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Nom Nom Paleo’s “PB&J” Energy Balls

You guys know how much we adore Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo and this amazing cookbook. And her latest cookbook — Ready or Not!: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo — is simply brilliant. Most of the recipes are Whole30 compliant (in case you’re doing that kinda thing), totally tasty and they fit well into any night of the week, whether that means you’ve got the time to cook or you don’t. It’s basically a look into how Michelle and her husband Henry Fong eat week after week. And let us just say: they eat deliciously.

In case you want a flavor of the book and a taste of what it’s like to snack in the Nom Nom Paleo household, we’re sharing a faux peanut butter and jelly energy balls recipe from the book !
(Spoiler: you’re going to want to try it.)

"PB&J" Energy Balls
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
Nope — there’s no peanut butter or jelly in these bite-size energy balls, but their nutty crunch and sweet strawberry flavor never fail to bring back fond memories of munching on my favorite after-school snack. Unlike the PB&J sandwiches I used to make for myself, these home-made treats are made with just nuts and fruit (and a pinch of salt). So when you need a pick-me-up after a long run, a hard workout or an afternoon of gardening like a maniac, just pop a ball or two in your mouth, and I guarantee you’ll feel like a kid again.
  • ½ cup (10 grams) freeze-dried strawberries
  • ½ cup (60 grams) dry-roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 cup (150 grams) pitted and chopped dried Medjool dates
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut, toasted in a 300°F oven until golden, about 3 minutes
  1. Pulse the freeze-dried strawberries in a food processor until they form a powder. Let the pink dust settle.
  2. Toss in the almonds.
  3. Pulse to roughly chop the almonds. Transfer the chopped almonds and strawberry powder to another bowl.
  4. Throw the dates into the now-empty food processor bowl, and pulse a few times to roughly chop up the pieces. Then, pulverize the dates until they form a sticky ball that thwacks against the side of the work bowl.
  5. Add the strawberry powder, almonds, and a pinch of salt to the sticky date paste in the food processor bowl.
  6. Pulse a few times until combined. The result should be a dense mass that comes together as a nutty dough.
  7. Pinch off about a tablespoon of the dough and roll it in your palms to form a smooth ball. Repeat ’til you’re out of dough.
  8. Put the toasted shredded coconut in a shallow plate. Toss each of the balls into the coconut, making sure to coat the entire surface.
  9. You can refrigerate your balls in a covered container for up to 1 week, or freeze ’em for up to a month.

A huge thanks to Nom Nom Paleo for letting us share this gem of a recipe. They really do taste like PB&J, which my daughter (and me and my husband) LOVES. —Jenn
Credit: Ready or Not!: 150+ Make-Ahead, Make-Over, and Make-Now Recipes by Nom Nom Paleo (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2017). Copyright © 2017 Michelle Tam & Henry Fong

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