Friday, 18 December 2015

Fun Food Friday - Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Christmas is one week away and although right now it doesn't look to Christmasy outside - (We're going to get a green Christmas.) All of our holiday preparations and parties are underway.  This is such a tricky time of year to keep eating healthy.  I've just finished teaching my last Friday class and two of my students very thoughtfully brought in cookies.  

So how do we find that balance, especially related to food.  There are so many traditions and foods we only have at Christmas that our calorie consumption can easily jump to 500-1000 extra unplanned calories in a day simply by indulging. It gets tricky especially if your office has treats brought in and you indulge a few times a day.

When Christmas comes around, I try to not get too worried about extras but I do try to plan or decide in the moment what I really want to eat.  I have my favourite cookies that I make every year and will eat more than one. But I've also tried to make them healthier.  

These peanut butter balls are a perfect example.  The original recipe called for peanut butter with hydrogenated oil so I've swapped that for real peanut butter.  The recipe also included icing sugar which I've replaced with protein powder.  I also added hemp hearts and replaced the butter with coconut oil.

The protein powder and hemp hearts boost the amount of protein in the recipe offsetting the glycemic load.  And although these treats are still exactly that - treats, they are a little healthier.  Modifying our choices over the holidays and making sure we schedule exercise let's us indulge and enjoy the holidays without the guilt!

Chocolate Covered Peanut Butter Protein Balls

by Denise Boyd Dunlop
Prep Time: 15 minutes plus chilling time
Ingredients (serves 12)
  • 1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
Place peanut butter and 1/4 cup coconut oil in sauce pan over medium heat stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and add maple syrup, hemp hearts and protein powder. The mixture should become thick. Roll teaspoon sized amounts into balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheet. Chill in freezer for 30 minutes.
Melt chocolate chips with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil over a double boiler stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Coat frozen peanut butter balls in chocolate. Place chocolate covered peanut butter balls back onto the cookie sheet chilling until the chocolate has set. Store in refrigerator.
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