Monday, September 18, 2017

No-Bake Energy Balls

I was reading something recently that it is important that we let kids experience boredom.  I also went to Paula Poundstone's show a month or so ago, and she also emphasized the importance of this.  I think adults need to experience boredom more too.  Some of us get into the habit of putting on our headphones and listening to a podcast or music while doing every task imaginable.  I have been known to listen to podcasts while reading Birk the same book I have read to him 100 times.  While its ok to do (not the book reading thing, that is ridiculous), I have my best ideas and thoughts when I just let myself think.  There are plenty of times while commuting (even in the car), that I just let there be silence.  That way, I can experience my thoughts.

For example, how much do you think about flip-flops?  I think about them a lot because I really do not like to wear them.  Some people work all day, waiting for that moment when they get home and they can put on their flops.  Others go about their lives dreaming of the job that allows them to wear flip flops.  Me...I find flip flops incredibly invasive but also too exposing.  To be honest, I can barely handle opened toed shoes.  As I am walking through the streets with my toes exposed, I feel as though all I am doing is putting my feet through an awful lot.  They are getting dirtier, drier, older, sun burnt, calloused.  It just seems as though shoes were designed so that we didn't have to expose our feet to such things.  I can't imagine a situation where I need them and I can't just be barefooted instead?

However, the other thing that I have been thinking about regarding flip flops is that I truly believe there is a positive correlation between people who like flip flops and how much fun a person is.  Story checks out for me.  I am definitely the least fun person I know.  And all my friends, who love flip flops, are way fun.  No way those commas are placed correctly.  See how fun I am!  The question is:  what is wrong with me?  Why can't I be more fun?

You have heard of these energy balls, right?  There are so many versions of these, so I thought I would post mine.  You may think they are for Birk, and they are, but they are more for Scot.  I have made these 4 times so far, and I think I have only ever consumed two balls.  I rarely have an appetite or taste for foods this dense.  Surely this is tied to my love for sitting.  Big fan of sitting.  But I am definitely in the minority, most people really love this kind of thing.

I have really liked having these around because they are so quick.  Birk is endlessly hungry these days.  Scot LOVES these.  This snack is Scot in ball form.  I strongly recommend mini chocolate chips, because the regular sized chips make it difficult to form a ball.  If you look below, I made batch of these with full size m&m's and peanuts, and they were harder to keep together.  I really like the "Enjoy Life" mini chocolate chip brand.  I feel like these need peanut butter (for both flavor and texture), as opposed to a nut butter substitute but I have not experimented.  I would recommend a fairly creamy version, for example, something like Justin's would be too dry.  However, you could probably make it work by adding more honey.

You will find a lot of versions of these if you google "energy balls".  Many include chia seeds and flax seeds, which would be a fine addition.  Many include vanilla extract, which you CANNOT taste the difference in peanut butter recipes of this nature, so I don't use it anymore.  

PS:  I hardly ever share such deep posts about myself here.  But if you have been reading these posts for a while, you now have to great gift ideas for me:  flip flops and edible arrangements.

No-Bake Energy balls
by everyone on the internet

2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
~3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
~1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips in a bowl (I find that a rubber spatula works best).  Don't measure "~" quantities (just eyeball it) because who wants to measure honey or peanut butter?  Might need to adjust quantities, depending on humidity.  Add more oats if too sticky, add more honey/peanut butter if too dry.

When mixture is at a consistency that allows you form a ball, add the chocolate chips and mix to combine.  Roll into balls.  This makes about 15 balls that are approximately 2-3 Tablespoons big.  But it doesn't matter.  Just make them however big you want.  If you are having trouble rolling them, you can also refrigerate for a half hour and roll after.

Keep refrigerated (tastes better cold anyway).