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Peanut Butter Chocolate Energy Balls

Many of us know how well peanut butter and chocolate combine. Here's something a little different in case you've already had enough holiday cookies. I was just about jet off to Phoenix for a few days of hiking about in the Grand Canyon and wanted something homemade to eat. My backpack was about to be filled with trail mix, Clif bars and a few just-add-water dried camp meals. My brother, Jon, turned me on to an Energy Ball recipe from Christine and Tim Conners' book, Lipsmackin' Vegetarian Backpackin'. The recipe is much easier to follow then it is to keep the balls in from smashing together in a zip top bag. I ate most of mine in a hotel room at the top of the rim before hiking down. Luckily, after many hours of hiking-induced snack cravings, Jon traded me a few of his for some of my chocolaty, heavy on the raisins, trail mix.

Following the Conners' recipe, I mixed 1 cup peanut butter (I used natural peanut butter), 1/2 cup quick oats, and 1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used tiny chips, instead of the crushed chips they suggested). I formed small balls with my hands, and rolled them in 1/2 cup coconut flakes to pick up a nice outer coating. I used unsweetened coconut, but they suggested sweetened, I presume to add a nice sweet taste to the outside. I might try a sprinkle of sugar next time since I often already have unsweetened on hand for Indian cooking. They call for it to make 16 balls, but I guessed it and didn't count. I might follow my brother's lead next time, and put them in a sturdy Nalegene food storage container to keep them in their original shape.

Source: Gapers Block

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