Peanut Butter Balls Are Tasty and Healthy
There is finally a way to eat this satisfying snack free of guilt, and it’s full of fats that are good.
According to the National Peanut Board, Americans consume more than 700 million pounds of peanut butter per year. This accounts for a total of $800 million spent per year on peanut butter, the No. 1 use of peanuts in the United States.
With its smooth texture and slightly sweet-and-nutty roasted flavor, for many people, peanut butter is tasty enough to eat straight out of the jar. Add a little jelly to the spoon, and you have the classic peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich almost guaranteed to bring back childhood memories.
There are many ways to use this popular food that go beyond the average PB&J. The following recipe creates a delicious peanut-butter-rich snack that doesn’t require much more effort than grabbing a spoonful from the jar.
Not only will this easy-to-prepare recipe save the shame of being caught with lips smacked shut and your spoon in the jar, but the few extra ingredients also add additional flavor and health benefits.
While carrots may not seem like the traditional ingredient to pair with peanuts, their slight sweetness lends the perfect compliment in this recipe. Packed with vitamin A and fiber, carrots add tons of nutrients that help stretch the calorie-dense peanut butter. Cereal adds some crunch to the cream, and the raisins add some additional natural sweetness, requiring only a touch of extra sugar to turn this recipe into the perfectly sweet-and-tasty snack.
Be sure to make extra to store in the fridge. Packed with protein and energy, these peanut butter balls make the perfect on-the-go pick-me-up or post-gym snack. Just one serving of peanut butter, about the size of one of the balls, contains seven grams of protein, essential for muscle growth and repair. Don’t let peanut butter’s fat scare you off; most of the fat in peanut butter is monounsaturated, which lowers LDL, or “bad” cholesterol. This fat has been shown to contribute to feelings of satiety, which may actually help you eat less. A study in the journal Obesity found that those who ate nuts or peanut butter at least twice a week were 31 percent less likely to gain weight than participants who did not eat peanut butter or nuts.
Unless you have Arachibutyrophobia (the fear of getting peanut butter stuck to the roof of your mouth), this recipe is going to be a treat. If you have an allergy to peanuts, replace the peanut butter with another nut butter, such as almond butter.
Peanut Butter Balls
-3/4 cup natural peanut butter
-2 Tbsp. brown sugar
-3 Tbsp. raisins
-1/4 cup shredded carrots
-1/4 cup Kashi GoLean Cereal*
*Feel free to use another cereal in place of Kashi GoLean, but pick one that is low in sugar and has a crunchy texture.
Directions: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the peanut butter. Place the peanut butter in a small bowl and warm in the microwave for 45 seconds. Use a spatula to help transfer the peanut butter into the large bowl. Mix the ingredients. Let cool, and then roll into 1 to 2 inch balls.