Peanut butter, fruit & nut balls

I confess – I’m not the most organised person in the world, but when it comes to meals I plan them down to the last mouthful. Sunday evening consists of planning the following weeks meals, factoring in training sessions and of course starting that all important meal prep.

Main meals are usually the easiest to plan and with Sunday night meal prep, lunches are easy as well. I find that snacks are my downfall though. Once the afternoon slump hits I’m ready for a boost and I’ve been looking for a way to switch up my snack options.

This is when I decided to get creative. For those who don’t know me, I love peanut butter – on apples, in cookies and more often than not I am guilty of eating it straight out of the tub.
Instead of grabbing a couple of spoonfuls pre-gym, I thought why not incorporate my love of it in with my afternoon snack to give myself a healthy protein hit to keep me going all afternoon.
With that in mind, I created these peanut butter fruit and nut balls.

You will need:
– 1 cup sugar free coconut shavings
– 1 cup flaked almonds
– 2/3 cup sultanas
– ½ cup chopped dried apricots (or any other dried fruit you fancy, I just happened to have apricots)
-Sprinkling of cinnamon
-couple of heaped tablespoons of smooth peanut butter (organic preferably, I love Meridian smooth!) – You can also use chunky if you want a different texture although I found that smooth enables it to set better.

What to do:

-Combine the coconut, almonds, sultanas and apricots into a bowl and blend with a hand blender – this isn’t the easiest of tasks but it doesn’t take long and it helps the mixture to combine.
– Add the cinnamon and then start to add in the peanut butter a spoonful at a time. Add enough so that the mixture is sticking together but not too much that there is more peanut butter than mixture!
– Tip the mixture on to some Clingfilm and flatten out before putting in the freezer for about 20 minutes.
– Once set,  mould the mixture in to balls, sprinkle with an extra bit of coconut if desired and keep in the fridge.

And there you have it – a healthy, high protein and tasty snack for the rest of the week! Now there’s no excuse for me to eat peanut butter straight from the tub – well, at least for the next week anyway.

Peanut butter, fruit and nut balls - my latest creation!

Peanut butter, fruit and nut balls – my latest creation!

Healthy peanut butter cookies

Yes, you did read that title correctly – these flourless peanut butter and choc chip cookies really are a guilt free treat.

These cookies are soft, gooey and packed full of energy – not to mention so tasty they may well become your new go-to treat.

I am a massive peanut butter addict and I’ve wanted to try cooking some guilt free treats with smooth peanut butter for ages and this seemed like the perfect recipe.

Not only that, but these cookies are gluten free as well.

You will need:
-8oz smooth organic peanut butter (preferably organic)
-3oz of organic natural honey (you can add more or less depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have)
-1 egg (flax egg if you like)
-1/2tsp baking powder
-pinch salt
-dairy free choc chips

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To make:
These really are so easy to make which is yet another reason to love them.
-Mix the peanut butter, honey, baking powder and egg in a bowl.
-Stir in the choc chips then put cookie sized dollops on to a baking tray lined with grease proof paper.

Place in the oven at gas mark 4 for about 12 mins/until the cookies start to turn brown.

The cookies may still look gooey but as soon as they start to brown take them out and leave them to cool. They will firm up but still retain that amazing soft gooey texture inside.

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Homemade hummus

You’ll never need to buy hummus again with this recipe. It’s so easy and so quick to make and just as tasty.

What you will need:
– one 200g can of chickpeas in water (drained) – keep a couple back for decoration
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– 1 garlic clove
-1 tsp cumin
-100ml tahini (optional)
-4tbsp water
-2tbsp olive oil (or sesame oil if you don’t have tahini)
-1 tsp paprika

How to make it:

-Put the chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, tahini (if you have it), garlic and water in to a food processor and blend until smooth – or if you’re a fan of chunky hummus just blend until your desired texture.
-Smooth out with a back of a spoon and drizzle with oil and finish by decorating with the remaining chickpeas and a sprinkle of paprika.

Done!

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