Ever since swimming in college, I have been a total fitness nut. I enjoyed working out in my high school days, but it wasn’t until college when I really appreciate the art of routine. When you do the same thing on a weekly basis, you get in the habit of it. And then it’s hard to stop. When I stopped collegiate swimming, I added some other things into my weekly routine: zumba, cycle classes, cross-training workouts…but still swimming and lifting a few times a week. I still felt in great shape, but the one thing that really gets you through it all is PROTEIN. My mom’s going to laugh reading this, because she tells me all the time how important it is. Thanks mom : )
Seriously though, let’s just take a step back and think about it for a minute. Protein provides you with energy and muscle recovery. It also helps you feel fuller longer. In college, I could definitely feel a difference between the days I consistently made myself a protein shake after practice, and the days that I didn’t. Especially with the amount of calories burned while swimming, protein was really the key to efficient recovery for me. When I think of life now, I really don’t want to make a shake every day. Don’t get me wrong, I love making protein smoothies! I just don’t always get around to it, or maybe I just forgot to buy yogurt. Yeah, both sound like me.
For those times I don’t make a smoothie or can’t find a snack with protein to munch on, in come these oatmeal chocolate chip energy balls! Because I have been so into energy and protein balls lately! There are so many different flavor combinations and varieties, and they are just so easy to make. I tend to make a large batch and freeze them, then I just pop one or a few out whenever I need a mid-day snack or after-workout fuel. It’s convenient, they taste delicious, and it’s a great way to get in some quick protein.
Here’s why I am obsessed with these oatmeal chocolate chip energy balls:
Peanut Butter: Because I love it. Peanut butter acts as glue in this recipe, and is a quick source of additional protein.
Honey: Nature’s natural sweetener that I use in multiple ways every day. It adds just a touch of sweetness while helping to glue everything together.
ROLLED OATS: If I had to take one food with me on a desert island, it would be oatmeal. I’m obsessed. That is all.
Protein Powder: This is a great way to get additional protein in each bite! I use BiPro unflavored whey protein powder, as this has been my go-to protein powder since going gluten free. Their unflavored is awesome, and it doesn’t have any whey aftertaste. You could also try this recipe with vanilla flavored protein powder, and I’m sure it would taste just as great!
Chocolate Chips: Because everything is better with chocolate.
This recipe is very easy to make. Just add all of the ingredients to a large mixing bowl, and mix together until everything is thick and totally combined. You could also use a food processor if you wish, just leave out the chocolate chips and fold them in at the very end, but I find this mixture is easy enough to just stir (plus it’s easier cleanup). Then just roll into balls and refrigerate or freeze. Simple as that! I like to crush up my oats a little bit so that they are a bit in between quick oats and rolled oats, but it’s totally up to you. Just try not to be tempted to eat them all at once.
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