Lockdown With Kids Ideas: No-Bake Oatmeal Energy Balls

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Having a go-to healthy recipe for a snack that doesn’t require a ton of fancy ingredients is so helpful during these quarantined days. In order to make cooking at home as easy as possible for you and your family, I am sharing a quick, easy-to-follow, and kid-friendly recipe for treats you can make during the coronavirus lockdown. It requires only basic ingredients you probably already have such as oats that are omnipresent in every household worldwide. Oh yes, breakfast oatmeal can become boring over time. This lockdown could be a perfect time to experiment with this simple but nutritious food that is loaded with heart-healthy fiber, minerals, and antioxidants. Oats are also filled with complex carbohydrates, which makes them an amazing source of energy for you and your kids. These bites are very filling, budget-friendly and meal-prep friendly, too.

As you probably already know, kids love being a part of the delicious recipes that parents made. Getting kids involved in the kitchen isn’t just a delicious experience; it’s also a unique learning opportunity. Cooking actually keeps both their hands and brains busy! From self-esteem and creativity to nutritional knowledge, having kids involved in what they consume is vital to their emotional, physical, and mental development.

These balls have no dairy, eggs, soy, and gluten, making them safe for kids with common food allergies. The recipe calls for five ingredients, but you can also omit the peanut butter and replace it with any other type of vegan butter or coconut oil. Making these cookies is just as fun as the eating! So, what will you need?  

Ingredients

1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats 
1 ripe banana
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves, optional
A pinch of grated nutmeg, optional 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence, optional

Directions

Add 1/2 cup of the rolled oats, banana, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and spices to your blender or food processor.

Pulse a few times until the mixture just comes together as a thick dough; you may have to stop your blender to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Transfer the batter to a mixing bowl and add in the remaining oats. Gently stir to combine. (Good luck not eating the whole thing right here and now).

Here is a job for little hands -– roll the mixture into balls; you can also use small cookie scoops. Repeat until you run out of the batter. Arrange the balls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.

(The fun doesn’t stop here! You can throw a cookie decorating party at this point! You can make different shapes, use molds, sprinkles, fruits, edible flowers, and so forth.)

Place your treats in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

Yields: 20 energy balls

Nutrition Facts
(Amount Per Energy Ball)
Calories 73
Total Carbohydrates 11.2g
Protein 2.6g
Total Fat 2.1g
Fiber 1.8 g

Chef’s notes

Oatmeal energy balls are easy to customize with all sorts of flavors. They can be created in a variety of textures and shapes by simple adding ingredients you have on hand. Additional add-ins include dark chocolate chips, nuts, sweeteners of choice, finely chopped dried fruits, coconut flakes, and so forth.

This is my idea to have a snack (or dessert) whipped up in no time during these quarantined days; just remember to wash your hands before cooking and eating!  

About Author:

Dragana Dzajevic is a longtime vegan, avid animal lover, food blogger and children’s book author. She contributes to many cookbooks, diet books, and food magazines.

She specializes in writing vegan recipes and creating healthy eating recipes. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and cooking.

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