Our bodies need protein for growth and development, and muscle repair. Protein also assists with helping keep tummies full. Unfortunately from what teachers have told us and from what we’ve seen first hand of children’s lunchboxes at schools, protein in lunchboxes is sorely lacking. Instead lunchboxes tend to be filled with carbohydrate rich packaged foods which do little to help keep us full or to support our ability to concentrate.
I always try to make breakfast on Sunday Family Day special and so I made up a sweetened mix of seeds to go with our pancakes one morning. Our kids loved them so much that it got me thinking how they would make an awesome protein packed recess option or an accompaniment to lunch. However, I wanted to find a way to make them easier to eat then just a whole lot of seeds – after a few trials, I worked out how to turn them into these Protein Packed Seed Balls. We’ve been having them in our lunchboxes this week – they are huge hit. I hope your family enjoys them too.
- 1/2 cup Sunflower Seeds
- 1/2 cup Pepitas
- 1 tblspn Flax Seeds
- 1 tblspn Chia Seeds
- 2 tblspns Sesame Seeds
- 1 tblspn 100% Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 tblspn Rice Malt Syrup (we use Pure Harvest)
- Place a sheet of backing paper on a plate and put this in your freezer
- Warm a pan over medium heat
- Lightly toast Sunflower seeds for a minute – move the seeds around the pan using a wooden spoon
- Add Pepitas and lightly toas these too. Continue to stir to move Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas around. When you see a few turning brownish, turn down the heat.
- Add the Flax, Chia and Sesame and continue toasting over low heat. Stir around mixing and moving all the seeds so they are well mixed
- When you hear the slight popping of the Flax and Sesame seeds, add in the maple syrup and rice malt syrup
- Stir constantly until the sweeteners evaporate and the seeds start sticking together
- Take plate out of the freezer and roughly spread the seeds onto the plate
- Allow to cook for a few minutes – the mixture needs to still have some warmth in it, but not be too hot that you can’t handle it.
- Moisten your hands, then grab about a teaspoon of the seed mix in your hands and squeeze together into a ball shape. Set aside and continue till all the mixture is used. Moisten your hands regularly to stop the seeds sticking to your fingers.
- Store in an air-tight container in the fridge, for up to a week. (If they last that long!)
- if you don’t like the seeds being full, roughly chop the Sunflower Seeds and Pepitas so they are in smaller pieces.
- speed up the cooling down process by sitting the plate directly on top of an ice brick
- keep hands moist after every few balls to ensure the seeds don’t stick to your hands
2 Other ways
- Add some dried fruit and coconut flakes to make a kind of trail mix ball
- Add in a teaspoon or 2 of Tahini to give an extra caramel flavour to the balls