Toddler vs. Vegetables: No Bake Nut Balls

no bake peanut butter carrot ballsWe continue to struggle to get Evie to eat her vegetables. She used to eat so many and now I feel like I have to mask every vegetable to get them inside her little belly. Last night I fed her carrots by hiding them in a rice and quinoa mix. Tonight I put black beans in her pasta with red sauce. For lunch she ate several of these no bake nut balls I made over the weekend.

Once again, Evie refused to eat her carrots. Seriously, I can’t even think of any other veggies to even try to get her to eat. I feel like I’ve tried everything readily available to me. So, I had a plate full of carrots that I wanted to use but I didn’t want to fall back on the same oat muffins I’ve been making. I didn’t want to actually cook anything so I went to Google and found this recipe: http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/61752/bake-carrot-balls which inspired what I would do next.

Like usual, I didn’t really follow this recipe but it was great inspiration.

I threw the probably half carrot’s worth of cooked carrots in with a full raw carrot – I only had one in the fridge – into the food processor. I think added about 1/4 cup of pecans – I didn’t measure, it’s just the last of the bag we had. I threw in some raisins because that’s the only dried fruit I had on hand and I processed it until I could tell it wasn’t getting any finer. I then put all of that in a bowl and put in 3-4 spoonfuls of peanut butter. I kept putting it in until I could tell it was enough to keep everything together in balls.

Here are the ingredients in list form:

- cooked and/or raw carrots (1-2)
- handful of raisins
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pecans (or other nut)
- peanut butter (or any nut butter)

peanut butter carrot no bake balls ingredientsI did not have shaved coconut like the inspiration recipe calls for so I pull out some animal crackers and processed them until fine for our finishing coat. Graham crackers would also be a good substitute for this coating. Once my mix was together, I formed them into balls and rolled them in the cracker dust.

 

As I rolled I found myself making them smaller and smaller. The first ones were a great adult bite but I needed smaller for an Evie bite.

no bake carrot peanut butter ballsOnce I had everything rolled, I put them in the fridge! That is actually a lie. Evie and I both tasted some and deemed them good. They do stay together once they’ve been refrigerated overnight. They are also easy to pinch and then re-roll which I have done to make some of the larger balls smaller for Evie’s little fingers and mouth.

These have made great snacks (for Evie and Mommy alike), lunch in and lunch out. Today, we took them to the park and they were great for her to eat on the go. We paired them with a pouch that included some additional veggies, and lots of grapes. I really like that these have a lot or protein and healthy fat in them plus a healthy dose of vegetables.

no bake carrot peanut butter ballsThey were fun and easy to make. I can see these being a regular in the future. When she is older, I can only imagine how fun it will be to have Evie help me roll them and dip them in the cracker crumbs. These would probably freeze really well too.

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