This afternoon, Lainey and I made one of our family favorites--peanut butter balls. Not the cocolate-dunked variety, but still super tasty. These peanut butter balls are the perfect, protein-packed snack. They satisfy a sweet-tooth craving, without packing a ton of sugar....well, ANY sugar, actually. (I owe a shout-out to my sister for passing this recipe on a while back--THANKS KRISSI!)
For a truly healthy snack, you should definitely use natural peanut butter. I know it is a pain to have to stir every new jar, but the health benefits SO out-weigh the added work. Commercial peanut butter has added hydrogenated oil (that's what helps stop the oil from separating but clogs up your arteries at the same time), and usually added sugars (or even high fructose corn syrup, ick!) and preservatives. Hydrogenated oils are a major cardiovascular risk; they cause an increased risk of coronary heart disease, and not only increase your "bad" cholesterol (LDL) but even decrease "good" cholesterol (HDL)! Yikes.
(see some info on hydrogenated oil here)
Some "natural" peanut butters still have added sugar or preservatives--just read the labels to check. The ingredients on my natural peanut butter (from Ocean State Job Lot! :) )?? "Roasted peanuts, salt". I love that.
And now the recipe. Not only is this a toddler-friendly snack, it's also a toddler-friendly recipe. No hot oven, no complicated ingredients. Just pouring, stirring, and rolling. Very quick and easy.
PEANUT BUTTER BALLS:
3/4 c. honey
1 c. peanut butter
1 1/2 c. nonfat dry milk
Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl, chill for at least 30 minutes, and roll into 1" balls. Store in the fridge in single layers separated with waxed paper.