peanut butter oat balls (+ let’s talk about sugar & insulin)


peanut butter oat balls
Here’s the truth: I eat way too much sugar.  When you break it down and think about not just the straight up sugar I have, but all the carbs I eat that my body processes like sugar, it is just way too much.

I mentioned awhile ago, when I said we were going to be having a baby, that I was surprised how quickly it happened.  I was pretty sure the journey of getting pregnant was going to take months and months and I was going to have to go through more prescriptions and treatments than I did.  And I guess I’d like to tell you a little bit more about that now.

I’ve been sure for a really long time that I was going to have trouble getting pregnant.  So as soon as it became something Gerrit and I were seriously talking about, I went straight to the doctor to figure out what was going on with my body.  I figured this was going to take a long time, so I figured I’d rather start the process as soon as possible because I thought it would be easier emotionally than figuring out what was going on a year down the road and be really heartbroken about it.

After some blood work it was determined that my insulin levels were high which can mess up all kinds of things and meant it looks like I have some version of PCOS.  I was prescribed metformin and a few weeks later found out I was pregnant.  I’m grateful it was a shorter journey than I expected.

But all that to say, finding out my insulin levels were high scares me a little (especially with the history of diabetes in my family) and made me really think about working on lowering my sugar intake.

peanut butter oat balls

I soon found out that being pregnant was not the time to do that though, because there were weeks where literally all I could manage to swallow was chocolate milkshakes and I was losing so much weight that my doctor told me (jokingly, but also seriously) to go get some ice cream.

But now that I am no longer pregnant, and now that we are relatively settled into life with a baby (maybe as much as we can be? because every day and every week is so different), I’ve decided now is the time to start thinking about this. 

I’m not making any drastic moves.  I’m not cutting sugar completely out (far from it), but I am trying to be a little more conscious of the sugar I’m eating and making small changes here and there.

And step one there is my snacking, which is admittedly horrendous.  Granted, I’m not really a very big snacker, but when I do want a snack it is always something sweet.  Graham crackers spread with nutella.  Leftover bits of desserts I’ve made.

This one makes me a feel a bit better, and they are so simple (but still have a bit of sweetness to them).  I’ve been making a batch every week and having them as mid morning and/or mid afternoon snacks.  And because they are sweetened with honey (plus whatever sugar content is in your peanut butter and chocolate chips) and have oats and chia seeds in them, I feel a little better about eating them.

(Just a (hopefully) helpful note: the chia seeds were ridiculously expensive at my grocery store.  I found these online (affiliate link) that are about ¼ the price.)

peanut butter oat balls


Peanut Butter Oat Balls

These are so easy to make and great to keep in the fridge for the week. My guess is that they would last longer than a week, but I haven’t had them around long enough to find out. Just one note: I’ve used both regular peanut butter and natural peanut butter. Both work. The natural peanut butter has the obvious advantage of having less sugar, but the ones with the regular peanut butter seem to hold together a bit better. Both taste great.

Makes about 2 dozen

1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds

Combine the oats, chocolate chips, peanut butter, honey, and chia seeds in a small bowl. Stir together until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter. Place in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.

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3 Replies to “peanut butter oat balls (+ let’s talk about sugar & insulin)”

  1. I have almost the same recipe. Newish to me too! The only difference is almond butter instead of PB, and the addition of flax seeds (these are supposed to be healthy for you, but do get irritatingly stuck in your teeth) Oh, and dark chocolate chips vs. semi sweet. I agree with the cutting back of sugar. These snacks really DO keep me full, so other snacking doesn’t occur.

  2. Amy – I’ll have to try these with almond butter, too! And I think dark chocolate would be awesome here, but I just like the mini-chocolate chips and haven’t found dark chocolate that is “mini” in size. :)

  3. These look absolutely delicious! I probably eat way too much sugar to, which is really scary when you think about it! Well done for trying to curb your intake, it’s really inspiring.

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