Trail Mix Balls

In the midst of midterms, starting a new job, keeping up with college shenanigans, and life busyness in general, it’s been about three weeks since I’ve touched the blog. Anyway, the first thing I want to share is that I’m no runner, but one of my favorite new things is actually a running route my lovely friend Jenny introduced me to a couple weeks ago (XOXO ily Jen!). Stretching along Lake Mendota, past James Madison park, and through the historic and suburban neighborhoods of Madison, I’ve been able to soak up the colors of fall and take advantage of perfect running weather.

Since I haven’t had much time or many resources to do any cooking or recipe-creating, I’m sharing a recipe today I created this summer: trail mix balls! They’re perfect for outdoorsy fall activities like hiking and long walks to admire the changing leaves, or you could whip up a batch this weekend to snack on between classes next week. This snack takes gives a portable twist to the classic bag of trail mix, can be made in a flash, and even has an easy clean up, so get on it!

What you’ll need:

1 cup oats

1 cup dates

½ cup peanut butter

¼ cup honey (maple syrup if vegan)

¼ cup raisins (cut in half/smaller pieces)

1 T chia seeds

2 T dark chocolate chips (miniature or chopped into small pieces)

¼ cup chopped nuts (I used almonds and cashews)

2 T coconut oil (optional)

Now what?

  1. Blend the oats and dates in food processor until a coarse, lumpy mixture develops. (Sounds gross, but it’s really the consistency you’re looking for)
  2. Add the peanut butter and honey, then blend until smooth.
  3. If the mixture is looking dry and crumbly, add coconut oil and process until it’s moist enough to roll into balls.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and fold in the raisins, chia seeds, dark chocolate, and nuts. Feel free to add or switch up any of the mix-ins to make the trail mix your own!
  5. Use a melon-baller or small ice cream scoop w/ scraper to evenly distribute the mixture into about 24 balls and roll them out with your hands.
  6. Place the balls on parchment paper on a large baking sheet and let sit in the fridge for about an hour or until firm.
  7. Last but far from least, enjoy! These will stay best when kept cold, so store them in the fridge in a Tupperware or large baggie and just take out a few at a time to eat.

p.s. I used a food processor for these, but that’s because I was at home and I know most people don’t have one at school. If that’s you, no worries! You can always use a blender instead, it just might require more time and a bit more hand mixing.

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