from Jude’s Kitchen: healthy snacks

Peanut butter lovers will be in heaven today, with all these ideas for healthy snacks made with that healthy plant protein.

dark chocolate

If you can’t eat or don’t like peanut butter, then don’t read this column, because it’s all about creating yummy, good-for-you snacks quickly, using peanut butter. All these recipes were contributed by the people at Adams, and since I’m a huge fan of their all-natural peanut butter, I was grateful for these great ideas for healthy, simple-to-make snacks.

For years, we have used nothing but Adams peanut butter in our house because there’s not a thing added to it except a bit of salt, if that’s the one you choose to buy. It’s delicious and far healthier than those with added sugar and oils.

Each of these bars or balls can be individually wrapped in plastic film and set into a freezer bag or box until needed. None of them need to be cooked, so even a youngster could make them, and they’re quick to put together.

Now that spring and sunny weather have finally arrived, it’s time to get outside and enjoy hiking, gardening, biking or whatever suits your fancy. Along with those activities is the need to have a quick, healthy snack to carry with you for an energy boost when you begin to tire.

The following recipes make snacks that are also great to toss out the door when the kids are playing in the yard.

Unfortunately, there are youngsters who are allergic to peanuts, so do be cautious about whether you’re able to send these off to school in the kids’ lunch boxes.

For more recipes for healthy snacks, pick up a copy of my book, Jude’s Kitchen, wherever books are sold.

 

Sesame Peanut Butter Date Bites

These look easy and delicious.

1 c. (250 ml) pitted dates

1/2 c. (125 ml) smooth peanut butter

1/2 c. (125 ml) finely chopped peanuts

2 tbsp. (30 ml) toasted sesame seed

Puree dates in food processor. Add peanut butter and mix until well-combined. Remove from food processor and knead in peanuts. Shape into balls and roll in toasted seeds. Refrigerate overnight.

You may add up to 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of your favourite chocolate or vanilla-flavoured protein powder.

Makes about 20 bites

 

No-bake Fruit & Nut Balls

More quick and easy goodness.

1/2 c. (125 ml) smooth peanut butter

2 tbsp. (30 ml) maple syrup

1 c. (250 ml) chopped mixed salted nuts

1/2 c. (125 ml) oats

1/4 c. (60 ml) vanilla protein powder

1/4 c. (60 ml) dried cranberries

1/4 c. (60 ml) dried blueberries

1/4 c. (60 ml) dried cherries

Combine all ingredients. Shape into balls and refrigerate for three hours or overnight.

Makes about 22 balls.

 

Dark Chocolate Cherry & Nut Bars

These are very quick and easy to make and no baking is required. You may make substitutions wherever it suits, as long as the basic quantities remain the same. For instance, use a mix of dried fruits, such as cranberries and blueberries as well as cherries or use dark chocolate chips instead of solid chocolate so you won’t need to chop it. Personally, I think these would be just as good without the jam, but I used our homemade red currant jam and it was tasty, but altogether too sweet..

1 c. (250 ml) smooth peanut butter

1 c. (250 ml) oats

1/4 c. (60 ml) honey

1/2 c. (125 ml) dried cherries

1/2 c. (125 ml) chopped toasted almonds

1/2 c. (125 ml) chopped dark chocolate

1/2 c. (125 ml) fruit jam

Microwave peanut butter for 80 to 90 seconds, or until warm, in a medium-sized bowl.

Stir in oats, honey, cherries and almonds. Let it cool slightly, if needed, then mix in the chopped chocolate or chips, allowing it to melt slightly together.

Press half the mixture into an eight-inch pan, lined with foil. Spread the fruit spread or jam over the top until all is covered.

Spread the remaining oat mixture on top, pressing to smooth it.

Refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight.

Cut into 16 bars.