I first made these little 4-ingredient energy balls, made with prunes, maple syrup, walnuts, and oats, for a postpartum friend. If you look at it, they’ve got everything a postpartum mama needs in a snack:
–Prunes (or dates): If you’ve been postpartum, you’re well aware how the intestinal tract needs a little…. assistance after birth, and prunes help!
–Walnuts: plant-based protein for battling the sleep deprivation.
–Maple syrup: gotta get that sweet in there.
–Old-Fashioned rolled oats: oats are a natural lactation booster.
And even if you’re not postpartum, these little pick-me-up energy balls are a perfect snack for post-workouts, playgrounds, lunch boxes, and more! They also store really well, and can last for up to two weeks if stored in a tightly covered container in a cool, dry place.
Soaking prunes in water makes them more pliable and easier to blend. Feel free to swap out the prunes for dried dates, if you prefer. If this mixture is too sticky, add a few more tablespoons of oats until you can easily roll the mixture between your hands. If you’re having trouble rolling the balls, wetting your hands will help.
20 dried prunes
½ cup crushed walnuts
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¾ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Boil 3 cups water, then pour over the prunes and allow to steep for 10 minutes.
Drain the prunes, then add to a food processor fitted with an S blade. Add the remaining ingredients, then blend. Pause occasionally to scrape down the side of the bowl.
Process until the mixture is smooth. It will form a ball as it rotates around the processor; this is when it’s ready to scoop. If it’s too wet inside the processor, add oats 1 or 2 tablespoons at a time, processing between each addition.
Using a tablespoon or a small 2-ounce cookie scoop, form the mixture into small balls and place on a plate or sheet pan, leaving some space between each ball. If the mixture is too sticky to roll, wet your hands before rolling.