This year I was desperate for a taste of the holidays without all the sugar. So I turned to my favourite high-protein ingredient: peanut butter. Instead of 10x sugar, I used honey. For extra fiber, I added some wheat germ. These don’t have the moisture of the original, but they pack a huge peanut butter punch, and if you use milk chocolate, you won’t miss the 10x sugar. And that’s how I got to this healthier peanut butter balls recipe.
Suddenly, I wasn’t so depressed about the fact that I wasn’t able to make it home for Christmas all the way from Vancouver. It was an expensive move and an exhausting one, with a period of adjustment that continues even now. Missing out on all that holiday gorging did have one upside. This is the first year in my life I haven’t gained weight during the holiday season! In the past I’d put on up to 15 pounds during the three weeks spanning all the holiday gatherings. I’m a comfort food junkie. Free from the temptation of the most delicious home cooking, I could maintain some discipline around my eating and make balanced choices.
These healthier peanut butter balls only lasted in the fridge all of three days. That was not so great, but it was our only indulgence. The calories in the healthier recipe are much improved over the original. Although the first thing I said when I tried one was, “Not as good as the original,” (we’re only human, after all), I would still make these over the confectioners sugar variety. For your convenience, you can view the original or healthier recipe ingredients used to calculate the above Nutrition Facts at MyFitnessPal. Please note that in the original recipe I use 3 cups of sugar (not 4) and no shortening in the chocolate, so I have already reduced some calories in the original.
Now, this treat is certainly no apple, but it is definitely a treat. Finding a way to make simple indulgences a part of your everyday life can really contribute to long-term sustainability. When you find yourself too deprived, those indulgences become detrimental physically and mentally. Feeling like you’re out of control after eating an entire bag of raw chocolate chips does not add to your self esteem. And I think we’ve all been there at one time or another.