Almond Butter Balls

When all else fails, I usually have some almond butter balls in my freezer. These are a little tricky to form into balls. But that’s because they have a fraction of the honey most recipes for peanut butter balls call for and they have glorious crispy rice cereal which makes them crunchy!

Feel free to replace the almond butter with cashew or peanut. I used natural-style almond butter. But this recipe is extremely flexible so feel free to experiment.

3/4 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup crispy brown rice cereal
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a small mixing bowl, stir the powdered milk, cereal, wheat germ, flaxseed, and salt until combined. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir the almond butter, honey, and vanilla extract with a rubber spatula until combined. Add the powdered milk mixture and stir until uniform.

The mixture may be on the crumbly side. To form into balls, take a tablespoon of the mixture and squeeze it with your hands more than roll it. I pass it back and forth between my hands squeezing and rolling gently with my fingers as I pass. This might be tough for kids to master. If the mixture is too crumbly, add more of something gooey such as honey or even a tablespoon of vegetable, coconut, or flax oil.

Serve or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw for a couple minutes before serving.

Yield: 30 balls
Prep-time: 20 minutes
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Granola Bars

This is an extremely flexible snack recipe that is sweet and satisfying. Replacing the honey with apple butter brings the sugar content down to a buzz-free level. But I do love the sweet, moist goodness the honey imparts. These bars freeze very well (separate layers with wax paper) and keep for up to a couple months.

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup raisins or 1/3 cup chocolate chips

1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey or apple butter
1 large egg, beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F

Mix oats, sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, salt and raisins in medium bowl. Make a well in the center and add remaining ingredients. Mix well.Transfer to greased 9 x 13 pan and flatten mixture into pan with your hands.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until edges are brown. The majority of the pan may look under done. As long as the edges are brown, it’s okay. Don’t over bake or it will be dry.

Allow to cool slightly in pan. Cut into squares and serve or store in airtight container.

Yield: 24 bars (on the smallish side)
Prep-time: 10 minutes
Bake-time: 20 minutes

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