Thursday, June 22, 2017

Healthy Summer Snacking

Being a  mom of four boys, all nine and under with one of them still nursing, it seems like I am going non-stop. I mean NON-stop. We always have somewhere to be, something to do, someone to see, something to clean up or something to look forward to. Busyness is a constant in our lives and it's taken me a while but, I'm finally figuring out how to just go with it. Another perk (??) of being a  mom of four littles (and that I'm still nursing) is being hungry pretty much twenty-four/seven. With all of that rushing around, calories get burned and energy starts to be lacking. That's why I'm always on the lookout for quick, easy, healthy snack alternatives. Not just for my boys though, for me too! Because, if I'm being honest, my boys don't have a regular snack time. On days that we don't have a lot going on and they're just playing inside and being pretty low-key, they typically don't ask for a snack. They're usually so caught up in their imaginative play that they don't even realize how quickly the time passes and, before they know it, it's meal time again. Me, on the other hand, I have to eat every three to four hours. I'm talking, HAVE to. If I don't, scary things happen. LOL Seriously though, since becoming pregnant with my first baby and learning all about the benefits of drinking tons of water and eating small amounts of healthy food at regular intervals, I am allllllways thirsty and hungry. I need that extra boost of protein in the middle of my day (and morning and before bed at night) to keep me going, I just do. Add in a good, calorie blasting workout to my morning and I'm ravenous by lunch time. No, really, ask my kids..

With all of that being said, I thought I'd share a recipe I was recently introduced to by a friend via Pinterest and have not stopped making since. It's THAT good. And quick! It's called Peanut Butter Energy Bites and you can find the recipe from Chef Savvy here. They're made up of five easy ingredients you probably have in your pantry anyway and only take about thirty minutes from start to finish.

The first time I attempted these protein bites (late last week), I made one batch according to the recipe, substituting chai seeds for flax because that's what I had on hand. I actually ran the half cup of seeds through my food processor before adding them to the other ingredients thinking it would give them more of a "ground" consistency. Totally not the case and, turns out, completely unnecessary. None of my family minded the taste and crunchiness of the seeds one bit. So, the second time making them (ahem..this afternoon), I left them whole. And made a double batch because, yea, they're that good. The instructions also say that you get twelve protein bites out of one recipe. I got around 25 the first time I made them and closer to fifty this time around. I made the balls smaller when I rolled them and they turned out to be the perfect size to grab a couple at a time, for Glen and I, and give to the boys for a snack as well. I also discovered that I like the taste of them a smidge better after they've been refrigerated a bit. They're still sooooo good, don't get me wrong but, fresh out of the fridge? Yum.

These also make a great on-the-go breakfast or late night snack. I've actually had them in place of my nightly bowl of ice cream which is saying a LOT. If you know me at all, you know that mama likes her ice cream. And, I'm hard pressed to keep right along with that habit. Haha. But, I  have to admit, these fill that void nicely when I'm feeling the need to be a tad healthier some days. (Which isn't very often..ha) None the less, give them a try and you never know, you may love them! Also, can you tell the boys were excited for me to make them today?! ;)

I used natural peanut butter, organic honey we purchase locally and tried to consistently fill a large spoon when scooping them to roll. That way I could keep the size more uniform. I hope all of these tips help you make a yummy treat of your own and please, share any healthy snack/meal recipes you have with me in the comments! I'm also excited to try another recipe I found for a chocolate version and one to make your own chewy granola bars! Bring on summa!! 

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