the taste space

Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls (& The Elephant in the Living Room)

Posted in Desserts, Favourites by janet @ the taste space on September 24, 2013

Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls

Now that I think about it, I know more vegans in Houston than I did in Toronto.

In Toronto, I never tried to connect with the vegan community. However, in Houston, this is where I am searching for like-minded souls.

In addition to the raw vegan meet-up potluck, I have connected with others at the Vegan Society of P.E.A.C.E. (VSOP)’s monthly potluck. While not all vegan (some vegetarians and veg-curious also come), a large crowd gathers each month to share tasty vegan eats and learn a bit more about other vegan issues. Lately, it has been about travelling as a vegan in Asia but they have been highlighting more issues surrounding animals. At the last meeting, an upcoming viewing of the documentary The Elephant in the Living Room was promoted. Turns out it was on Netflix, so Rob and I watched it later that week.

The Elephant in the Living Room is a quite powerful, yet humble documentary about exotic animals as pets. Did you know that there are more tigers in Texas than there are in the in wild worldwide? What do you do when you no longer want your python? The climax of the film surrounds the connection between an Ohio resident, Terry, with 2 lions and 4 cubs, housed in his backyard.  It was a good movie and I recommend it. Another great documentary related to animals is The Cove, which won an Academy Award in 2010. That is a in a league of its own, though. That was a thrilling documentary!

In any case, chronically my life through the foods that surround these events, I present to you these quick and easy peanut butter and jam energy balls. Flavourful peanuts are key for this recipe, which is why I highly recommend using roasted peanuts. I didn’t want to be wrist-slapped if I brought them to a raw vegan potluck, so I shared it with this vegan potluck instead.

With such a simple ingredient list, you might not think too much about them. However, there was a nice balance of chunky peanuts and jam-like sweet raisins. The extra peanut butter kept the balls together nicely. Add salt to taste, but I guarantee you it needs some to make the flavours pop.

When Rob taste-tested them, he thought they were better than my typical date balls I bring cycling. At first, I felt bad for my date balls, but then took it as a compliment that these were just really good. :)

There is only one problem with the potlucks. Sometimes it seems like a tease to try so many great dishes, but not get a corresponding recipe. Thankfully, I connected with someone who shared the recipe for her fudgy black bean brownies. I look forward to following her blog and connecting more, because her MoFo theme is eating out as a vegan in Houston. I am impressed she can support a month’s worth of posts!!  It may not be so bad as a vegan in Houston after all. :)

Have you seen The Elephant in the Living Room or The Cove? Any other documentaries you recommend?

Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls

This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes.

Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls
From Choosing Raw

1.5 cups roasted, unsalted peanuts
1.5 cups raisins
2 tbsp natural peanut butter (mine was unsalted)
salt, to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor fitted with its S-blade. Pulse until the mixture is finely chopped. Continue to process until it sticks together and can be squished into balls.

2. Scoop out 1″ mounds of dough and press into balls. Refrigerate to solidify slightly, around 30 minutes.

Makes 20 balls.

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27 Responses

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  1. Ellen Lederman said, on September 24, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    When you titled this “The Elephant in the Living Room” and I started to read about the vegan potlucks, I thought you were using it metaphorically as having found that some of the vegans are a little crazy and no one wants to really acknowledge it. I’ve met those who refuse to have any fat in their diet (went walking with a guy who subscribes to this. He is 16 years younger than me—and had no energy for the walk! And he looked awful/anorexic. Wouldn’t you know, he is talking about further restricting calories twice a week in a fast) and those who call Monsanto Montsatan (not that I love Big Agriculture) and talk about chemtrails. So I was surprised to hear that it literally was about elephants in living rooms!

    Balls sound delicious. I may take some to the gym instead of the usual banana since my recent blood tests showed I’m just a wee bit high in potassium. Do you think they’d disintegrate if they weren’t refrigerated for 90 minutes?

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 25, 2013 at 6:01 AM

      Hey Ellen, Yeah, there is a whole other world… I caught a glimpse of that more at the raw vegan potluck but I am not ballsy enough to write a post on that… just the good stuff. :)

      The balls would work totally fine without refrigeration.. just a little softer.

