Cherry Pie Energy Balls
Feed your mid-afternoon snack craving with a healthy cherry pie energy ball.
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Mid-afternoon snack cravings–they’re real! Every day between the hours of 2 and 3 o’clock, I’m stricken with the urge to devour sugary sweets and fatty substances. I’m not talking just a piece of dark chocolate. Oh no, I’m craving the entire bar. If you’re trying to eat healthy and stay in shape, an entire bar of chocolate can be dangerous. One chocolate bar leads to two, and the next thing you know, you’re scarfing down a creme-filled donut dusted with powdered sugar. Or maybe that’s just me. Please tell me I’m not alone, folks.
The answer to my mid-afternoon sugar craving comes in the form of an energy ball. A bite-sized ball packed with protein, vitamins, and just enough chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth.
My favorite way to relax on a Sunday morning is at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and my favorite magazines. I’m a bit of a food magazine junkie. I currently subscribe to 3 different food magazines and few home magazines. I’m drawn like a moth to the light by the gorgeously styled food photography and creative ways to put my 60 (not kidding) Mason jars to good use.
Since I’m a sweet lover at heart, I’m always looking for healthy snack options. As I was thumbing through the April issue of Cooking Light this Sunday, I came across a recipe for Cherry-Almond Energy Bars. I decided to change up the recipe a bit and create sweet, pop-able bites instead.
Cherry season is quickly approaching. Soon the gorgeous red orbs will be readily available at farmer’s markets. Until then, dried tart cherries are our cherry of choice for this recipe. If you’ve never had a dried cherry, you’re missing out. They’re super sweet, almost candy-like. I love snacking on them when I have sugar on the brain.
Let’s talk about the ingredients that make up these dreamy balls:
There’s an entire cup of dried cherries in this recipe. Cherries are full of antioxidants and Vitamins A and C. They help aid in sleep, balance your blood pressure, trim your waistline, and combat cancer and gout.
I use a 1/2 cup of homemade almond butter in this recipe. Making almond butter at home will save you money. If you don’t have time to make your own, feel free to use your favorite brand from the store. Almond butter contains Vitamin E, Magnesium, Calcium, and a significant amount of protein. Protein fills the belly and keeps you energized longer.
Two tablespoons of flaxseed meal is added to increase your daily dose of fiber. A little flaxseed meal goes a long way. A teaspoon daily is all you need to promote healthy digestion.
Toasted pecans add an extra boost of protein to the mix, keeping you full and satisfied. They’re rich in antioxidants and contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals. Pecans can also help lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
These balls may be healthy, but they sure are putting on a good act, because they taste like a rich, creamy candy bar.
These sweet little balls are packed full of essential ingredients to help keep you energized. They’re creamy, crunchy, and slightly tart. The addition of agave and mini chocolate chips add just enough sweetness to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Next time you find yourself craving something sweet, reach for one of these cherry pie energy balls.
For more healthy recipe inspiration, visit your local Target. If you purchase both issues of Cooking Light and Real Simple magazines, you’ll receive a $5 Target gift card. That’s double the inspiration for less!
Cherry Pie Energy Balls
Sweet, pop-able bites packed with tart cherries, toasted pecans, creamy almond butter, and a touch of chocolate.
Yield: 12 energy balls
Total Time: 5 minutes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
1/2 cup toasted pecans
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
1 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tablespoon agave
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons mini chocolate chips
In the bowl of your food processor, add toasted pecans and flaxseed meal. Pulse until the pecans are finely chopped. Add the dried cherries. Pulse until the cherries are coarsely chopped.
Add the almond butter, agave, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Pulse until the thoroughly combined and the mixture forms a dough ball.
Gather two teaspoons of dough in the palm of your hand and roll until smooth. Store the balls between a layer of wax paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.