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August Ball of the Month

Hey, ballers! I know, I's the last day of the month again. I am very much a procrastinator. This has been on my to-do list for about 2 weeks now, and I am finally sitting down to do it! So, this month's ball has a back-to-school vibe. Here in Kansas, we have been back for a couple weeks now, and I am loving the quiet house, the weekly routine, and all the excitement of the school activities starting. I am not loving the panic I feel when I realize there is nothing decent to pack in the lunch boxes. I need to start stocking the freezer with balls! These are PB&J Balls, and they are just as good as the iconic lunch box sandwich, if not better. In fact, if you close your eyes and take a bite, it really seems as if you are actually eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. They are SO good, and they make a great lunch box addition, after-school snack or quick breakfast-on-the-go. They are packed with peanut protein power and whole-food ingredients, and they will please even the pickiest little preschoolers. These are a little more labor intensive, because you make a little peanut butter ball, you make a little "jelly" ball, and then you roll them together. But, they are worth the extra labor, and your kids will love them. Turn on a really good podcast*, prepare to get your hands sticky, and roll away. This recipe makes a really big batch, so you won't have to do it again anytime soon! Thank you for reading this, lovely ballers, and reach out to me if you ever have any question, special requests, etc. I will do one more ball of the month in September, and starting in October, I will do a ________________of the month blog post for a whole year. Any suggestions? Bars? Cookies? Muffins? Entrees? Here is the recipe! XOXO

*my next blogpost is going to be ALL about what I am loving right now--podcasts, books, food, music, movies, products, etc. so be sure to click on the "About" page, scroll down to the bottom, and sign up to receive emails from me. I do one or maybe two blog posts a month, so I promise I won't be clogging up your inbox. Love you guys!

PB&J Snack Balls

For the Peanut Butter

1 cup peanuts

12-14 medjool dates, pitted

1/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 t. plus more water if needed

1 T. honey or maple syrup

1/4 cup oat flour (you can grind up rolled oats to make oat flour, GF in needed)

pinch of salt

For the Jelly

1o medjool dates, pitted

1/2 cup dried blueberries, cherries, and cranberries (I used 1/4 cup blueberries, 2 T. cherries, and 2 T. cranberries)

1 cup cashews

1/4 t. water

pinch of salt

1. Place peanuts in the bowl of a food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Pulse until the peanuts turn into meal.

2. Add the dates, peanut butter, oat flour, honey and salt, and pulse until mixture is thoroughly combined. Add water in tiny increments until the mixture begins to come together to form a stickier dough.

3. Before removing from the machine, test out the dough to make sure it will hold a ball shape when rolled. If too crumbly, add more water in very small amounts. Roll into balls and place on a sheet pan covered in parchment paper. Place in freezer while you make the jelly balls.

4. To make the jelly balls, place cashews in food processor and process until finely ground. Add dates, dried berries, water and salt, and process until mixture comes together in a sticky dough. This will be stickier and less crumbly than the peanut butter mixture.

These are the three dried fruits I used to create the magical jelly flavor!

5. Roll the jelly mixture into balls and place on the parchment covered sheet. Chill the balls for about 10 minutes in the freezer.

6. After 10 minutes of chilling, take a peanut butter ball and a jelly ball, push them together, and roll between your palms until you get one uniformly round ball. Repeat until you're all done, and place back in the freezer for 30 minutes or so. After they are firm, place in a ziploc freezer bag and keep frozen until you need them!

I wish all you ballers a very happy 2016-2017 school year!

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