I hesitate to post this recipe because, to some, it might not fall into the “detox-friendly” category. These peanut butter balls are made with oats and peanut butter, which together are not properly combined, and they’re not paleo or necessarily vegan, either. (Though you can easily make them vegan by swapping the honey for maple syrup.)
However, I’m posting them anyway because they’re insanely delicious and remind me of the classic peanut butter balls, or buckeyes, my mother-in-law makes each year for Christmas. (The kind with paraffin wax in the chocolate coating… eew.) They also call for easy, all-natural ingredients that almost everyone has in their pantry, making this the perfect food for anyone transitioning to a whole foods lifestyle.
Before I get to the recipe though, I actually want to talk (or rant?) about the importance of transitioning for a minute. I see a trend towards perfectionism lately when it comes to healthy living, with folks jumping into drastic challenges that eliminate entire food groups for 21 or 30 days. Yes, there are definitely good reasons to do an elimination diet if you’re trying to pinpoint the cause of a certain health condition, but many others are doing it in the hopes of seeing drastic weight loss. They want to see lasting results, but they only want to work for it for 30 days. Don’t get me wrong– there’s nothing wrong for aiming to eat better or being more active– but when you decide that you’re going to be “perfect” for 30 days, whether it’s eating only whole foods, or cutting out all grains or sugar, you’re not necessarily setting yourself up for success. Eating well doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing thing.
For instance, what do you usually do before you start those 30 days? If you’re like me, you probably have a “last supper” of sorts, enjoying all the foods that will be forbidden to you tomorrow. You might even plan an all-out binge session, so you look especially bloated in your “before” picture. But what happens if you slip up tomorrow? Will you throw in the towel and start over again the next day? Or the next week? And what happens when the 30 days are up? Will you gorge yourself on foods that were temporarily forbidden?
It’s this cycle of restriction followed by binge eating that can actually leave you worse off than you were before you started started. After my own first attempt at a drastic diet in college, I wound up struggling with binge eating for nearly a decade, feeling socially isolated, and ultimately 20 pounds heavier thanks to all of my “secret eating” sessions (despite the fact that I felt like I was always on a diet). It took me years to recover from this disordered behavior, and looking back I wish I had just made gradual changes in the first place.
So, the next time you feel the urge to do something drastic, I want you to take a deep breath and take a small step forward, instead of that huge leap. For example, try adding a green juice or smoothie into your usual routine. Without trying, you might end up crowding-out a bad diet choice later. The better you feel, the more likely you are to make good choices in the future! This, my friends, is how you get changes and results that stick.
And if you’re craving something sweet, make these delectable little peanut butter balls in just about 10 minutes. With or without the chocolate coating, they’re absolutely delicious and won’t hurt your health efforts– unless you eat them all in one sitting, because you’re cutting out sugar “tomorrow.”
Salted Peanut Butter Truffles
Makes 16 balls
Peanut Butter Balls:
1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free if you need them to be!)
1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter*
3 tablespoons honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup shelled peanuts or walnuts (optional)
Chocolate Coating: (optional)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon coconut oil
Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling on top
*Peanuts are one of the crops most heavily sprayed with pesticides, so make sure to buy organic whenever possible. You can also use any other nut butter you like, or even sunflower butter for a nut-free treat.
In a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, process the rolled oats until they are finely ground. Add in the peanut butter, honey and salt, and process again until a sticky batter is formed. It should easily be pinched between your fingers. For added texture, add in the 1/2 cup of nuts and briefly pulse them in for about 10 seconds. You don’t want them to be finely ground into the mixture– they are there for added crunch.
Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and roll it between your hands to create each ball. Place them on a plate or small baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then transfer them all to the fridge or freezer to set. You can serve them just like this, or coat them with chocolate for a more decadent treat.
To make the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate chips and coconut in a double boiler over the stove, stirring well. (I just fill my saucepan with an inch of water and cover it with a heat-proof bowl to create my own!) Once the chocolate has melted, spoon it over the top of each peanut butter ball.
Note: The colder the ball, the faster the chocolate coating will harden, so it’s a good idea to keep the balls in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before coating them.
Sprinkle with a dash of coarse sea salt, if you like, and place the chocolate covered balls in the fridge to set. Store and serve from the fridge, as the chocolate will soften if left at room temperature for too long. These balls should keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, but I doubt they’ll last that long!
Salted Peanut Butter Truffles (And a rant)
- Peanut Butter Balls:
- 1 cup rolled oats (certified gluten-free if you need them to be!)
- 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter*
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup shelled peanuts or walnuts (optional)
- Chocolate Coating: (optional)
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1/4 teaspoon coconut oil
- Coarse sea salt , for sprinkling on top
- In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the rolled oats until they are finely ground. Add in the peanut butter, honey and salt, and process again until a sticky batter is formed. It should easily be pinched between your fingers. For added texture, add in the 1/2 cup of nuts and briefly pulse them in for about 10 seconds. You don't want them to be finely ground into the mixture-- they are there for added crunch.
- Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and roll it between your hands to create each ball. Place them on a plate or small baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and then transfer them all to the fridge or freezer to set. You can serve them just like this, or coat them with chocolate for a more decadent treat.
- To make the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate chips and coconut in a double boiler over the stove, stirring well. (I just fill my saucepan with an inch of water and cover it with a heat-proof bowl to create my own!) Once the chocolate has melted, spoon it over the top of each peanut butter ball.
- Note: The colder the ball, the faster the chocolate coating will harden, so it's a good idea to keep the balls in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before coating them.
- Sprinkle with a dash of coarse sea salt, if you like, and place the chocolate covered balls in the fridge to set. Store and serve from the fridge, as the chocolate will soften if left at room temperature for too long. These balls should keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks, but I doubt they'll last that long!
Per Serving: Calories: 126, Fat: 8g, Carbohydrates: 11g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 4g
If you’ve made it this far into the post, thanks for listening to my little rant. I hope it inspires at least one person to stop it with the drastic stop-and-start dieting cycle, so you can start enjoying life a little more.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite non-detox treat? Do you find yourself struggling with an all or nothing mindset?
Questions and Reviews
I LOVE this post/rant!! I agree some of these diets seem to be so quick fix….do X for Y days and you will be healthy and slim. Most bodies don’t work like that over the long run. Sure it makes sense to eliminate foods such as processed or junk food but other real, nourishing, whole food groups like gluten-free grains or pulses? These food groups are vital to so many people and have helped so many others live a healthy LONG lives! So thank you for this post! You are inspiring, creative and always fun to read!! 🙂 PS Medjool dates work really well in place of honey too!
“Rant” well said! I could have written the same thing about my experiences with food. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to eat the things I wanted, while trying to make my main focus whole, nutritious foods and slowly eliminating “bad” things, that I achieved a weight I am happy with and general health and happiness. Watching a mom go through this for so many years made me think it was normal and what women do. I am so glad you did a post about this. It’s so important not to beat ourselves up over weight and perfectionism! I love your blog and when I first starting food transitioning, it helped me so much to have easy, healthy recipes and treats to make. Thanks for being so rad!
Thank you for saying this! I have done the drastic stopping and starting most of my life, and it was very hard on my body. I ended up having gallstones and needing surgery because of it. I have learned the hard way that sudden, drastic dietary changes are not to be approached lightly or without some kind of supervision from someone who knows more than I do about nutrition.
Before I read this post, I was planning on binging on coconut milk icecream, with the excuse I need to “use it up” before I start (yet another” all- out sugar detox. You have given me a voice to allow myself to take a healthy approach to eating. I tried the current popular diet trend, that restricts all carbs and sugars and wound up with gallbladder surgery and kidney stones. I did the diet as a “tune up” not because I really needed it. Look where that got me. Than you for giving us permission to be real, while still pursuing healthy living.
Wow..so easy! Can’t wait to try this recipe out!
So true – rant away. Also, check out Paige’s post on http://www.healthyhitsthespot.com. Compliments your rant and gives those struggling a plan:)
Recipe looks delish.
These look absolutely delicious! Thank you for sharing even though they might not be the perfect detox diet friendly!
Megan I truly needed your rant right now. You rock!
Next 30 day challenge, NOT striving for perfectionisim and just be kind to yourself!
THANK YOU for this post – I always appreciate your sound approach to wellness/balance. And thank you for posting yet another fabulous recipe.
Thank you Megan! I love this post! You have definitely helped me with my binge eating problems (that all started by trying to eat perfect so I could lose “just 5 more pounds”). When I have cravings, I try to eat something raw, or whole foods. And if I eat something less than ideal, I try to make sure my next meal/snack is better. Thank you for this site!
This couldn’t have come at a better time for me! I was considering trying a pretty popular “fast metabolism” diet that is SUPER restrictive that you follow for 28 days at a time. Being mid-40ish, I’ve been struggling with some extra weight that just won’t seem to budge for very long. But here’s the thing…I am seriously one of the healthiest people I know, my age and younger! Absolutely no health issues at all. And when I eat a properly combined whole foods diet that is largely plant-based, with minimal gluten and dairy and no refined sugar, I feel great. I sleep better, have more energy and feel like I can take on the world! While losing the extra pounds would be nice just from a visual standpoint, this post made me remember that it’s so much more about the big picture. If I am as healthy as I’ve ever been, with the blood pressure of a 22 year old marathon runner, why am I getting hung up about a number on the scale? Thank you so much for reminding me to focus on what’s really important, which is healthy lifestyle habits for life!
