Energy (who doesn’t need more ‘a that?) Bites

energy bites
     So Teri brought these over to a big ‘ol play-date I hosted one day.  She found the recipe from a super-cutie blog called Smashed Peas and Carrots . (and before I continue, please excuse the lack of spaces between paragraphs on this post–something is not working for Michelle this morning… but I really wanted to share this with you!)
     I like this blog.   Ms. Maggie, the writer, is a mother to four kids under the age of five (yes, you read that correctly.)  She not only manages to keep them alive, apparently, but she keeps up this really smart blog and writes comments about her recipes like, “This is so frickin’ awesome you can’t eat just one!”
     Who can’t respect and admire that?
     Teri put these little honeys out and the kids (OK, yes, and the mamas) gobbled them right up.  I will say this: When I make them the balls are not, uh, perfectly spherical and the sizes are what you might call “varied.”  For this reason I have included the visual of Teri’s Energy Balls.  Mine do taste just as yum though… (Seriously!  So if you ever see, them please don’t make fun.)
     One more comment before I reveal the recipe: These are a no-bake (extra points from Michelle!) situation but they are reminiscent–in a really good way–of cookie dough.  OK.  Here you go.
Energy Bites!
Ingredients:
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
Directions: Mix everything above in a medium bowl until thoroughly incorporated.  Let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.  Once chilled, roll into balls and enjoy!  Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week (or 20 minutes if you’re at my house…)
Tip: Raisins work well in place of chocolate chips too.  Kinda tart and obviously a tad healthier–but I’m not discounting the value of a good chocolate chip!
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PB&A

PB&A

I’ve been experimenting a bit this season with fruits in new culinary ways.  Apples and pears are so divine right now at my local farmers market and at the grocery store.

Last week I whipped up a turkey, provolone, red onion and sliced Bosc pear sandwich for Mike and me.  On his I put some Coleman’s hot mustard and on mine I put some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  On both of ours we gave a thumbs up.  Really nice combination.

My latest fave late breakfast/early lunch depending-on-my-schedule light meal is my newly titled “PB&A.”  On a toasted slice of whole grain bread, I put a light smear of peanut butter and then pile on some fresh, tart and gorgeous sliced apples.  Think apple w/peanut butter meets peanut butter sandwich or PB&J grows up!   (I am, like, so, like, mature now…)

This open-face sammy is super tasty, healthy and easy to whip up/clean up.  Just what a mama-on-the go needs to fuel her day!

Some particulars: Years ago I made the switch from the hydrogenated peanut butters (like Jif, Skippy, etc…) as I had read enough to turn me off.  It was tough at first to acquire a taste for the non-hydrogenated, natural peanut butters.  I used to salt (sounds weird, I know, but it worked) our peanut butter sandwiches until Mike and I got used to the simpler flavor.

Mike was a trooper as you can imagine how tired he gets of the “Honey!  Guess what cool thing I learned to help us be healthier!” type conversations I have been known to start… Now both of us–and the kids who never knew any different–agree that when we eat the more conventional peanut butters it tastes like candy.  Way too sweet.

Do keep in mind, however, that although natural peanut butter is a healthier choice than hydrogenated and is a good source of protein, it’s still loaded with fat.  Sigh… if only it weren’t I’d love to have about a 1/4 inch of it between my bread and apples… but smear is nice too.

Finally, I used Pink Lady apples on this PB&A.  Dessert?  The other half of the apple!