While in the past we’ve been a homeschool family, recently we felt drawn to have our kiddos try out a new charter school that just opened in our city. It’s been a bumpy road, full of adjustments and tears and missing one another. Whenever I want to comfort my children, I cook for them. Is this bad? Am I setting them up for a lifetime of seeking comfort in their food? Maybe.

But for now, the one part of their school day that they’re enjoying more than their homeschool days is lunch. I’ve made it a point to pack some love into every lunch that they can carry to school with them. They each have a little notebook with a pen stuck in it where I write them daily notes, and they can write back to me if they have something they want to tell me about. And of course, I pack yummy food that I know they’ll enjoy eating.

These little nuggets were an immediate hit with the entire family. You can easily make them with peanut butter, but I know lots of schools are going peanut-free now. Feel free to use whatever nut butter suits your family.

You can also switch out the nuts, seeds, and dried fruit to use whatever is in your cupboard. Consider the recipe below to be more of a formula where you can swap out whatever ingredients you don’t like or don’t have for whatever else you prefer to use. Experiment with Cheerios, or raisins, or pumpkin seeds, or anything else you can find in the pantry.

I keep my bag of Nut Butter Balls in the freezer. I pop a few into the lunchbox and by lunchtime they’re thawed but still chilled. To freeze them, spread them out on a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer until firm. Transfer them to a zip-top bag and store.

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Almond Butter Balls

Source: adapted from a recipe from The Harvest Eating Cookbook by Keith Snow

Ingredients

  • 12 cups gluten-free rolled oats, divided
  • 3 tbs flax seeds
  • 1 cup dried dates, chopped
  • 14 cup dried unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 cup sunflower seeds
  • 12 cup almond flour (or whole almonds)
  • 14 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup natural almond butter
  • 14 cup honey

Method

  1. Place 1/2 cup oats, flax seeds, and whole almonds if using into a food processor. Pulse until well-ground.
  2. Put everything except peanut butter and honey in a large work bowl.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the peanut butter and honey over medium low heat until they become viscous, about 5 min.
  4. Add the warm peanut butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Add more oil as needed to make a “dough” that will hold together. Mold the mixture into balls and refrigerate.

** This recipe is being shared on Cybele Pascal’s blog. Click on over for lots more allergen-friendly yumminess.

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