Truthfully, these are anytime super food snacks, but I made them specifically to send Nolan off to summer camp at his new school, so alas, the title of this post. If you’ve already tried making them, you know that my power balls are filling enough that two or three make for a solid snack, and sweet enough (but not too sweet) that they could practically pass for healthy truffles. They are the ultimate school snack and one that I’m sure Nolan’s friends will have their eyes on.
There’s nothing unusual or new to report with this version, as these power balls include all ingredients you’ve seen in my previous posts. The star today is sunflower butter—which made its first appearance in my dark chocolate sea salt power bars—since it is nut-allergy friendly. Many schools have strict rules about peanuts on campus, making sunflower seeds an excellent alternative.
Using a melon baller, I made these power balls extra small so that they are bite-size for Nolan and easy to snack on between activities. I’ll admit, whipping these up takes a lot more time than picking up a box of fruit snacks at the grocery store, but it’s well worth providing my kids the best nutrition possible to get through their busy days.
Looking for a different shape and slightly different formula? Check out my power bars!
FORMULA BASE: POWER BALLS
Makes 12-14 small balls (or 20-ish mini-balls)
For the dough:
- 1 cup nut or seed butter (nuts/seeds only) –> I’m using sunflower.
- 1 cup uncooked whole grains –> I’m using rolled oats.
- ½ cup unsweetened dried fruit (without added oil) –> I’m using 6 small pitted medjool dates.
- 2 tbsps natural liquid sweetener –> I’m using 1 tbsp agave syrup.*
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Garnish ideas (approximately 4 tbsps):
- Raw seeds -> I’m using 2 tbsps of ground flaxseed.
- Raw finely chopped nuts
- Unsweetened coconut flakes -> I’m using 2 tbsps of unsweetened, desiccated coconut.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
- Finely chopped unsweetened dried fruit bits (without added oil)
- Melted dark chocolate (which will re-solidify after dipping)
*I cut 1 tbsp of sweetener because the sun butter I happen to be using was pre-sweetened. I never buy nut or seed butters that contain added salt, oil, or sugar, but the lady that used to watch my kids had an excess of sun butter that she was concerned would go to waste. I’m not going to pass up free plant-based butters (which can be quite expensive), so I needed to adjust my formula today. 🙂
Turn your whole grains into flour using your food processor or blender. You could also use rolled oats as is. The texture of the balls will be different, but rolled oats are one of few grains soft enough to be palatable without becoming flour.
Combine the flour and your remaining ingredients in a food processor. Run until a thick, pliable dough forms. You will probably have to scrape down the sides of the processor with a spatula at least once.
Shape the dough into 1-1 ½ inch balls and roll in garnish.
Enjoy immediately or store in the fridge.