Our family has been so busy lately! We had three kids on basketball teams this season plus one child already attending baseball practices. Some weeks we had sports 6 out of 7 days. It can be a challenge getting the kids to practice on time especially on early practice days when they arrive home from school at 3:40 and practice starts at 4. It’s always a race to get them changed and snack in their bellies and still make it to practice on time. They often complain that they are “starving” so I’m always on the hunt for healthy snacks that are filling to hold them over until dinner.
I was invited to participate in a Healthy Baking Challenge for National Nutrition Month this month and tasked with making a homemade guilt-free recipe by healthy food brand, Carrington Farms, and T-fal bakeware. Sometimes that means tweaking your favorite recipes to include healthier ingredients like Coconut Cooking oil or Flax Chia seeds. I used both in a recipe I got from a friend then modified to use many items I already had in my pantry. Her recipe for Energy Balls looked like this:
1 Cup Dry Oatmeal
1/3 Cup Coconut Flakes
1/2 Cup White Chocoolate Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Ground Flax Seed
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds
1/2 Cup + of Honey
1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
1 tsp Vanilla
Mine looked like this:
2.5 Cups Viki’s Original Granola
2/3 Cup Coconut Flakes
1/2 Cup PB Crave Cookie Nookie Peanut Butter
1/2 Cup Carrington Farms Flax Chia Blend
1/2 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Coco Joe SuperSeedz Pumpkin Seedz
1/2 Cup Slivered Almonds
1/2 Cup + of Honey
1/2 tsp Vanilla
3 Tbsp Carrington Farms Unflavored Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil
I had to add more dry ingredients because I wanted to use coconut oil in this recipes for some added healthy fat. You can play around with this recipe to get it how you like it. The recipe shows a ratio of dry to wet ingredients that comes pretty close to what worked for me to get the ingredients to stick together in ball form. If you need to, add some extra honey and/or flax/chia blend to help them stick together better.
First I mixed together the dry ingredients then added the wet. I ended up having to add quite a bit more dry ingredients than the original recipe since I used coconut oil but it was totally worth it. Not only did it give us a bigger batch but it made our snack even more nutritious!
Here’s a little more info about the Carrington Farms products I used:
Carrington Farms Unflavored Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil: All-Natural, Gluten-Free, Hexane-Free, and Non-GMO, this liquid coconut oil is a fantastic alternative to traditional oils (vegetable, olive, canola, corn, etc.). And while this liquid coconut oil retains all of the health benefits of traditional coconut oil without the odor/flavor of coconuts, it also remains liquid in form. Carrington’s Liquid Coconut Cooking Oil has a higher heat point than traditional olive oils and is a perfect addition for your baking dishes.
It’s a natural source of energy that is easily digestible. It doesn’t contain any trans fat and since this oil is unflavored and odorless it can be used in all sorts of recipes in place of other oils.
Carrington Farms Flax Chia Seeds: Combining the best health benefits of both Flax and Chia seeds, the Carrington Farms Flax Chia Blend is an excellent source of energy and nutrients for lasting heart health and boosted metabolism. Throw them in the mix for a healthy twist on your favorite baked good classics.
I typically don’t care for flax and love Chia but I really like this blend — it’s the best of both worlds and easy to add to so many different recipes for added health benefits!
Once I got my ingredients the right consistency I put the mixture in the fridge for about an hour then rolled it into bite sized balls. I put the rolled balls on my T-Fal baking sheet and stuck them in the freezer. This helps hold everything together and keeps the final product fresher longer. I stored the energy balls in a Rubbermaid type container in the freezer and the whole family really enjoyed them. They are great for a pick-me-up and did help sustain hunger until dinner time between meals, sports practices etc.
While I didn’t actually use the T-Fal cookie sheet for baking in this recipe, it is nonetheless great for baking! Here’s a little more info on the product:
T-fal AirBake Natural —The go-to cookie sheet for any household, the T-fal AirBake Natural Sheet Set provides an overall enhanced baking performance with its insulated aluminum sheets and MicroDome technology. This means better browning, no burning, and decreased baketimes. Your cookies will never look or taste better!
What are your go-to healthy snack recipes?