We need portable snacks. Granola works, but we tend to tire of food rather quickly, so I’m always looking for quick snacks I can make for lunchboxes, or in warmer weather, to eat for picnics or to pack for the car when we are not near our kitchen. We’re planning a trip this summer, as well as remodeling our kitchen!!!, so I know I will want to have lots of food on hand for that.
I based my recipe loosely on this one, but since we don’t do puffed grains, I substituted the only purchased cereal that is “legal” for us, but even subbing it out for more nuts and seeds would work too, but be less crunchy.
When I first saw the recipe using rice cereal, my brain starting tossing around a lot of things- what I could use for substitutions that suit out diet, and what would taste good and still give us nutrition. The maca was one of the last things I thought of, but it’s in my friend Renee’s Raw Chocolate, so I knew it would work beautifully since her chocolate tastes amazing. And it did! (And now I’m craving Renee’s chocolate too, which is so addictive!)
When I was thinking of a sub for the rice syrup sweetener, I thought of molasses. We hardly ever bring out the blackstrap molasses, since that is such a strong flavor, but I really wanted it here. When I was little and wanted a snack, my mom would mix together “molasses” (which was dark Karo Syrup) and peanut butter in a bowl and let me eat it with a spoon. Karo Syrup is a staple in a southern kitchen, and while I can’t vouch for its nutrition (none,) I used to love the taste. Black-strap molasses is a bit more bitter, but also more flavorful; I added the honey to impart more sweetness to balance out the bitterness and it works well. Luckily, it’s full of good things too, so you don’t have to feel guilty about using it for a sweetener- loads of minerals, iron, and it’s low glycemic.
1/4 c each: freshly ground flax seeds, ground sunflower seeds, ground goji berries, nut or seed butter, crispy cereal (we used Enjoy Life/Perky’s Crunchy Flax)
2 tbs each: unsulphured blackstrap molasses, raw honey
1 tbs each: cacao nibs (ground with seeds,) vanilla extract, coconut oil, maca powder, lucuma powder
pinch of fine sea salt
Melt together the nut-butter or seed-butter, molasses, honey, and pinch of salt. Stir. It may look a little cake-like, but that is okay.
Mix together in larger bowl the dry ingredients. Dump in the molasses mixture and sprinkle with the vanilla. Dump in the coconut oil. Working with your hands, mush it all together until well-mixed. Remove your hands from the mixture, scraping off as much as possible back into the bowl and wash your hands, leaving them wet.
Using wet hands, form marble-sized balls, squeezing them together in your palm and putting them in air-tight container as you go. Makes about 20. Refrigerate to harden coconut oil or serve immediately.
I was so pleased with the taste of these, and the girls loved them too. They definitely remind me of my childhood snack, but with more nutrition and a little more upscale, and definitely more portable. They are sweet, and ideally I would pair them with another savory high-protein snack of meat or cheese.
These are stable at room temp, but it is winter now. In summer, I doubt they would last long on the counter without going very sticky and melty. I would say these would travel well in a cooler, but not say, in a pocket or purse, especially in warmer months.