I agree 100% with your “rant”! Eating shouldn’t be about self-hatred, starvation or sacrifice, it should be about self-love, enjoyment and self-respect. Eating is such an important part of our lives, let’s quit the “diet” mentality, eliminate guilt and fuel ourselves with real food! Love what you do and will be making these treats this weekend! Thank you!! 🙂 xoxo
Yes!!! Megan, this is right on and it is refreshing that you don’t preach from one way of eating but focus on whole nourishing real foods. I literally journaled this morning about baby steps, not striving to be super human.. Many people get caught up on the obsession of eating healthy but people like myself with disordered eating past can trigger insanity. A gentle grace filled approach sometimes make a much longer lasting result. btw- you coached me a few years back and met for a juice at Juicy Ladies. Keep shining pretty lady!!
Blessings to you :))
I have to say, as a dietitian I am usually skeptical of buzzwords like “detox” and how people will perceive them. I was even a little hesitant to start following your blog, but the recipes were all really great with some excellent alternatives to classic “unhealthy” recipes. But this post is truly SPOT ON! I spend 5 days a week working as a retail dietitian trying to explain away the “all or nothing” mentality because I have seen it fail so many times. I always tell people, “do you want to be healthy for a month, or would you like to be healthy for your whole life? Because that’s going to be a long time so you probably shouldn’t do anything you don’t think you can make a lifestyle change for the majority of your days here on this planet.”
It’s great when people who have an outlet to so many individuals is spreading the correct message for a change. Thank you for your realness in this rant!
We had eating disorders growing up but when we started to work on self love we realized how badly we treated our body. We no longer restrict or binge eat. We have a happy balanced diet that includes dessert! This recipe sounds great.
Completely agree with your “rant”! And you recipe looks delicious!
Made these last night and WOW, they are amazing! Subbed maple syrup for honey (vegan) and melted the chocolate in the microwave. So easy and so yummy. Thanks!!
restriction always leads to failure in my case! The all or nothing mindset never works! these look insanely delicious and would be perfect for a holiday treat!
I’m so glad someone mentioned this. As a person who used to weigh over 100 pounds more than I do now, I’ve tried just about every diet plan out there and struggled with the exact cycle you describe above for years. I am now in the best shape of my life, and what helped more than anything else was unexpected…moving gradually towards goals, loving my body for exactly how and what it is/was in the moment, and giving myself a break once in a while. I adhere to a mostly vegetarian and gluten-free diet, because that’s what keeps my energy levels at their best and what makes my body most happy…but, come on…life’s too short not to have a freaking cheeseburger once in a while. 😉
You can also use toothpicks and dip the balls in the melted chocolate!
I’m actually in favor of 30-day challenges, I believe they really help to reset your body, and free your taste buds! If you restrict yourself from sugar for 30-days, then fruits and berries, taste so so good! You would actually taste the food, and crave whole unprocessed ingredients. And you won’t go for that whole piece of cake because your body will be satisfied with just a bite since it’s just so rich.
All that energy and much better sleeping! If I feel good, why would I go back to eating refined sugars again?
I made these and they were amazing! I am curious if anyone has ever tried making these with pb2???
I’m new to your site, one of those people at the end of a 28 day detox program 🙂 Loved this post, while I clicked it because of the recipe, I loved the message. I’ve been gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, starchy veggie free for this month. I slipped on Halloween and ate a homemade treat. I am happy that I finally kicked diet soda, learned to eat even cleaner than before, but still feel like I will struggle with sugar. I workout daily and post this month just want to continue to fuel my body properly, limit the sweets and be happy in my own skin.
Thanks Megan! I made these and they are incredible!! Since peanuts are legumes, do they combine with starches? Or with nuts?
Love love love your rant!
After restricting myself for so long, I realized I was starting to have a problem and needed to chill on the guilt. Now, I’m a little too lax with my eating and would like to get back to healthy habits that are guilt free and maintainable. Your website has always been a help with that, I’m actually about to make your date squares so I don’t buy anything this week from a cafe 🙂 Thank you Meghan!
I would like to save this on pintrist or share it on fb but don’t see how. Can you help?
Hover your mouse over the image and the “pin it” button will appear! I don’t have easy Facebook sharing links at the moment because they were slowing down my site, but I hope to have them up again soon. In the meantime, you can always copy and paste the link to this recipe directly into your Facebook feed to share it and a photo will pop up with the link!
These look amazing! I’m definitely going to make them for my super-bowl party. Just wondering if you think I could use oat flour instead of grinding the oats? Or would the texture be too fine? Thx.
Think I could make these more lactation friendly by adding Brewers yeast and/or flaxseed? If so, how much so they’d still taste amazing?!
If you ask me, adding brewer’s yeast will make them taste awful pretty quickly… even a tiny amount has a VERY strong, overpowering flavor! Flax seed would be an easy addition, though. I’d just add to taste as you make them in the food processor– maybe start with 2 tablespoons and go from there?