One more day until Valentine's Day, and you know what that means....sweets! Though, to be honest, it doesn't have to be a holiday to want sweets. I get cravings for sweets all the time. And when I say “all the time” I really mean ALL THE TIME. Thankfully, I can restrain myself so that my indulging-to-craving ratio is relatively low. In an effort to reduce the guilt that sometimes accompanies those indulgences, I’ll try making treats that are a little less unhealthy (like these blueberry banana muffins made with whole wheat flour) or have some benefit to balance the sweet (such as these protein-packed peanut butter oat balls).
This recipe is based on the peanut butter and oat balls. I was actually aiming for a cake-pop type treat - a chocolate covered peanut butter ball on a stick. But, the consistency of these didn’t like the sticks very much, so I turned them into truffles! They are a little bit like buckeyes, but not as sugary-sweet, and they have flaxseed for a little extra fiber.
Ingredients: (makes ~20 truffles)
1 cup oats (I used ½ cup quick oats and ½ cup old-fashioned oats)
½ cup all natural creamy peanut butter
¼ - ½ cup ground flaxseed
⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
~½ cup dark chocolate chips for coating
~¼ cup crushed peanuts for topping
In a large bowl, combine oats, flaxseed, peanut butter, honey, and vanilla, and mix well. Refrigerate for about half an hour to let the mixture firm up. Form balls about 1 inch in diameter.
Heat the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until all the chips are melted. Dip the balls in chocolate and place them on a plate covered with plastic wrap. Sprinkle with the chopped peanuts. Refrigerate the balls to let the chocolate coating set. Serve the balls in individual mini-cupcake liners for a festive flare. Happy indulging!
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