Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Year of the Boxed Lunch

Last year was the Snacking Year. I meant to write about it but I was too busy slicing apples, bottling water, and packing peanuts.

With my new 9pm activity of packing my first grader's lunch, I've realized that this year is different. We're on to boxed lunches.

So to commemorate this new school year, I tried making something called Granola Balls. To be honest, the recipe calls them Protein Peanut Butter Balls, but who could sell that to kids?

The recipe goes something like this:

Mix together 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup honey, 1 cup protein powder. Then add 4 cups of any combination of oats, sunflower seeds, flaxseed, wheat germ, raisins, chopped dried apricots, chocolate chips, whatever else sounds good.

I chose most of that.

Mix all that together. Adjust the consistency by adding more honey or oats, as necessary to make it neither gooey, nor crumbly. A very scientific process, you can see. Next, form 1 inch balls, place on a cookie sheet, chill, and store in fridge.

This recipe made about 50 balls. It would have made more, except some sneaky adult kept on having taste tests. This person was having her 1st day of 1st grade, no doubt eating the lunch I packed for her.

(I'm not sure why that string of hair looks like an earbud.)

And this person is clearly not an adult.

Oh, wait, I was the only adult in the house at the time.

These will be going into today's lunch!

Update: these turned out too sweet for my taste, so now I use about 1/2 of the honey. Maybe a tad more than 1/2 if they seem too dry to hold together.


  1. Any suggestions on what I could use instead of peanut butter? (Will's allergic to peanuts, but would otherwise love these!)

  2. Erin, people say to substitute sunflower butter for the peanut butter. I've never tried it, so you'll have to tell me how it turns out. :)

  3. OK, Keri, I'm new to "protein powder". What do you recommend? Are there different flavors of protein powder? Where to get recommended powder? Loved the ones you made and would like to try making them myself. Many thanks!

  4. Hi, Nancy, I'm so glad you liked the granola balls! I'm no protein powder expert, but I know you can buy canisters of it at Whole Foods, or in the Natural Foods section or pharmacy section of Meijer or Kroger. There are protein powders made from whey or soy or rice, so you can choose based on allergies or other food restrictions. Beware of sticker shock, though :) I haven't found anywhere that sells it in bulk, which I would like as that option is trash-free. Have fun with these!