Simple, sweet and salty! These maple tahini snack balls satisfy all of your cravings and provide a delicious, portable source of energy. This is an updated post that was originally published in May 2018.
You guys. I have a simple, sweet and salty snack recipe for you today that is DELICIOUS, if I do say so myself. Sometimes I get an idea for a new creation in my head and will not stop thinking about it until I bring it to fruition. These maple tahini snack balls are the perfect example of that.
It all started several weeks back when I took a poll on Instagram. If you follow me over there, you know that I constantly rave about my love for tahini. I was mentioning some different uses for it and then asked if anyone had tried it in a traditionally sweet recipe. Most people responded “no” so I immediately started thinking of a way I could incorporate into a snack. I decided to try to replicate the ever-so-popular oat ball and use the tahini in place of more traditional nut butters.
First, what the heck is tahini?
In case you are way confused, tahini is essentially ground sesame seeds (a sesame seed “butter” if you will) that is popping up in sweet and savory recipes all over the place right now. I am thoroughly obsessed with tahini sauce on noodles, grain bowls, and in homemade salad dressings. And while I’m not really a dessert person, my interest is piqued when someone swirls tahini in brownies (by the way, I’ve tried those and they’re fantastic!).
Nutrition & Flavor
- Tahini is a plant-based source of calcium along with magnesium and iron, all of which are hard to come by nutrients (especially for plant-based eaters).
- It adds 6 grams of protein per 2 Tbsp serving
- And perhaps most notably, tahini contains satiating, heart-healthy fat
Unlike some of the other more popular nut butters on the market, tahini is not typically eaten straight from the spoon because it’s on the bitter side (I warned you). It does however transform into pure gold when mixed with something sweet and spicy – or in the case of these, sweet and salty.
How to Make Maple Tahini Snack Balls
Here’s the line-up for what you need to make these happen:
Old-fashioned rolled oats + quick oats (instead of buying two different types, just run 1/2 of your oats through a food processor to make the quick oats!)
Ground flaxseed. I love Manitoba Milling Co (affiliate link) because it’s smooth, almost like a protein powder instead of gritty like the traditional versions. This makes it nearly undetectable in this recipe while providing a nutrition boost and helping bind the ingredients.
Salt to bring out the flavor
Maple Syrup for something sweet and sticky
Vanilla extract for a little “something extra”
Sesame seeds which are optional, but a fun added textural component!
The best thing about these is they are super customizable! Feel free to sub in your favorite nut butter if you don’t like tahini (or don’t have it on hand). While I haven’t tried other sweeteners in this particular recipe, I think you could also use honey without a problem. Sneak in chocolate chips, dried fruit, shredded coconut, or anything else that sounds good.
How to Prevent Sticky Hands
This is a common question with a simple solution: prevent sticky hands by covering the bowl and putting it in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to rest. The oats will soak up moisture and it will be much easier to handle.
Another tip is to portion into balls using a small cookie scoop. This is definitely the most efficient way I have tried, and also results in a more uniform shape.
An optional but fun step: roll each ball in sesame seeds or drizzle with melted chocolate before chilling. I really love the extra texture and it also looks pretty!
These have a wonderful nutty and complex flavor. The recipe scales well, so feel free to double it (or triple it!) on the weekend so you have a healthy, kid-friendly snack ready to grab when you need it.
Other tahini recipes on LeanneRay.com:
- Spiced Chickpea and Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Sauce
- Blueberry Farro Salad with Creamy Fresh Herb Dressing
- Vegetable & Tofu Summer Rolls with Tahini Sauce (recipe in my vegetarian meal prep guide!)
Maple Tahini Snack Balls
Simple, sweet and salty! These maple tahini snack balls satisfy all of your cravings while providing a portable source of energy.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 10 balls 1x
- Category: Snacks
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- optional: 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
- Pulse half the oats in a food processor. Add to a bowl with the other half of the oats along with the flaxseed and salt. Mix well.
- In a separate small bowl, combine tahini, vanilla and maple syrup.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 20 minutes.
- Using a small cookie scoop, portion into 1″ balls and roll in sesame seeds.
- Refrigerating the dough is a key step for these to come together so don’t skip it!
- Store in the refrigerator, or they might lose their shape.
Keywords: tahini, oatmeal balls, pre workout snacks, kid friendly snacks
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