Monday, April 30, 2012

Granola Balls (Raw, gluten-free, potentially vegan)

You know what the problem is with high-energy snacks? Those for whom they were designed--those with metabolisms approximately equivalent of 150 pound hummingbirds--forget about the snacks you've made and wander about the house wondering what they can possibly eat and then decide to just go to Rural King instead so they can get to work on the yard. You, on the other hand, you who have every bit the metabolism of a very nearly 35-year-old woman, do not forget. You know what's sitting there in your cupboard or refrigerator or freezer. You brush against them as you clean the kitchen. They catch your eye as you gather ingredients for leftover night. They call to you. And then you call to your husband at Rural King and ask why he hasn't eaten the snack you made for him and question whether he really loves you and also whether he thinks your butt looks big in the jeans you're wearing today. And then he says you're butt is just fine and that he forgot about the snacks and that he'll eat them when he gets home and that he has to go because he's carrying 20 pounds of grass seed and the checker is waiting for him. And then you hang up and eat some granola bites and feed some to the kids and by the time he gets home, starving of course because he skipped breakfast and/or lunch, they're all gone.

Note: Although the above story is actually a piece of fiction, there is much truth at its heart. Truth that gets repeated at least once a week in this house. Oh the efforts those of us with lean (albeit strong, tough, and perfectly handsome) husbands go to in order to keep said husbands weighing in a few dozen pounds (or even a good baker's dozen) heavier than us. Tragic, don't you think. The great thing about these being in smallish balls is that you can practically throw them into your husband/teenager/woke-up-too-late-for-breakfast child's mouth as they rush out the door.

So don't give up. Make some healthy, high-energy snacks. Remind your man to take them to work. Eventually it will sink in. Unless the dog/kids/grandmas/neighbor's kids get to them first. Sigh.

Granola Balls
Adapted from Smashed Peas and Carrots
Makes 12-18 1-inch balls(a little sketch on the numbers here; I made a bunch of this stuff last week and it's all smearing together for me)
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cost: $1.90
oatmeal: .10, peanut butter: .50, honey: .70, coconut: .60

1 C oatmeal (choose a type that hasn't been processed with gluten-y foods if you're going gluten-free)
1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C honey (use agave nectar if going vegan)
1 C coconut flakes (I used unsweetened; if using sweetened you may want to cut back the honey by a Tablespoon or two)
1/2 C ground flaxseed (optional; I skipped because we didn't have and threw in some more coconut)
1/2 C chocolate chips (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Mix everything until fully incorporated. You can let this chill for easier ball-rolling, but I just go for it and roll them into balls.

These keep very well refrigerated or frozen.


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