Thursday, February 16, 2012

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Energy Balls

One hallmark of triathlon training is the early morning workout. It’s just math – if you have to fit in a 2 hour workout before work, you’re going to be starting around 5 am. This leads to stories of pre-workout nutrition woe from triathletes everywhere – glycogen stores are partially depleted from overnight, but few can stomach the idea of a full breakfast mere minutes before hopping on the bike for 90-120 minutes.

So what to do?

Listen, you’re talking to the woman who once ate an entire Snickers bar in the middle of an 80 minute lactate threshold set at swim practice and experienced no stomach troubles whatsoever – none. So I may not be the best to speak on this topic, but I can give you a recipe for some energy balls that taste like peanut butter cookie dough.

Even though they taste like cookie dough, they’re made from some nutritionally solid ingredients that will help you during your obscenely early morning workout.

Dates for easy to digest carbohydrates.

Peanut flour for a bit of protein to give you sustained energy.

Peanut flour? Am I nuts? (yuk yuk yuk) No, this stuff is awesome for baking AND upping your protein intake in a serious way, without adding as much fat as plain peanut butter. You can order it here and enjoy the protein-packed goodness anywhere. 

Yes, yes, we all need fat…which is why I eat almonds and dark chocolate. If you want to make this with normal peanut butter, just use 1 1/4 cups of it. Your balls will have more fat and less protein but will still be delicious.

Moving right along, there’s one other key thing needed to make these delicious energy balls: a food processor. 

Don’t have a food processor? Don’t worry, you can still make these. Here’s how:

Get a food processor. Then gather your ingredients and get to work.

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough Energy Balls (Yields 40)
1 pound dates, pitted
1 ½ cups peanut flour*
1/2 cup water*
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey

*Replace peanut flour and water with 1 1/4 cups creamy peanut butter if desired.

Run dates through a food processor until a paste forms. In a separate bowl, mix remaining ingredients until smooth, add to date paste in food processor and process until uniform. Refrigerate 1 hour, then roll into 40 ¾” balls.

Each ball boasts 3 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and half a gram of fat if the peanut flour recipe is used.

And a ton of cookie-dough-like goodness.


  1. beats the powerbar balls I'm sure. I was never much for heavier solid foods on the bike, but I would make these at home for sure.

  2. but seriously, those look yummy.

  3. this is what my comment was supposed to look like, but forgot that <> means something in html.

    (insert ball joke here)
    but seriously, those look yummy.

    now it's not even funny

  4. Is there anyway to get peanut flour besides Whole Foods?

  5. I'm glad you told me how to make these without a food processor.
    I have made something similar to this for treats but only used three ingredients - peanut butter, powdered milk, and honey. I think equal parts of each works. I think I need to try peanut flour though. And dates.

  6. I have been eating fruit snacks & a granola bar before my morning runs and these look much better. Can you just make them for me and send them over my way. Thanks :)

  7. Yum. Reminds me a little bit of my homemade Larabars, which involve dates and nuts and other fruit-and-nutty goodness. They're my go-to pre-workout breakfast.

  8. Thіs web site definitely has all the info I wanted about this subϳect аnԁ didn’t know who
    to ask.

    Stop by my web pаge gardening

  9. Good post. I leaгn something totallу nеw and chаllengіng on websіtes
    I stumbleupon eveгy ԁay. It's always helpful to read through content from other authors and use something from their web sites.

    Take a look at my website :: what does going green mean ()

  10. It is perfeсt time to maκe some plans fог thе future аnd іt’s time
    to be happy. Ӏ hаve read this post and if I could
    I ωant to suggeѕt you somе interesting thingѕ or adνice.
    Peгhаpѕ you сan writе nеxt artіcles refеrring
    to thіs аrtiсlе. I wish to read
    eνen more thіngs аbout it!

    Look at my weblog :: core training exercise