Healthy Tuesday #1: Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Today’s edition features our friend and renaissance woman, Melissa Massello. While Melissa is not a trained chef, we’re always impressed by how she puts together simple, delicious, and healthy recipes that go easy on the wallet, like this one!
Read on to check out her nutrient-packed workout snack, along with some tips to help you use up that bottle of wheat germ the recipe calls for. And, when you share this, make sure to use the hashtag #HealthyTuesday!
Why We Love It
Summertime brings beautiful weather, vacations…..and bathing suit season. We’re all trying to either stay or get in better shape and these DIY protein balls are the perfect on-the-go snack to keep you energized before a workout or to refuel afterwards. Even if you’re more of the “watching the Olympics burns calories” type, these little guys are packed with vitamins and minerals for a healthy snack. Most importantly, they’re easy-to-make, cheap, and delicious. Just have a glass of water or milk around so your teeth don’t stick together.
These balls are packed with protein, fiber, and nutrients to make them the perfect compact snack. And, get creative by adding in whatever else you have around to beef them up - dried fruit would be delicious. Make a big batch at one time, freeze them on a cookie sheet, then store them in a ziploc bag in the freezer. No need for those cardboard-tasting protein bars anymore!
The Chef: Melissa Massello, Writer/Editor, Swapaholic, Figure Skater
Melissa is a jane-of-all-trades. She’s a prolific blogger, writer, event planner, and marketer. While she’s not a classically trained chef, her online magazine Shoestring focuses on “getting the Champagne life on a beer budget, with a conscience,” a philosophy that most certainly extends to food. Her recipes are natural, delicious, easy, and light on the wallet. We love how she includes portion prices for every recipes so you always know the damage ahead of time.
The Tip: Demystifying Wheat Germ
This recipe only calls for a small amount of wheat germ to coat the outside of the protein balls so what can you do with the rest? And do you really want to eat something with the word “germ” in it’s name? Well, we have answers to both (tons and yes). Sure, wheat germ is part of the healthy, power food, I’m-going-to-make-a-smoothie-out-of-everything craze, but it turns out that this is with good reason. It’s loaded with nutrients and minerals because it’s the part of the wheat berry that feeds the rest of the plant. For us, it’s one of the best sources of folic acid out there and packs a boost of fiber, protein, and important B vitamins that are important to our heart.
One of the best things about wheat germ is that you can sneak it into many dishes nearly undetected. Try it out in these:
- Healthify your baked goods - replace up to 1 cup of flour with wheat germ. Add 1 tbsp of water for every 1/4 cup of wheat germ because it absorbs moisture.
- Replace the breadcrumbs in meatballs, meatloaf, or on top of casseroles - you’ll barely notice the difference!
- Make breakfast - add it to pancake or waffle batter, or just top off your cereal or yogurt
Because wheat germ still contains natural oils, make sure to store it in the refrigerator or freezer! Now, go get your healthy on.
Have you ever tried to DIY a packaged product you’ve seen in the store?
What are some of the other ways you’ve used wheat germ?
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