Goodness. It’s a good thing I made these before my children came home from school, because who knew they could love peanut butter balls so much. For something that looks so decadent, these are deceivingly easy to make.
Dessert is dessert and it’s going to be sweet and it’s going to have sugar. Let’s just get that out of the way. Thankfully, I find a way to balance out the love for dessert with some “no sugar added” options. This one has a bit of added sugar (maple syrup), so let’s go over what these have going for them.
Natural Fresh Peanut Butter: I am not skilled enough (nor do I have the patience) to grind my own peanut butter at home, so I rely on the super handy peanut butter grinding machine at my friendly Fresh Thyme market. In mere seconds, I have fresh peanut butter, no messy or time consuming process. Okay, so let’s say you don’t have a market nearby where you can grind your own peanut butter, you can use the peanut butter you have on hand. If it’s the natural kind, make sure it’s good and mixed and not too oily. For those of you with another kind, check the label to see if there is sugar already added to your peanut butter. Most of the time, there is, so it’s good to check. If you already have sugar in your peanut butter, you can decrease the amount of maple syrup.
Peanuts are a nutrition powerhouse. We all know that they contain protein, but they are packed full of vitamins and trace minerals; loaded in vitamin E, niacin, zinc, folate, and magnesium. I didn’t even scratch the surface of the nutrition here. Bottom line: Add some peanuts to your diet if you can.
Maple Syrup: Nature’s sweetener. Who am I kidding, most sweeteners come from nature (cane sugar, beet sugar, honey, stevia, agave…). Sweet gets a bad rap, when, if we think about it, artificial sweeteners should get a bad rap. I’ll stick to my natural sweeteners and call it a day.
Almond Meal: This is almonds that are ground up to a flour consistency, so it’s almond flour. I just made my own. I always have almonds on hand, but I don’t use enough almond flour to justify buying it and just letting it sit. I chop my almonds and then give them a whirl in my coffee grinder. To be honest, I don’t even use it to grind coffee. It grinds almonds, flax seeds, and chia seeds. I think that is much more useful to me that way.
Rice Cereal: For the gluten free-ers out there, this is for you. Nothing beats the crunch of some rice cereal. It adds bulk and texture without adding a lot of calories.
Dark Chocolate: High in antioxidants and phytochemicals and it has been shown to be a mood booster. Did I mention it’s delicious??
Coconut Oil: This is not an ingredient I use often because of the high saturated fat content, but I like how it adds a little flavor to the dark chocolate and a slight sheen to the outside. It’s a flavor enhancer!
Peanut Butter Balls
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Sarah Pflugradt
Prep time: 40 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: Makes 15 Peanut Butter Balls
- 1/4 cup fresh ground peanut butter
- 1/2 cup crispy rice cereal
- 3 Tablespoons almond meal, or almond flour
- 2 Tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- In a small bowl, add peanut butter, rice cereal, almond meal (or flour), and maple syrup
- Mix well and form into small bite sized balls
- Place on a wax paper or parchment paper lined baking sheet
- Place in freezer for at least 30 minutes
- In a small bowl, microwave dark chocolate with coconut oil in 20 second increments, stirring after each time
- When chocolate is melted, dip cold peanut butter balls into the chocolate mixture and set back on lined baking sheet
- Allow chocolate to harden