Something that I absolutely love during the summer, besides all of the free time I gain, is the way that everyone I know seems to revert back to their childhood days. From the activities we do to the places we go to the food we eat, all of it has this kind of childlike feel about it. Does this happen to any of you? Or is it just me?
But, as we all know all too well, food from our childhood is not the cleanest of things to eat.
All leading to one big sticky mess.
I distinctly remember coming in after playing outside all day with grass and leaves and anything else I had touched stuck to my hands and fingers. All because I had had a popsicle while out there. It’s probably why my mom always knew I had snuck one.
But sometimes you just need that nostalgic taste to bring you back to much simpler days and fully appreciate summer.
The easiest, and one of my personal favorite, ways to do this is with energy balls. I know these are often made because you need a quick snack on the go but they are so much more than that. With the right combo of ingredients, you are able to enjoy the feeling of eating finger food while skipping all of the mess that usually comes with it. Giving you that taste of your childhood that just seems to make even the best days a little bit better.
And getting straight to the taste is what we all want in the end, isn’t it?
Not only are energy balls able to keep everything clean, but they give you that quick little pick me up you need after running around outside throughout the day and keep you going so you do not miss a moment. With this mouthwatering recipe, you are able to enjoy all the deliciousness that comes with a PB&J without any of the cleanup.
Which when you are constantly on the go during the summer you will definitely be thankful for.
I don’t know why, but this weekend I was desperately craving a good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I probably haven’t had one in years. But just that combination takes me right back to when I was younger, especially from when I went on field trips.
Everyone had their favorite and very strong opinions about it. Some liked grape. Some like strawberry. Some liked creamy. Some liked crunchy. Even the brands mattered.
Because of this, I still, to this day, always have a jar of Peter Pan creamy peanut butter in my pantry. All because one of my friends will not even touch a jar of crunchy.
And then the Uncrustables came into existence. I know these were a joy for people everywhere and helped eliminate some of the mess and hassle of making the sandwich, but I can’t.
Right after they first came out, my entire family had gone to the state fair first thing in the morning. I am talking before any of the stands are even opened early. This was a great idea to avoid the crowds in a way, but it also meant my parents were dragging five hungry kids behind them. ‘Luckily’, an Uncrustables’ truck had samples out right at the entrance. My parents swooped and grabbed tons for each of us. But what we weren’t told, was that they had been frozen so they would be able to sit out in the sun but still remain cool for longer.
Nothing will send a chill down your spine quite like the taste of soggy white bread, frozen jelly, and that strange generic brand of peanut butter that your school always had sitting out.
I have not had one since.
My weird Uncrustables’ issue aside, I do love PB&Js and I really wanted to find a way to make them in more of a snack form and eliminate the mess that came with them. Since my friends and I are divided, I thought it would be nice to cover both flavors and have a strawberry and a grape as well as crunchy and smooth inspired energy balls. All you need is some:
– Rolled oats
– Your choice of crunchy or creamy peanut butter
– Dried strawberries or raisins
– And Flaxseed meal
If you happen to be one of the odd balls that had a completely different jelly that you liked, feel free to throw in the dried version of that ingredient instead to make the perfect childhood inspired snack.
Were peanut butter and jelly sandwiches your favorite childhood meal? If so, what side of the peanut butter and jelly battle were you on the side of: Crunchy or Creamy? Strawberry or Grape?
Even though I did have that weird issue with the frozen Uncrustables, I do still like to keep my energy balls in the fridge so they are chilled when I bite into them. It is surprisingly refreshing for being such a dense and savory kind of snack. But don’t worry, these balls are just as good if you choose to keep them out.
Looks like I just created another layer to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Battle: chilled or room temperature?
No matter which way you choose to eat them, they still will not be half as messy as they were in the original sandwich form that is oh so loved. And will keep you full and energized for the long summer days ahead of you.
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free oats
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy
- 1/2 cup raisins or chopped dried strawberries
- *Optional: 2 tablespoons peanuts
- Place all of the dates into a food processor and blend until a creamy smooth paste is formed.
- In a large bowl, mix together oats and flaxseed meal until well combined.
- In a small bowl, pour in the peanut butter and dried fruit before mixing until the dried fruit is evenly distributed.
- Remove the ingredients from the small bowl as well as the food processor and add them into the large bowl. Stir together until a thick dough is formed and everything sticks together.
- Take parts of the dough and form 1-inch balls, rolling them until they are well pressed together.
- When finished, chill and enjoy~
- *You only need to add this ingredient if you wish for your energy balls to be extra crunchy