By Jonathan Doyle
How many times have you been planning a day in the mountains and wondered what the best food is to take out with you? Sandwiches, crisps and biscuits are the standard packed-lunch filler, but they often take up a lot of space and don’t actually provide a huge amount of energy. So what about some alternatives? Perhaps a couple of Snickers bars, or ample helping of Soreen could do the job? The former is great for quick energy, but the sugars burn fast and provide little long-term energy. The latter is perhaps the best choice so far, and according to Kendal Mountain Rescue Team, “[it]is a great mountain snack – it tastes good, it’s full of energy & doesn’t fall apart in your rucksack”.However, it is quite sizeable and when space is limited in your bag, it could be fun trying to squeeze it in.
So we’ve established that we need a food that is: high in energy, especially the slow release kind; is quite dense, meaning it doesn’t take up a lot of space; and most importantly, tastes great. Not an easy task. However, I believe I may just have an answer for you; my peanut butter protein energy balls! They are the perfect alternative to cereal bars, providing a good deal more energy, and are without any of the processed low quality ingredients and excessive plastic packaging. So not only are you efficiently and healthily fuelling your body, you’re also doing your bit for the environment by reducing your plastic waste! Oh and they can easily be modified to make them suitable for our veggie/vegan friends too!
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Rolling time: 15 minutes
Number of balls: this batch made 27, but it obviously depends on how big you roll them.
- Oats (1 cup: about 100g)
- Peanut butter (2/3 cup: about 225g)
- Mixed seeds: i.e. flax, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, linseed etc (1/2 cup: about 50g)
- Honey (3 tablespoons)
- Desiccated coconut (as necessary to cover all the balls)
- Chocolate chips (1/2 cup: about 100g)
- Salt (a pinch)
- Place all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and use your hands to combine them.
- Place the mixture into the fridge for 30-60 minutes to allow it to set.
- Take the mixture out of the fridge and roll into balls.
- Roll the balls in the desiccated coconut.
|Energy (kcal)||Fat (g)||Carbs (g)||Fibre (g)||Protein (g)||Salt|
* values may vary depending on ball size and ratio of ingredients/additional ingredients.
The great thing about the recipe is that it is completely adjustable, so you can change it to include your favourite flavours or dietary requirements. For example, it works really well with cinnamon, cocoa powder or vanilla extract. You can also replace the chocolate chips with dark chocolate or cocoa nibs, and the honey with an alternative binding agent, such as ground chia seeds mixed with a little water. Don’t be afraid to get creative!