Do you have a high energy workout buddy who motivates and encourages you? If you don’t have one, I highly recommend you get one. But you can’t have mine! I live for the mornings I get to run or workout with my friend, Sallie Wahl. She’s the perfect workout partner – she’s loyal, positive, a straight hustler. She pushes through the toughest workouts, even on the mornings I’m not really feeling it.
We have trained each other for various races, we teach a 5:30 am boot camp class twice a week, we spin, we yoga, we occasionally crush a couple glasses of red wine, but more often a couple slices of chocolate cake. Fellow big eater. I can’t say enough about Sallie, except that I just love her, and you should too because she shared the recipe for her rockin’ energy balls with us!
Fun-face v. game-face
I’m trying not to screw this up.
Here I am with Sallie and her all-star family after the Emerald Isle Half Marathon (the one that motivated me to qualify for Boston) last year. From left, Sarah, Sallie, Alex, John (in front) and me.
Sallie’s constantly inviting me over to her house after a run, at lunch, after work, on Saturday mornings and Sunday afternoons. One time, her son John saw me as many times in the day as he saw Sallie. Oh hey, John, it’s me again. I don’t actually live here. Every time I’m over, Sallie offers me a bite of some meal or snack she’s concocted. I’ve tried everything from paleo chicken soup with coconut milk and homemade bread, to blueberry muffins made with vanilla pudding.
Enter Sallie’s Energy Balls – a quick fix snack she made from a couple recipes off the internet, plus a little of her own intuition. Sallie almost dismissed these balls as just another experiment, until I devoured my share so quickly that I asked for more the next day. They are a great alternative to granola bars (especially ones packed with sugar and preservatives). If you’re looking for the perfect snack to grab before a morning workout or during the afternoon slump, these energy balls are the ticket. And they take no more than 15 minutes to make!
- 3 cups dry, uncooked oatmeal (I used Bob’s Red Mill Extra-thick cut oats)
- 1 can of all-natural Pumpkin Puree
- 1 generous cup all-natural Peanut butter, or Almond butter
- 2/3 cup pure maple syrup or raw honey
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- ½ Tbsp vanilla extract
- 4-6 Tbsp ground flax seeds (I used 5 Tbsp with my batch)
- 1 cup small chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, chopped peanuts, or any combination (I used ½ cup walnuts and other ½ almonds)
- ½ cup coconut flakes
- ½ cup mini dark chocolate chips (I mixed in some white chocolate chips too)
- If you’re in a hurry, combine all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed; if you’re having fun and taking your time, slowly fold the peanut butter and pumpkin puree into the bowl of oats, turning several times before adding more; then add the honey, then add the nuts, chocolate chips, coconut flakes, then add the spices and other ingredients as you blend the ingredients over and over in the bowl. (BONUS: this doubles as an arm workout!)
- Using a spoon, scoop out ingredients and form 1 – 1 ½ inch balls, line on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (should make 24-32 balls) and freeze for 1-2 hours.
- Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week, or keep in freezer and they’ll last even longer. And share with your friends!
Hope you find these energy balls as delicious and energizing as I do. They might be our best chance of keeping up with Sallie’s endless energy.
Ps. Special thanks to Alex Wahl for diligently taking pictures of us, and huge thanks to Sarah Wahl for her big help in the kitchen!
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