What’s as portable as a granola bar, but neater and homemade? What contains lots of protein and fiber but no sugar? These cookies (should I call them energy balls?) have a firm and somewhat chewy texture. You can put them in your pocket and they won’t crumble. You can eat them and feel like you’ve had a good breakfast. You can mail them and not worry if the package takes a week to get there or sits in the sun. And you can make them with varied ingredients and they’ll still turn out OK.
1/2 cup evaporated milk
4 ounces butter or other fat
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt (omit if you use salted butter)
stevia, erythritol or a combination, to taste
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup dried cherries, cranberries, or apricots
1 1/2 cups white hulled sesame seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
Combine ½ cup evaporated milk with 1 stick melted butter. (It’s fine to use plant-based substitutes, i.e. coconut oil and cream, nut milk, vegan margarine. I have also used heavy cream in place of both butter and milk.) Add 2 tsp. vanilla and ½ tsp salt. Sweeten with stevia and/or erythritol to taste.
Whir and pulse 1 ¼ cups of rolled oats in a food processor with 1 cup of dried cranberries, cherries, or chopped apricots. The oats keep the fruit from sticking. The resulting mixture should have small and even particles of fruit.
Stir the oat/fruit mixture into the milk/butter mixture and let sit at least 30 minutes (longer is fine, too, just refrigerate if it’s overnight). Mix in 1 ½ cups hulled white sesame seeds (or 1 cup chia seeds) and 1 cup raw sunflower seeds. The mixture will be very stiff, like Play-Doh.
Roll into one-inch balls and place on baking sheet. Greasing your hands makes this easier. Bake about 25 minutes at 325 or until golden AND LET DRY IN THE TURNED OFF OVEN until cool. If you touch one while hot, it will crumble.
These stay fresh and good a long time, and refrigeration makes them last even longer.