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Peanut Butter, Oat, Seed and Dried Fruit Bites

I have found myself wanting something sweet after dinner. I am not usually a dessert person, but I now seem to want a change of taste in my mouth when I have finished eating, or crave a little something a couple of hours after dinner.

Dessert for one person is tricky. A piece of fruit is great, but sometimes not what one is envisaging. Individually-sized chocolate bars, or a square of dark chocolate, are good as well, but I try not to keep these in the house so as not to inadvertently scarf the lot in one go over the course of an evening of stupid television. For those watching calories, brushing one's teeth immediately after eating definitely works, but certainly lacks the "treat" component of a sweet taste on one's palate. I had made these oat bites in the past after researching healthy treats and quite liked them, so decided to make them again and store them in the fridge to eat as cravings hit me.

Please check your peanut butter label before making this recipe. Most peanut butters are full of sugar, palm oil and preservatives. I buy Crazy Richards peanut butter which, while more expensive, is made with nothing but peanuts. You can taste the difference.

Makes 16 - 24 balls depending on how big you decide you would like them.

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup peanut butter (creamy or chunky, your choice)

1 cup dried fruit and nuts (The first few times I made these I used 1/3 cup each of crushed walnuts, dried cranberries and unsweetened coconut chips. This time I used 1/4 cup each of chocolate chips. pumpkin seeds, crushed walnuts and chopped dates and eliminated the syrup mentioned below because dates are plenty sweet enough. Basically use a mix of whatever you like and whatever you have on hand.)

1/4 cup flaxseed powder

1/4 cup almond meal

1 Tbsp maple syrup, brown rice syrup or Silan (date syrup)

1/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Add the peanut butter and stir until all of the dry ingredients have been incorporated into the nut butter and form a stiff paste.

Stir in the syrup and the vanilla.

Place the bowl in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour to let the mixture firm up a bit before forming into balls. I started out using a small ice cream scoop but found that shaping the balls by hand was easier and the balls held together better. This also tastes good spread on slices of apple or stuffed into celery sticks rather than formed into balls.

Store in the fridge and enjoy a guilt free-ish treat when needed. One will suffice - though containing healthier ingredients than most snacks, these are still quite high calorie.


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