As a former DI athlete with morning workouts and two-a-days I was (let’s be honest still am) always hungry and looking for new snacks to fuel up. One thing I discovered I love to snack on before workouts or in between meals are ENERGY BALLS. I’ll make a batch on the weekend and they will last me for a of couple weeks. They are the perfect pre-workout snack, as they always make getting out of bed for morning runs easier. They are also a great study break snack or to satisfy the sweet tooth after dinner. Energy balls have a a great mix of carbohydrates, fats, and protein to give a balanced snack. They are a bunch of different energy ball recipes out there, including our sweet potato energy balls, but I love this recipe because how basic the ingredients are and how good it always turns out! I mean its hard to go wrong with peanut butter, banana, and chocolate;)
I am More Than A Student Athlete
Every year, Vanderbilt Athletes does a social media “I am More” campaign to highlight student athletes beyond their sport. This year I was honored to be selected for as the track and field “I am More” athlete, highlighting the work I have done on this blog and on Instagram. Now, I do believe I am more than an athlete, but it hasn’t always been that way. As I have talked about previously, for a long time I did think of myself largely just as an athlete. My fun fact when introducing myself was often “I run track,” and most of my personal instagram posts had something to do with me running. And more importantly, I had put all my worth into my abilities as a runner and saw that as my core.
While having an eating disorder was not desirable nor healthy, and it prevented me from training and competing, the recovery process did spark a change in me. During this time I found a new passion for cooking, baking, and inspiring others to do the same. It gave me the time to learn about myself and be proud of who I am beyond my athletic abilities. I learned that I am not JUST an athlete, but being an athlete is just one small part of who I am. So for anyone out there thinking you are defined by your sport, you aren’t. Not that you cannot be good or be proud of your athletic accomplishments, but it does not define you. As I learned the past couple years, WHO you are is more important that WHAT you do.
Let’s Make Some Energy Balls!
Energy balls are one of my favorite snacks because they are quick, easy, and simple ingredients! I almost always have the ingredients to make them. Plus, these little snacks are full of ENERGY to keep you going through your workout or through your day. All of the ingredients provide nutritional benefits:
Banana, Oats: Carbohydrates! Carbs are your body’s main source of energy. You need them to fuel your movement and your mind!
Peanut Butter, chia, flax: Healthy, unsaturated fats! Fat provides long term energy, supports cell growth, and absorb nutrients
Protein Powder, peanut butter, chia, flax: Protein! Protein is needed to build and repair tissues in the body. While protein is critical right after workouts, it is also important to be consuming it throughout the day
Chocolate chips: Let’s be honest, chocolate gives the best little energy boost;) AND dark chocolate also has some caffeine to get you going
Check out this video below to watch how easy it is to make these energy balls! After forming them and hardening, I usually keep them in the freezer, but if you prefer a softer texture keep these in the fridge. Pull one of these out before your next morning workout or when that 3:00pm slump comes on!
I hope you gives these energy balls a try! The perfect little snack that will never grow old. If you make these, or are inspired to make your own variation, make sure you tag us on instagram @wholesomeandhappylife !
Peanut Butter Banana Energy Balls
A great easy snack to have on hand. Quick to make and filled with a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein!
Mash Banana in a medium mixing bowl. Add peanut butter and vanilla and mix until well combined
Add in the oats, protein powder, chia, and flax seed and stir to combine. If the batter is too crumbly, add a couple tablespoons of water so the mixture holds together.
Stir in chocolate chips or any other mixins of choice
Roll mixture into ping pong sized balls and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper
Place in the freezer for at least 20 minutes. Then store in the freezer or the fridge depending on the hardness of the balls you want
Eat before a work-out, on top of yogurt or a smoothie bowl, or as an afternoon pick me up!
Feel free to use a different nut butter (almond butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter) to accommodate taste and allergy preferences. I suggest using natural nut butter where the only ingredients are the nut and saltI often use vanilla plant based protein powder, but use whatever protein powder you have on hand. You can also use unflavored or a different flavor (ie chocolate) for a slightly different flavor profile for your energy ballsFeel free to also/instead add dried fruit, other nuts/seeds, or coconut to the mixture before rolling