No-bake vegan peanut butter snack balls that taste like cookie dough, but with a surprise crunch in each bite!
As I’m sitting here in my apartment on my day off, ticking off my to-do list of adult responsibilities like watering the plants, doing a load of laundry, and studying for tomorrow’s quiz (it’s week two and there’s already a hundred slides of information #sendhelp), I daydream about the carefree days of childhood, when the most difficult consideration of the day was whether it was worth trading both my Oreos for a single frosted Dunkaroo. It’s not that I dislike the entirety of being an adult because there are certainly perks like not needing parental permission for everything, being able to stay out late, driving myself to places, and having the option to travel out of town with friends. But in my heart, I feel like so much can be learnt about maximizing opportunities to experience happiness from the simplistic ways kids have fun. In other words, how to discover, or rediscover, joy in life’s little moments. Whether it be revisiting an activity you loved as a kid or getting all giddy from biting into a sweet treat (namely these peanut butter snack balls).
I always tell this funny fact about my elementary school years: my friends and I often played ‘house’ during lunch break and I’d always request to have the role of the sixteen year old sister. At the time I thought sixteen was so cool and so old; at that age I would have the knowledge and freedom to do as I pleased. When I actually reached the age of sixteen, I certainly didn’t feel the way I thought I would. Now that I’m in my twenties (oh it’s so strange to say that), I have been returning to childhood activities to find joy. Not playing house, because I’ve actually got a real home to take care of, but my swapping out humdrum coffee shop hang outs with more engaging activities like tobogganing or going to a trampoline park. As my best friend’s dad says, “[we] either hang out like seven year olds or like seventy year olds”.
It snowed significantly this winter so when we were home for Christmas break, we hauled my brother’s old sled to the nearby elementary school to slide down their slopes. It’s been over a decade since that sled was last used, but it’s still in great condition and slides real well. Better than the makeshift plastic from Chew’s car trunk. I’m not exaggerating when I say we were the oldest people there that weren’t supervising. We found our own hill of thrill and screamed as we sprayed ourselves with powdery snow. Extra hydrating snow facial, anyone? Even if tobogganing at a suburban neighbourhood isn’t what twenty year olds typically chose to do in their free time, this time spent with my friends was more gratifying than say, going to the movie theatre. I know the cliche that says anything is fun if you’re with the right people, but I definitely think that you can make time together more meaningful by being active and doing something unconventional.
We’re three weeks into the new year, and if you’re still looking for resolution inspiration, I challenge you to explore new mediums of socialization. Instead of going out for dinner, plan and cook a dinner together. Buy a new board or card game or pull out some childhood favourites. Go skating or snowshoeing. DIY a karaoke night. Take a workshop together. Whatever it may be, these activities can enrich your year and help you make lasting memories.
Whether you make these vegan peanut butter snack balls for yourself, your family, or your friends, it will surely make their taste buds do a little happy dance and whisk them into a moment of bliss. What makes these snack balls stand out from the thousands of other snack balls out there is the surprise crunch you get in each bite. They double up as a healthy snack to fuel your tired mid-day brain and as a dessert to satisfy that post-dinner sweet tooth.
- ⅔ cup oats
- ⅔ cup gluten free cereal
- A pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 8 Medjool dates, pitted
- ⅓ cup natural peanut butter
- Water, as needed (I used about 2 tbsp)
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
- In a food processor, blend the oats, cereal, salt, and cinnamon into pea-sized bits.
- Add the dates and peanut butter and blend until evenly incorporated.
- Add water a little bit at a time until the dough becomes sticky enough to hold its shape after you press it between two fingers.
- Add the chocolate chips and blend until incorporated.
- Take about 2 tbsp of dough and roll it into a ball. Repeat with remaining dough. These can keep at room temperature for about 3 days. Store in the refrigerator if you plan on saving them for a longer period of time.