Monster Energy Balls
After seeing the popularity of my trail mix energy balls (link here), I knew I had to share my monster cookie inspired version! Though these are certainly not monster cookies, they have several of the key ingredients and flavors of a monster cookie. Specifically, oats, peanut butter, chocolate chips, and M&Ms! These energy balls have a very similar flavor to monster cookie dough but are much healthier. Plus, they are actually safe to eat since there are no raw eggs. I don't condone eating raw cookie dough, but I am guilty of eating it... :)
These energy balls are a really great recipe to involve kiddos! They can help measure ingredients, mix the dough, and shape or scoop the dough into the balls. Since they are no-bake, they come together really quickly and there is no worry about anyone getting burned. These treats are also especially kid-friendly because of the addition of mini M&Ms. They are:
3. Super adorable!
The mini M&Ms are especially perfect for this recipe they distribute more uniformly in the energy balls. If you do not have mini M&Ms, the regular variety would also work. One key ingredient in these monster energy balls that is different than traditional monster cookies is the ground flaxseed. Here’s a bit of nutrition info on this nutrient-dense little seed.
Ground Flaxseed Benefits
Flaxseeds are a great addition to the diet because they contain the omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid, which is abbreviated ALA. Like all of the omega-3 fatty acids, ALA is considered “essential” because it cannot be synthesized by the human body.
ALA and the other omega-3s are important for many aspects of health, including cellular processes, immune system responses, platelet function, and may even help reduce the risk of heart disease.
If you are consuming flaxseed, you want to eat it ground. The human digestive tract cannot fully break down whole flaxseeds properly to absorb the beneficial ALA. That would be unfortunate to miss out on the ALA.
Ground flaxseed is a fairly inexpensive ingredient and can be found at most retailers, including Trader Joe’s and Target.
It's a versatile ingredient! In addition to energy balls, I like to add ground flaxseed to my oatmeal and homemade granola.
The science and chemistry of the different types of fatty acids and their role in the human body is really fascinating. The content is a bit too complex to explain in a single post. If you have specific questions about ALA or the other omega-3 fatty acids, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am happy to help out and share my nutrition expertise as a registered dietitian. The main takeaway is to please eat flaxseed but make sure it is ground or you're missing out on the benefit of ALA.
The next time you are wanting a fairly healthy and sweet snack, I hope you will give these energy balls a try. Keep leftovers refrigerated or frozen. As a busy stay-at-home mom and runner, these are a perfect grab-and-go option for my active lifestyle! I hope you love them as much as I do!
Monster Energy Balls
1 cup rolled oats
½ cup ground flaxseed
½ cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup mini M&Ms
¼ cup chocolate chips
Combine the oats and ground flaxseed in a mixing bowl. Stir together the peanut butter and honey, vanilla, and salt. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture and mix until combined. Add the mini M&Ms and chocolate chips and combine until the add-ins are distributed evenly. The mixture will be very thick.
Using a cookie scoop or your hands, form into 1-inch balls. Refrigerate until set. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 months in an airtight container.
The recipe makes about 20-24 balls, and each ball contains approximately 100-110 calories.
Measure your ingredients:
Combine the oats and ground flaxseed:
Combine honey, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt:
Mix it up and pour over the oats and ground flaxseed:
Stir, stir, stir:
The mixture should look like this:
Add the chocolate chips and mini M&Ms:
Form into balls:
Enjoy plain or with milk:
Aren't they so fun!?