Finding healthy snacks always seems to be challenging. I’m one of those people who needs to eat frequently. If I go too long between meals I enter the land of hangry (hungry + angry) and it isn’t pretty for anyone involved. I try to keep lots of nuts, veggie snack bags, and fresh fruit on hand, but in my opinion you can never have too many healthy snacks. In fact, people who see my snack-filled purse often ask me how old my children are…. nope, just me and the husbo staying fueled around here!
Having nutritious snacks is also key to maintaining good workouts. Too often I see people who put in their time at the gym, but are then sabotaged by unhealthy eating in their post-gym starvation. It takes a bit of planning, but making your own whole foods snacks and bringing them with you (gym, long car rides, quick breakfast, errands) is totally worth it.
I recently made these almond & oat protein balls and they have definitely joined the ranks of my favorite on-the-go snacks. They are salty and sweet, have a bit of crunch, and are immensely satisfying. Perfect for pre- or post-workout, or any other time when you need some good, clean fuel.
Almond & Oat Protein Balls (makes 5 balls):
4 dates, finely chopped
2 heaping spoons of almond butter
4 heaping spoons of rolled oats
pinch of salt
2 spoons of sesame seeds
Finely chop your dates (or run them quickly through a high-powered blender) and combine them well with the almond butter. It should be a gooey mess, but totally delicious if you stick your finger in to taste.
Add in the raw oats, salt, and sesame seeds and mix well. The dough should begin to stick together in clumps.
Use your hands to form the dough into bite-sized balls.
Enjoy right away, or refrigerate for up to one week. You can also wrap the balls in plastic and freeze.
Revel in satisfaction while eating these protein balls – they are made of simple, healthy, real food without any sneaky additions. Every ingredient packs a nutritional punch – oats and almonds are both terrific plant-based sources of protein, sesame seeds are filled with calcium and magnesium, and dates are high in iron, among many other vitamins and minerals. Best of all, they taste wonderful!