I’m always looking for healthy, quick snacks that will leave my kids satisfied and not complaining “I hungee!” within 20 minutes. (Let’s face it, kids could probably eat all day long if we let them.) My goal is to always try and fill their tummies with a combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that will keep their blood sugar stable, while giving their growing bodies and brains nutrition they need. Enter: Protein-packed Peanut Butter Balls.
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Yes, it’s super easy to shove a granola bar or a handful of goldfish into a wide-opened, crying mouth, (and I will admit, I’ve totally done that before, because sometimes you just gotta survive) but these little guys are a cinch to make, super yummy, and actually have some nutrition in them.
These are a great combination of fat, protein, and carbohydrates, and, while they are sweetened with honey, won’t jack your kiddo’s blood sugar sky high due to the fat and protein in the peanut butter and the blood sugar-stabling cinnamon.
If there’s a peanut allergy in your house, please feel free to sub in any other kind of nut butter: almond, sunflower seed, or one I want to try, cashew.
There are two ingredients to try and avoid when choosing peanut butter: partially hydrogenated oils and sugar. Partially hydrogenated oils are trans fats. Translation: really bad. They’ve been proven to raise bad cholesterol and can lead to things like heart disease and high blood pressure. So avoid trans fats. Please.
Peanut butter can also often be LOADED with sugar so read labels carefully. Shoot to pick one that has 2 grams or less per serving. (Even better, choose one without sugar at all. Just peanuts.)
If you are avoiding grains, you can try subbing in coconut flakes. I haven’t tried it, because my oldest has decided he doesn’t like coconut. (Insert eye roll).
If you or your kids have a sensitivity to gluten, just be sure to buy the gluten-free oats and you’ll be just fine.
Collagen’s benefits include helping with skin, joint, bone, and muscle development. (You can read a little more about it here. ) Adding collagen gives a protein boost, and since it doesn’t have a flavor, you can’t taste it.
The brand I use is called Vital Proteins , and it mixes really well into the peanut butter balls.
I like to add ground flax just to boost omega 3 fatty acids. They mix in really well and don’t add much texture or flavor that might be “weird” for kids. I use Bobs Red Mill brand.
Be sure to use ground flax seeds, otherwise the seeds can just pass through your body which kind of defeats the purpose. What good is something if your body can’t absorb it, right? Store ground flax in the fridge or freezer because it can go rancid.
Honey, Vanilla, and Cinnamon
Honey adds the sweetness and helps bind everything together. I talked a bit about why I use raw honey here for my sweetener of choice.
Vanilla just adds a nice sweet flavor and cinnamon is not only an yummy spice, but it can help level out blood sugars.
I keep them in the fridge, separated by sheets of parchment. I make a batch and they’re usually gone within the week. Feel free to experiment and add other goodies like coconut flakes, mini chocolate chips. (these are my favorite) or chia seeds instead of flax seeds. Try sweetening with black strap molasses or real maple syrup.
Enjoy! I’d love to hear what you think!
- 1 16 oz jar natural peanut butter
- 2 scoops collagen powder
- 2 tbl ground flax seed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/3 cup honey
- Combine all ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix until well combined.
- Roll into balls (roughly tablespoon size).
- Store in fridge between layers of parchment to keep from sticking together.
Protein-Packed Peanut Butter Balls Recipe Sheet