A Ball Comparison
About a week or so ago my friend Maggie and I went to The Filling Station (located just off of McGee Trafficway), a unique coffee shop that not only offers coffee beverages, but also houses a juice bar, and offers tasty treats. Normally I refrain from buying desserts at coffee shops to accompany my coffee, but due to my affinity for anything in ball shape, and the fact there were gluten free peanut butter balls in the case…..well, you know the outcome. I bought one, and so did Maggie.
The Filling Station (photo by JKramp@unionhill)
These weren’t your ordinary peanut butter balls. Upon first glance, one could tell there were pumpkin seeds in them, but to this day I cannot remember what else. All I remember is that with every nibble, Maggie and I were trying to determine the peanut butter mingled flavors and spices we were tasting. She thought anise, I thought clove. We both agreed on cinnamon and probably agave rather than honey. The relevance of narrowing down every flavor was due to our confidence that we could replicate these balls at home.
Now a week or so later:
First, I googled a base recipe for “no bake” peanut butter balls. Most of them called for chocolate chips, some called for protein powder (ech), and most called for oats and ground flax seed (flax meal). I don’t recall oats being a part of the equation in the original balls, and because flax can be undetected I don’t know if it was in the original balls either, however, I decided to add a little of both ingredients for texture and health benefits. No way did I add chocolate chips. I personally liked the original balls because of the unique blend of spices paired peanut butter, and chocolate chips with peanut butter is so passé.
Second, I gathered my ingredients….minus the clove. I thought I had some in my cabinet and when I went to reach for it, it was beyond my grasp. Oh well- when it came down to the nitty gritty, I didn’t really find a base recipe I liked online, so I winged it. I am sharing the recipe I ended up with….so far, as I will continue experimenting with and tweaking this recipe.
No Bake Gluten Free Peanut Butter Balls
- 1 cup peanut butter (I used creamy)
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 1/4 tsp anise *
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg *
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed (flax meal)
- 1/2 cup oats (gluten free)
- 1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
- In a medium size bowl, use an electric hand mixer to ease the mixing of the peanut butter, agave nectar, and all the spices.
- Next, stir in the flax meal, followed by the oats. Once those are well blended, add the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Use your hands to knead all the seeds into the peanut butter dough and form into one big ball.
- If your dough is super soft, put in the refrigerator for about 5-10 minutes.
- When firm, but not too firm, form into 1″-2″ size balls, then put back into the refrigerator to chill all the way through. They are tasty and satisfying this way.
*As I said previously, I want to sample the originals balls again to better determine the spices. It is the nutmeg or the anise, or both that don’t seem right- I think they need clove. Overall, these balls did turn out fabulous! Enjoy! ….and I welcome your feedback.
Overall, my husband loves these balls- I even love them, but they are not up to par with the outcome of what I wanted. When I get a minute, I plan on going back down to The Filling Station, buying two of their peanut butter balls, bringing them home, and savoring them with my husband who has always been a good partner in helping me figure out how to replicate some of our favorite treats, desserts, appetizers, and entrees that we’ve discovered in cafes and restaurants.