Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Chewy peanut butter bites (with optional chocolate)

Snacks that have some nutritional value as well as being delicious are always a welcome addition to our recipe repertoire, and though these aren't entirely virtuous they do have a good dose of protein and fibre (at least when compared with, say, cookies) so they'll keep bellies full for a bit longer. They're similar to bliss balls in that regard, but these are cheaper to make so more practical for an everyday lunchbox treat.

They're also super easy to make, which is always welcome in this busy world of ours. They first appeared on my radar when I was looking for something quick to make for playgroup. They seemed like a crowd-pleaser that would be easy to nom on while chasing small people down, and though the baking is purportedly for the parents, kids always end up sneaking some too, so keeping the sugar levels below hyperactivity levels seemed wise.

This is just one of many possible iterations of the snack ball category - basically if you have enough of the gooey stuff to hold together the dry stuff it's all good, so feel free to add things in and switch things out as it suits you. Possible delicious additions include; different nuts; coconut; chopped dried fruit; LSA or ground chia seeds; extra chocolate (because that's always an option). Or you could use softened then pureed dates or dried apricots in place of the peanut butter (you might need a little more honey too).

We've made this recipe both with and without chocolate, and although I am always biased towards having chocolate (lately I've even been grating a little dark chocolate onto my morning porridge - that's not weird is it?) they work perfectly well without too.

I think I should stock up the freezer with these and bliss balls in anticipation of Cake Baby #2's arrival in a couple of months - they'd be perfect breastfeeding snacks. The challenge will be keeping them out of other hungry mouths in the meantime.

Have you delved into the "snack ball" category of treats? If so what's your favourite combo?

Chewy peanut butter bites (inspired by Not Quite Nigella)
1/3 cup / 120g honey or 1/3 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp water
1/4 cup milk
75g butter
1 1/2 cups / 150g wholegrain oats
1/2 cup / 150g peanut butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup / 75g salted peanuts, roughly chopped
40g dark chocolate, roughly chopped (optional)
salt to taste

In a medium sized saucepan mix together the honey (or sugar and water), milk, and butter and bring to a simmer over a medium-high heat. Once the mixture is bubbling keep it on the heat for one minute, then turn down to medium and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring constantly for another minute.

Leave to cool for 20-30 minutes, or until you're able to comfortably work with the mixture in your hands. Shape mixture into balls - any size you like is fine but 2.5-3cm diameter works well for us - and place on a tray or dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour to set.

These can be stored in the fridge for up to a week, if you can get them to last that long.


  1. I have noticed that Cake baby one is very proficient at getting the things out of the freezer that he wishes to consume. You may need to get a locking device if you want to keep these IN the freezer.

    1. This is true, although he usually goes for what he knows (i.e. berries!) so if they are sufficiently disguised (an ice cream container would suffice) they'd be safe from him until he saw one of us getting one out. We still have some stealth levels over him. ;-)


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