Thursday, August 21, 2014

PB & B Balls {Recipe ReDux}

We're already more than half way through August and for some people that means the start of packing lunches again. For others, lunches are packed all year round and you might just need a change or something fun and exciting.

This month's Recipe ReDux theme is:
Bars & Bites for Brown Bags
Whether you pack your lunch in a bento box, a brown bag or a retro cartoon character lunch box, don’t forget the bars and bites. Small squares or round bites can pack nutrition into a sweet or savory taste. Show us your favorite way to jazz up any type of lunch box.
Since I work from home most days, I don't really pack a lunch box. I do however like to keep things around for my husband to pack and for when I need to grab a quick snack. I prefer to make things from scratch so that I know the ingredients and I also love spending time in my kitchen.
You may have noticed or made various 'energy bites' or 'power balls' over the last few years as these bite size treats have gained popularity. They are something I've made in cooking sessions with athletes and at home. I don't tend to make bars as often, but have recently tried two different hemp based bars which were great to add some variety. These little bites can pack a nutritional punch depending on the nuts, seeds, fruit, dried fruit, and other add-ins you choose to try. They can also be calorie dense, but I find the protein, fat, and fibre are great to help fill the gap between meals.

Feeling a bit nostalgic, I wanted to combine two of my favourite childhood favourites: peanut butter and banana. For whatever reason, we used to call pb and banana sandwiches, 'peanut butter and sardine sandwiches' - I don't think I even knew what sardines were at the time, but it was a fun nickname for a quick and basic snack/lunch. Depending on where you're sending these snacks, you may have to swap the peanut butter for a seed butter.

PB & B Balls
1 ripe banana, peeled
1/2 cup dates (about 12)
1/4 cup natural peanut butter (or almond butter or seed butter)
3-4 Tbsp shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup + 1 cup rolled oats
1/8 cup hemp hearts

1. Combine banana, dates, peanut butter, 1 Tbsp coconut, 1/2 cup oats, and hemp hearts in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
2. Place remaining 1 cup of oats in a medium bowl and add the processed ingredients. Gently mix (with a spatula or your hands) to combine and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
3. Place 2-3 Tbsp of coconut on a plate. Remove mixture from refrigerator. Form mixture into 16-18 balls and roll in coconut. Return to fridge for storage and enjoy!

What are you packing to keep your lunch box interesting? Check out other ReDuxer ideas below.

Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching