Monday, July 21, 2014

Latest Snacking Obsession {Review}

I've been MIA this past week. I apologize. But it was my birthday. I celebrate all week long. ( <--- read all month long, actually.) I'm a huge fan of birthdays, and everybody's birthday should be a special day spent doing your favorite things with the people you love. Last year my bestie treated me to a picnic lunch at the Cleveland Museum with a side tour of the Botanical Gardens (where, at the time, she worked). Oh, and THE Starbucks stop must. It was a beautiful and hot day, of course. I melted. This year was quite different and it was absolutely wonderful. I've never celebrated my birthday week in jeans and long sleeves. What glorious chilly weather! Perfection.

This week Mr. B surprised me with a half dozen balloons to celebrate (and, yes, those will be tied there until they're dragging on the floor and Mr. Darcy tries to take off with them). I adore balloons; nothing shouts "SPECIAL OCCASION" like balloons. And candles. Balloons and candles are a must.

Allow me to quickly throw out a few other words regarding my week/weekend birthday celebrations in order to avoid an overly-long detailed celebration post, and to quickly get to the actual point of today's review obsession.

Multiple Starbucks trips.
A Mexican dinner outing where I ended up with a big sombrero on my head and a chorus of loud off-key singing.
Daddy's ribs.
My favorite food dish of all time.
Birthday Sundae Bar.
Lots of puppy time.
Oak Ridge Festival.
More coffee.
Birthday wishes.
Sleeping in past 6 A.M.

And these tasty power snack balls. <---point of this post (See? I'd get to it eventually....)

These are fabulous. My pastor's daughter, Stephanie, and daughter-in-law, Amber, came together to create a wonderful web site called, Wild Saints. {Please head on over and check it out!} It's a new project, and on here these talented and gorgeous ladies provide DIY tips, fashion, kid-friendly recipes, videos, and more on their blog. In one of their YouTube videos, they shared this lovely snack recipe. Y'all, I was all over it. When I finished watching, I went straight to my pantry, brought out all the ingredients, and quickly mixed up a batch (fitting the recipe to my own tastes, of course). Because of the size I made my balls, I was able to get two dozen out of one batch. This will vary depending on the size of your balls. I cannot stop eating these. A huge fan of them, I decided to bring the ingredients to work and let the tweens in my yoga program make these as their healthy snack. They loved them. So did the parents. My co-workers devoured the leftovers. I came in the next day bombarded with multiple "When are you making these again?" demands.

The only thing I did differently than the original recipe is omit the vanilla and replace it with water. The snack balls are sweet enough with the honey, you won't even know you're missing it. If extra liquid is needed, just add a few tablespoons of water. (And, you know, I like the darkest chocolate you can find.) Definitely cannot get enough of these. Breakfast. Lunch. Dinner. Mid-day snack. Late-night snack. Crumbled on yogurt. Fan-freaking-tastic. I think it tastes like cookie dough. I keep mine chilled, and eat them straight from the freezer.

However, I'd like to get the sugar content a tad lower since I'm liking these for an everyday breakfast snack ball. (They go perfectly with my morning cup o' Joseph.) Otherwise they're perfect for a "dessert" when eating clean, and as the ladies suggested, or as travel treats.

A few days later I brought another batch into work to share because it was the day-before-my-birthday treat.

'Cookie Dough' Power Snack Balls
*recipe slightly adapted from Wild Saints

Makes 20-24 snack balls

2 c dry quick oats
1 c chopped 85% dark chocolate (or your favorite dark chocolate chips)
1 c ground flax seed
1 c raw almond butter
2 T chia seeds
scant 2/3 c honey

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. (If too dry, add in 1-2 T water.) Roll mix into balls and set on platters to chill in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. Keep stored and covered with wax paper in an air tight container in the fridge or freezer.

Nutritional information per snack ball (varies depending on size of ball; I got 24 balls): 145 Calories, 8 Fat, 5 Protein, 4 Fiber, 8 Sugar

*I know, you're asking where's my birthday cheesecake? It's coming. I'm still celebrating. Hello 28!

**Oh, and don't forget to check out my 30 Before 30 List. I'm working my way through it...slowly.

With Love and God Bless,

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