These quick and easy snacks are little balls of healthy goodness rich with nutritional value as well as tasty. And if that ancient Greek doctor Hippocrates is to be believed they could also be of medicinal value too. Like anything with nuts and flaxseed, be aware of the potential for allergic reactions.
- 3 ounces / 85g oats
- 1½ ounces/ 40g milled flaxseed
- 1½ ounces / 40g roasted peanuts
- 1½ ounces / 40g toasted flaked coconut
- 6¼ ounces / 180g smooth peanut butter
- 3 ounces / 80g maple syrup
Put the nuts and flaked coconut into a processor and pulse so that they are roughly chopped.
Put these in a bowl with the oats and flaxseed and mix.
Combine the peanut butter and maple syurp in a bowl then add to the dry ingredients. Mix together (I use disposable kitchen gloves as I find it easier than with a spoon) and then make heaped tablespoon-sized balls.
These can be eaten immediately while still soft and squishy or refrigerated and eaten later.
For a healthier snack, you can use unsweetened, unsalted peanut butter.
It’s quicker and easier to use already roasted and toasted peanuts and coconut flakes. But if you can’t find these, then you can roast your own. Spread the nuts and the coconut flakes out on a lined baking tray and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes on 160°C / 325°F. Then, remove the coconut flakes (they toast more quickly), turn up the heat a little to 180°C / 360°F and roasting the peanuts for another 5-10 minutes. If buying peanuts still in shells or skins, you will need to remove both before toasting.
Flaxseed was cultivated for food by the Babylonians as early as 3000 BC and the Greek doctor Hippocrates (of the Hippocratic Oath) used it medicinally to relieve intestinal discomfort. Milled flaxseed, which has a fine granular texture, can be used as a substitute in baking for shortening (lard) or oil (at a 3:1 ratio) providing a more nutty flavour. Nutritionally, it contains essential nutrients such as protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, as well as soluble and insoluble dietary fibre.