This bi-weekly series of posts in the month of January will feature some of Run Oregon’s blogger’s favorite healthy recipes to help fuel you through your busy days and rigorous workouts at the outset of the new year.
Getting enough protein to carry you through your busy days, much more your workouts, often requires supplementation. Bars and shakes are a popular option but if you are like me you can only take so many smoothies or gritty shakes. One of my favorite ways to get enough protein without having to incorporate a lot of meat into my diet is through nuts or nut butters. Nuts are easily portable and don’t require cooking or major preparation to enjoy. The recipe below is one of my favorites and is very easy to prepare. I almost always have the ingredients on hand in my kitchen, which means I don’t have to go out and purchase them or spend a ton of money – who doesn’t love that?! I suspect many of our readers may too.
This recipe is a compilation and adapted of a few different recipes I found while cruising Pinterest. I have added a few twists and substitutions that I found work better for me based upon my preferences. As always, you can sub in any kind of nut butter you like if you have a peanut allergy or are avoiding legumes.
Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Quantity: 10 protein balls or about 5 servings.
Calories: 213 per serving.
Protein: 8.5 grams per serving.
The flax seed in this recipe are a great source dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3.
- 1/3 cup organic peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter)
- 1/4 cup raw honey
- 3 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 3 tablespoons dark chocolate chips (I try to go for 70% cacao if possible)
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Separate into 10 equal parts (about 1 heaping tablespoon per serving) and roll until round.
- Refrigerate until firm, overnight for best results. Pop one or two prior to a run or workout!
- Add in 1/3 cup steel cut oats
- Use vanilla flavored protein powder and add 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon, leaving out the chocolate chips.
- Sub in stevia or agave instead of honey. Make sure to use the appropriate proportions so that the result isn’t overly sweet.
After doing some research about how much protein I should be incorporating into my diet, I started searching for some alternatives that were tasty, satisfying and provided me the fuel I need to sustain me. For me, I need to consume between 56-62 grams of protein per day, depending on how intense my workout is. I found a handy calculator put out by the USDA’s website that allows you to input your weight, height, age, gender, and how active you are and returns dietary recommendations based on those inputs. You can get as specific as you want (think: calcium, selenium, vitamin K, etc.) or get an overview of how many calories or grams of fat you should be taking in daily. While this isn’t a fool-proof guide or substitute for what your individual dietary needs might be-you should always consult your physician or nutritionist before starting any new diet plan-it can give you a great idea of where to start.
P.S.: Anyone who can suggest a synonym or alternative noun for “balls” that can be easily incorporated into a written format gets a gold star! Units? No. Spheres? No.