I love holiday snacks and Christmas cookies. I love them too much, actually. And all of my good intentions to lower my sugar intake go downhill during the month of December. And I gain 10 lbs throughout the winter each year too. (I manage to take it off in the summer, but still! How does that always happen?)
I decided I needed to come up with a snack that would satisfy my inner snacking machine but still have some nutritional benefit. I needed something that would give me sustaining protein, not a sugar rush. I needed something that was still yummy too.
My answer? Sprouted peanut butter balls. I combined unsweetened peanut butter, sprouted flax and chia seeds, and a bit of honey for a slightly sweet but highly nosh-able ready-to-go super snack.
The thing about flax and chia seeds is that they’re mucilaginous. That’s a big fancy word meaning that the seeds get slimy when put in water. They don’t sprout like other seeds, so you probably won’t see a white root. But the soaking itself is akin to the sprouting process that other seeds and grains undergo.
SproutPeople has this to say about mucilaginous seeds: “Something you need to understand about sprouts: A seed that has soaked up its fill of water has gone from dormant to alive. That is the single biggest nutritional gain the seed/sprout will go through. The roots are not necessary. We’re just used to seeing them and so we want to. Let that go and enjoy flax sprouts – or as we might call them flax soaks.”
SproutPeople recommends soaking flax and chia seeds for at least 4 hours to unlock the nutritional goodness. If you want to learn how to sprout these kinds of seeds all the way (so there’s green stuff growing) for salads and other cooking purposes, check out this tutorial.
These peanut butter balls pack a powerful protein punch, contain lots of good vitamins from the sprouted seeds, have no refined sugar, and satisfy your holiday cookie cravings without putting you into a sugar coma. Besides, they are full of good fat, so just one (or two) will be sustaining and you won’t feel the need to gorge yourself on them like you would Christmas cookies. Just what I ordered!
- 1/2 cup sproutable seeds (I used flax and chia.)
- 2 cups “natural” peanut butter (no sugar added)
- 1/2 cup honey (raw if available)
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- Put seeds in a small bowl in the morning. Pour just enough water over them to cover them.
- In the evening (or at least 4 hours later), check your seeds. They should have absorbed most of the liquid. If they’re floating in extra water, strain the seeds through a fine mesh colander.
- Mix peanut butter, honey, and sprouted seeds in a medium bowl.
- Roll the mixture into 1-1.5″ balls. Roll in cocoa powder to coat if desired. (Alternatively, you could mix some cocoa powder into the “dough.”)
- Keep refrigerated. Freeze what you won’t eat right away since it contains sprouted seeds. Makes 24-36 balls, depending on size.
You should be able to find seeds at your local grocer or health food store. I just used a no-name bulk bag from an Amish market. If you can’t find them nearby, you can shop via SproutPeople (which looks like a great company!), or buy your choice of whole flax seeds here (make sure they’re not ground if you want to sprout them) and chia seeds here.
Try it? Like it? Let us know!