Sienna at Cottage

As much as I adore living in Canada, our summers are much too short.  With only three months of solid summer weather, we are in our boots before we get our bathing suits on [sigh].

My husband and I try to squeeze the most out of the season, and this weekend we headed north for our first family cottage escape with our girls and friends.  Funny how things change when you have little ones.  What used to be a weekend of staying up until sunrise and waking up near noon (pre-kids), has been replaced with waking before sunrise and going to bed before the sun sets.  Nonetheless, our ‘new’ way of cottaging is just as fun, in a different kind of way.

A 3 hour road trip to the cottage with kids is also different, but minus the fun-factor (at least in our car).   It requires additional distraction tactics and preparation – toys, books, Raffi, and emergency snacks.  I never know how picky my little one is going to be, so I made sure we were stocked with the options.  The usual options:  bell peppers, kale chips, nuts, grapes, and hard boiled eggs.   Of course, Sienna only ate two grapes and I ate the rest.  In hindsight, I should have made something different…and something to snack on when the craving for sugar-laden smores strikes.   Something like these sunflower seed balls.

Whether you’re headed to the cottage or just down the street, this is an easy on-the-go snack.   It’s a very forgiving recipe so adjust the ingredients as you wish (i.e. more coconut oil and less coconut flour for a more moist batter).

The good fats and protein in these balls will keep your little ones going and growing. 

Sunflower-Seed-Balls

No-Bake Sunflower Seed Balls

Ingredients: (makes ~15 tiny balls)

  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. ground flax seeds (stir with 2 Tbsp. water)
  • 2 tbsp. coconut flour
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 4 dates (don’t forget to remove the pits!)

Optional add-ins:

  • 2 tbsp. shredded coconut or hemp seeds or sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Blend sunflower seeds in a food processor or powerful blender first (for a smoother ball) then add rest of the ingredients.  For a crunchier ball, blend all ingredients together until well mixed.
  2. Place the batter in a bowl and mix in the optional add-ins remaining coconut, hemp and sesame seeds.
  3. Scoop out bits of the batter with a tablespoon and form into a ball.
  4. Chill for an hour to set…or eat immediately

Why it’s good for you:

  • Sunflower Seeds - Magnesium is necessary for healthy bones, energy production, and muscle relaxation.  Vitamin E offers anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits for asthma, eczema, etc.
  • Coconut oil - the benefits deserve a separate post but put simply, it’s unique composition and lauric acid content is similar to breast milk which is mother nature’s perfect food.  It also helps regulate blood sugar levels so we don’t see the energy spikes and dips (perhaps fewer temper tantrums).  Learn more about the wonders of coconut oil in my free e-book (you can sign-up on my homepage).

Nutritional Content  (see more at my fitness pal):

  • Per ball: 61 calories, fat (4 grams), protein (1 gram), carbs (7 grams), fiber (2 grams), sugar (4 grams)

Before you pop one in your mouth, note that this is not your typical sweet treat but it will keep you and your little ones satiated with goodness.

High-Calorie Foods for Kids

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