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Wait, chickpea balls? Seemingly covered in chocolate? Calm down. It’s not as crazy as it might sound. Mike suggested a while back we could try making an energy ball using chickpeas as the main ingredient, his mind obviously thinking of ways to make these types of snacks nutrient dense and perfectly acceptable to munch on whenever. An overall balanced diet usually provides us with all the macro nutrients we need, thus no need for the protein-packed this or protein-packed that even for us mostly plant-based folks, but listen to the micro nutrient bonanza in these balls: heaps and heaps worth of folic acid, vitamins E and K plus B1, B3 and B6, selenium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, calcium, potassium and magnesium.
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I know, I know, we do like to put peanut butter in/on just about anything around here. What can I say – it’s just one of many glorious things Michael (and America) has opened my eyes to. As a matter of fact, I think peanut butter has an undeservedly bad reputation – why, really? If you get (or make) unsweetened peanut butter, it’s just ground up nuts with a dash of salt. That’s all. Peanuts pack a lot of protein, good fats (both mono and polyunsaturated), vitamins (especially folate, some B’s and E) and minerals (good amounts of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron, for example). And it’s energy dense. All of the above together make peanut butter a great staple for athletes. And while it’s quite amazing slathered on bread, we use it primarily as an ingredient in energy bars/balls, as an oatmeal topping (oh my, it’s the best) and as an amazing flavor and nutrient booster in savory meals, such as this stew.