recipe all the time and it has been taste-tested on many clients, family, and friends who all love it. That said, there are lots of ways to switch up your Pilates workouts and there are lots of ways to spice up this recipe.
Try the variations below and then if you come up with any other amazing combinations and share your ideas in the comments below so we all can see!
Oatmeal Raisin: Sub out the chocolate chips and dried cranberries and instead add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, ½ a cup of raisins, and ½ a cup of chopped walnuts to the mix.
Extra Chocolate: Stick with the basic recipe, melt some chocolate chips, and then add a drizzle of melted chocolate over the formed balls. Don’t want to play with hot chocolate? Just roll balls in cocoa powder as another delicious (and maybe safer) option.
Coffee Lovers: Add a tablespoon of espresso powder to the recipe for an added caffeine kick.
Eat. Share. Enjoy.
Nutrition Per Serving: Calories: 116; Total Fat: 5.3g; Saturated Fat: 1.1g;
Sodium: 43mg; Carbohydrates: 15.3g; Fiber: 2.g; Protein; 3.5g