Need something to keep you energized throughout the day? Try my Power Ball recipe.
Part of staying fit is eating many small meals throughout the day rather than the traditional big three. Many small meals keep a person's metabolism elavated and help ensure that that food will be used for energy and not be stored as fat.
Unfortunately modern society makes it very difficult to eat multiple meals a day because several such meals would invariably occur at the workplace or school. Such environments aren't conducive toward eating small well-balanced healthy meals.
Faced with this situation, I tried various alternatives but eventually settled for a time on the time-honered PowerBar (tm). While the PowerBars worked in this capacity reasonably well, their ingredients left a lot to be desired, particularly where sugar was concerened. I don't eat very much sugar--I generally go out of my way to avoid it--so my daily encounters with PowerBars stood out as being unbearably sweet.
I was growing weary with the sweetness of PowerBars and decided it was time to change the menu. There are other prepackaged alternatives that contain less sugar, but they can be difficult to find with any regularity and tend to be pricey. I thought about the problem some and determined that my best bet was to forgo the prepackaged bar entirely and make something myself that suited my needs.
What I came up with, for the lack of a better word, are Power Balls. Unrelated to lotteries, Power Balls are high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, calcium, healthy fat, and a bunch of other good things that a nutritionist could go into detail about.
The best thing about Power Balls is that they don't require much in the way of ingredients:
*1 Designer Whey Protein Supplement. Others brands should work just fine, but scoop sizes may vary.
- 2 cups of old fashioned (5-minute) oatmeal
- 1 cup no-fat powdered milk
- 2 scoops of chocolate protein powder *1
- 10 dry figs
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter *2
- 1/4 cup water
*2 100% peanuts, nothing else. Mix well.
Drop the figs one by one into a blender to turn them to pulp. Place the figs and all other ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly. The goal is to create a "batter" that is firm enough to pick a piece off and roll it into a ball. If the mixture is too dry to do this, add a water a teaspoon at a time until the right consistency is reached. Similarily, if the mixture is too runny, add oatmeal a teaspoon at a time.
When the correct consistency has been achieved, pull off enough of the mixture to roll a ball that is slightly smaller than a golf ball. Place the result on a cookie sheet that has either been greased lightly or lined with parchment paper. I find that I can typically get 18 balls.
Place the cookie sheet into a preheated 400 degree F oven. Bake for 10 minutes.
How Do They Taste?
As the recipe stands, I find the balls taste similar to a cookie version of Snickers or Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, albeit nowhere near as sweet.
The recipe can be varied as desired. During its creation, I went through several iterations of different ingredients and believe that the final version is the best. Tastes do vary, however, and you may want to follow some of the following suggestions:
If chocolate isn't your thing, you can use other flavors of protein powder, such as strawberry or vanilla. If figs aren't to your liking, one large ripe banana can be substituted. Don't like peanut butter? Try almond butter, which is even better for you.
If you need a bit more sweetness, you can cut some of the water or peanut butter and replace it with honey.
Nutritional information to be added later.