Peanut Butter Protein Balls
With a bit of protein and carbs, these protein balls are great on-the-go preworkout snacks!
Tiffani Bachus’ Peanut Butter Protein Balls
Ready in 5 minutes • Makes 14 servings
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
- 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 3 tbsp dark chocolate chips
- Mix together all ingredients. Should be the consistency of Play-Doh. Roll into 14 small balls. Refrigerate to firm them up, overnight for best results. Enjoy!
Nutrients per serving (1 ball):
Calories: 84, Total Fats: 5 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 28 mg, Total Carbohydrates: 8 g, Dietary Fiber: 1 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 4 g, Iron: 0 mg
This informative post has been shared by Barbara Prud’homme, Health Coach. More of her fantastic recipes and posts can be found at Healthy Peas, Happy Pod (http://healthypeashappypod.com/blog/2013/03/healthy-snacking-at-work).
I’ll admit it – I’m a big snacker! When deadlines are looming and or my mind is working hard, my stomach starts to rumble! And having a stock of healthy snacks can be a lifesaver. It definitely keeps me from heading to the vending machine or reaching for that candy jar! In general, I try to pick foods that are nutritious and fit in, calorie- and nutrition-wise, with the rest of my diet. Here are some simple of my favourite snacks for the office:
Hard-boiled eggs: One egg has around 70 calories and is packed with five or six grams of protein. They’re delicious on their own or with some Melba toasts.
Almonds: Almonds are another easy, tasty choice to keep on hand. 1 oz (about 12 nuts), has 184 calories and good omega-9 fatty acids (the fat that’s associated with heart health). Almonds also have fiber and protein, which will help you to feel full.
Edamame: Edamame is full of protein and fiber! You can buy frozen edamame beans and keep them in the office freezer, then pop them in the microwave for a quick snack.
Cucumbers And Low-Fat Cheese: Cucumber is packed with vitamin K (needed for strong bones) and low-fat cheese is full of calcium. You can even make mini cucumber sandwiches by taking low-fat cheese and turkey and wedging them in between two slices of cucumbers. Sounds odd, but it’s a seriously tasty little treat!
Apples And Peanut Butter: Apples can boost your immune system and natural peanut butter is full of protein. You can even dip sliced apple pieces in plain Cheerios for a crunchy snack!
Trail Mix: Eaten in the right portions, homemade trail mix can be high in fiber. Try making a homemade trail mix with seeds and dried fruits, or can even add in popcorn or whole-wheat pretzels.
Homemade muffins: When made at home, muffins are low in fat and packed with healthy oats and dried fruits or vegetables.
Tortillas: I top whole wheat tortillas with a nut butter (for an extra nutritional boost, you can even wrap it around a banana!), cream cheese, or humus. I try to avoid tortillas excessive salt or sugar.
Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a great source of calcium, protein and probiotics (which is good for your digestive system). You can also add in berries or granola for a heartier snack.
Crackers with ancient grains: Look for ones with grains such as quinoa, amaranth and kasha.
For a little treat, I’ll admit that I sometimes have some small, individually wrapped chocolates in my desk drawer – like Hershey’s kisses. No matter what you chose, keep in mind that snacking can be a valuable part of a healthy eating plan because regular munching keeps blood sugar levels stable and can help prevent overeating later in the day!
What are some of your favourite snacks to keep at or take with you to work?
As many of you may know fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. Fat is calorie dense nutrient (1 gram= 9kcal), therefore it is easy to consume too much of it. For good health it is important to maintain an optimal total fat intake of between 20-35% of total calories (based on a 2000kcal/day diet), limit your saturated fat and transfat intake and select unsaturated fats more often (Dietitian of Canada, 2012).
Dietitian’s of Canada recommends that a healthy eating plan should include: Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean proteins (lean meats, poultry etc.), low fat dairy products, fish (especially fatty fish) and unsaturated oils. Nuts and seeds are also recommended and will be the focus of this piece. Different nuts and seeds have a varying amount of nutrients associated with lowering cholesterol and in turn helping prevent cardiovascular disease.
Nuts are an excellent source of vitamin E, an anti-oxidant, and magnesium, a major mineral (Thompson, J. et al., 2007). Vitamin E has been shown to protect immune function and inhibit oxidative stress to your cells (with the help of vitamin C, another anti-oxidant). Almonds and sunflower seeds are a particular good source for this vitamin (King, J. C. et al.,2008). The majority of the North American population falls short of the recommended intake for Magnesium. Magnesium is used by the body for numerous physiological processes, including energy production, cardiovascular and bone health (Thompson et al., 2007). You can find magnesium in other foods (for example breads) but a percentage of it is lost depending on the processing. Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, almonds and cashews are most abundant in this mineral.
Nuts and seeds are a rich source of many other vitamins and minerals, as well as monounsaturated fatty acids “MUFAs” and polyunsaturated fatty acids “PUFAs”. Additionally they are an added source of fibre ~Read: Adding up the Fibre~. Most tree nuts (almonds, brazil nut, cashews, walnuts etc) and peanuts (technically a legume) contain varying amount of phytochemicals. These bioactive compounds including carotenoids, phenolic acids and phytosterols; to name a few, are not fully understood but have been shown to promote health and reduced the risk of chronic disease (King, J. C. et al.,2008) . Phytosterols in particular have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol by decreasing the amount of dietary cholesterol absorbed in intestinal tract (King, J. C. et al., 2008 & Thompson J. et al., 2007) .
With all of these benefits why not add a few nuts into your lunch box. It is important for you to remember nuts and seeds are calorie dense and they are easy to over consume, therefore portion control is a must. Approximately one ounce is the recommended amount and will contain roughly 170 to 180 calories (Schardt D., 2005). Depending on your personal caloric needs the best way to add nuts and seeds into your diet would be to eat them instead of other foods that are less nutrient dense (ie chips, donuts, candies).
How many nuts and seeds are in one ounce?
|Almonds: 20-24||Hazelnuts: 18-20|
|Cashews: 16-18||Pecans: 18-20 halves|
|Macadamias: 10-12||Walnuts: 8-11 halves|
|Brazil Nuts: 6-8 – Great source of selenium, only mineral that is an anti-oxidant||Pistachios: 45-47|
|Pine Nuts: 150-157|
(Schardt D., 2005)
We do not expect you to count out each nut or seed to get the exact amount but it is good to have a general idea for portioning. You can also purchase small tin like the one below from the dollar store which will hold approximately one ounce.
Also keep in mind that one ounce of salted nuts contain about 100mg to 250mg of sodium so if you can, please select the “lightly salted” or unsalted options.
Schardt, D. (2005) Nuts to you! Good for you heart but watch your waistline. Nutrition Action Healthletter. Centre for Science in Public Interest. November Issue 2005 pg 8-9
Dietitians of Canada (2012) Dietary fats. Retrieved from http://www.dietitians.ca/Dietitians-Views/Dietary-Fats.aspx
King, J. C., Blumberg, J., Ingwersen, L., Jenab, M., & Tucker, K. L. (2008). Tree nuts and peanuts as components of a healthy Diet1,2. The Journal of Nutrition, 138(9), 1736S-1740S.
Thompson, J., Manore, M., Sheeshka, J.(2007) Nutrition a functional approach (1st ed). Toronto: ON. Pearson Education Canada