Learn How To Make Low FODMAP Trail Mix Energy Balls
Just Google “energy balls” or “energy bites” and you will see that these tiny treats have taken over the Internet. Our Low FODMAP Trail Mix Energy Balls pack in all of your favorite trail-mix ingredients like dried fruit, nuts, and seeds – with the addition of peanut butter and chocolate!
Chocolate Chips or M&Ms
You can use mini semisweet chocolate chips, or you can use mini M&Ms. They are both low FODMAP but we think the M&Ms add color and a fun factor. Lord knows this diet is often seemingly lacking in FUN factor! Use them as a treat.
You CAN have chocolate on the low FODMAP diet. Read All About Dark Chocolate, to learn more.
Read more about the low FODMAP status of your favorite candy in our article, Low FODMAP Candy Ingredients.
Choose The Right PB
The type of peanut butter that you use will greatly affect the outcome of these balls in terms of flavor and texture.We do not recommend the kind of natural peanut butter that you grind yourself at the market; it is simply too coarse and dry.
We have great results in the Test Kitchen with the reliability and standardization of both Smucker’s and Teddie brand natural peanut butters. The only ingredients on the label should be peanuts and salt. If you want to use a no-stir style that also has palm oil added, the recipe will work but the resulting mixture might be a tad moister and possibly more difficult to roll. In this case you can either chill longer or add a tablespoon or 2 more of one of the drier ingredients, such as the coconut or oats.
Some Coconut Products Are Low FODMAP
Read our article Is Coconut Low FODMAP? for information on all things coconut, from a FODMAP perspective, from flour to oil to cream, milk and different kinds of coconut meat.
This recipe calls for unsweetened dried coconut.
When it comes to unsweetened dried coconut there are three main types: large broad pieces (sometimes called chips or flakes), long thin shreds (sometimes called flaked or “angel flake”) and very fine grated coconut (sometimes labeled desiccated). Unfortunately terminology does not seem to be consistent and one company might call theirs shredded when the same product might be called grated somewhere else. I like to use the long, thin shreds for this recipe. If you use the larger chips they will break down during mixing, which is okay. The desiccated is very fine and will make your energy balls drier.
Speaking of Texture
You have a choice of liquid sweeteners. Maple syrup, corn syrup and rice syrup are all low FODMAP. Of all of them, maple is the least sticky. You actually want some stickiness to help the balls hold together.
Honey, which is sticky, too, is low FODMAP in small portions of 1 teaspoon. By adding a tiny bit of sticky liquid sweetener in addition to the maple syrup, you will have an easier time forming nice neat balls. Stick to the serving sizes of the finished balls and they will still be low FODMAP.
Oats Are Low FODMAP
Note that you can make these with raw oats but we find that lightly toasting them improves their texture and flavor. See Tips for directions.
Oats are low FODMAP in specific portions. We suggest heeding our serving size suggestions and see how you do. You can use conventional oats or oats that are gluten-free, depending on your need.
Please use regular rolled oats (sometimes labeled old-fashioned oats). Thick cut rolled oats, steel-cut, instant and quick oats will NOT work in this recipe.
The beauty of these babies is that they are endlessly variable (just watch your FODMAPs when substituting ingredients) and you don’t need to bake them or even form them in a pan. They offer instant portion control and are easy to pack in small airtight containers or snack-size zip top bags. With a stash of these Low FODMAP Trail Mix Energy Balls you will always have a low-FODMAP snack at hand when you are running out the door to work, the gym, school or are just lounging around the house when hunger strikes.
Low FODMAP Trail Mix Energy Balls
Low FODMAP Trail Mix Energy Balls are easy to make and pack well, too.
Low FODMAP Serving Size Info: Makes 24 balls; 12 servings; serving size 2 balls
- 1 cup (99 g) old-fashioned oats, preferably lightly toasted; use gluten-free if following a gluten-free diet
- 1/2 cup (135 g) natural peanut butter
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey or rice syrup
- 1/4 cup (18 g) unsweetened coconut shreds
- 1/4 cup (40 g) dried cranberries roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup (42 g) raisins roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup (25 g) pecan or walnut halves finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup (50 g) miniature chocolate chips or mini M&Ms
- Place oats, PB, maple syrup, honey, coconut, cranberries, raisins, nuts and seeds in a bowl and stir together very well with a sturdy wooden spoon, large, firm silicone spatula or your hands until thoroughly combined. We like to use our stand mixer fitted with the flat paddle and highly recommend this approach. Once the mixture is thoroughly and evenly combined, fold in the chocolate chips or M&Ms.
Roll the mixture into small, bite-size balls about 1-inch (2.5 cm) across. We use a tiny scoop to help the process. If the mixture is too soft, simply cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to roll. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.
- If you are going to toast the oats, position rack in middle of oven. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Pour oats out onto a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for about 7 to 8 minutes or just until they take on the faintest amount of color and a toasty aroma emanates from the oven. Set pan on rack to cool completely.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more. For a more detailed explanation, please read our article Understanding The Nutrition Panel Within Our Recipes.
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Read our article How Are Low FODMAP Recipes Created? for more in-depth information.
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