Cherry Almond Granola Energy Balls

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by Dea Castrejon

Okay, I am going to preface this post as follows: these granola energy balls may not be the prettiest looking things, but they are so GOOD!

Now that that’s out, let me preface a little more.  Lately, it seems as though I have been “on the run,” sometimes, quite literally.  Aside from my early morning quiet time, my life has seemed to speed up this summer.  After getting home from work, I try to squeeze in a quick run/workout.  From there, it is usually off to the grocery store for a couple of items for dinner or off to an intramural volleyball game with my husband’s corporate work league (important stuff, huh?!).  We come home and it is dinner time, then time to clean up the mess I made to cook dinner, maybe do a load of laundry, and then finally cuddle up on the couch to watch a show with the hubby (which really means “knock out” on the couch after a measly 5-10 minutes).

Now, I know many of you have much more time demanding lives, but nonetheless, my daily schedule feels pretty full.  And, the only thing worse for me than having a full day is doing it on an empty stomach.

If y’all are anything like me, a growling stomach and low blood sugar gives me the shakes and makes me soooo cranky! I’m telling you, after making these granola energy balls, I have found my healthy solution to grab n’ go energy for my busy days.

Here is how it’s done:

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Cherry Almond Granola Energy Balls

* Makes 12 balls              

1 cup Granola Factory Cherry Almond (with quinoa!) Granola

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup chia seeds

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup peanut butter

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Pour all ingredients into a mixing bowl.  Use a spoon (or just dig in with your hands) to incorporate all the ingredients together.  Grab about 2 tablespoons of mixture and roll into a compact ball.  Continue until you have rolled the whole batch.  Either refrigerate or freeze (I like them better this way) the balls for 30 minutes before eating.  How easy, right?

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Although you can throw together a variety of ingredients to make these energy balls (and I encourage you to do so), I wanted to give you some of my favorite nutritional benefits for my chosen ingredients:

1) GF Cherry Almond Granola: 7 grams of protein per 1/4 cup

2) Pumpkin seeds: anti-inflammatory benefits, rich in magnesium (responsible for creation of ATP= energy)

3) Chia Seeds: high in Omega-3 Fatty Acids, rich in calcium for bone health

4) Dark Chocolate Chips: high in fiber and antioxidants, and because they taste delicious!

5) Honey: rich in phytonutrients that boost immunity, aids in sleep, natural sweetener

6) Peanut Butter: rich in Vitamin E and Potassium, monounsaturated fat for a healthy heart

Okay, I am done blabbing on these pizzazz boosting, granola infused treats, but really, I hope the next time you find your schedule jam packed, you will pop one of these nourishing, energy pick-me-ups!

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