  2. jacquie said, on September 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    i’m so glad you were able to find a group to connect with down there. Do you mind if i asked how you did that? i’m a vegetarian in a rural part of Maryland and haven’t found any connections so i was curious.

    The balls look great by the way.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 24, 2013 at 2:35 PM

      Hi Jacquie, I found the potluck through meetup.com by searching for vegan and vegetarian groups in my area. You could also see if there is a vegetarian association nearby that may know of local events. Hope this helps and you are able to connect with others. :)

  3. coconutandberries said, on September 24, 2013 at 2:34 PM

    I think it’s great that you’re trying to connect with other vegans locally. I’ve just moved and am hoping to go along to some meetups as well. I haven’t heard of “The Elephant in the living room” but it sounds really interesting, not an issue I was even aware of. The Cove is a great film too.
    I saw these balls and bookmarked them. Thanks for the tips :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 25, 2013 at 5:57 AM

      I thought it was even more poignant because it happens in Texas. Not that I have seen it, but I imagine it is more of a rural thing… although Houston is one big sprawling city.

  4. sprint2thetable said, on September 24, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    It’s funny how change makes you meet more people. Literally being forced to get outside your box. Scary, but fun!

  5. Joanne said, on September 24, 2013 at 9:47 PM

    Many of my close friends aren’t vegetarian or vegan, but the new friends I find myself gravitating more and more towards are definitely into food and into plant-based food specifically! It’s funny how that changes when you kind of have to “restart” in life.

  6. realrawkitchen said, on September 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    These look so good and are so simple, too! I feel ya on the wrist-slapping in the raw world. I totally get the philosophy of raw food and I love it and live it .. but sometimes a pb&J themed treat is just a good treat!! I’ll make some for the hubby and myself when we travel next week :) thank you!

    And thanks for sharing about the documentary, I always love hearing about different, informative movies.

  7. Johanna GGG said, on September 25, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    your talk of movies reminds me of when we were young and we would watch a movie at the church hall and then everyone would bring a plate (that is a plate of food) and we would all enjoy a meal – it was before I heard the word potluck! sounds like your potlucks are interesting and that moving to a new town probably gives you more energy to try such events – glad the peanut balls tasted good as they look

  8. chrissieh said, on September 25, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Thought of you early this morning as I left the house. First time this year that I’ve felt a chill in the air.

    Okay, so maybe “chill” is too strong a word. Let’s just say it wasn’t the usual blast of hot humidity in the air.

    Which means that, before too much longer, we’ll find ourselves in the middle of October, and one more hot summer will be just another uncomfortable memory.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on September 25, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Chrissie, I honestly thought the same thing this weekend. Rob and I went out for our typical weekend bike ride at 7am and I honestly felt cold! Granted, I was wearing a sleeveless jersey and cycling shorts, but there was definitely a chilly nip in the air! Of course, the temperature was only 20C (68F) so not really that cold at all. And definitely not as good as my family in Ottawa and Toronto who have frost warnings at night now. :) I am SUPER excited for this fall/winter! :)

  9. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on September 26, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    My stereotypes of Houston are such that I’m surprised and impressed there is such a thriving vegan community – but then again, stereotypes are meant to be turned upside down. These energy balls look fantastic too!

  10. Sandra said, on September 27, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Nice idea to use the raisins to represent the jam. They sound very tasty!

  11. Gena said, on October 2, 2013 at 6:07 AM

    Yay! So glad that you liked the balls. And I’m so glad that you’re connecting with likeminded folks in Houston. No matter where you are, there is always a community present — thank goodness the internet allows us to find it these days. xo

  12. […] tastespace.wordpress.com […]

  13. Shobelyn Dayrit said, on October 6, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Oh my, found your entry in Vegan Friday. I am making this this week since I have all the ingredients. I will post the picture of my finish product. Thanks for sharing to us this easy recipe.

  14. Shobelyn Dayrit said, on October 6, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    I want to join Vegan/Vegetarian Community too, it is just not present here in Wichita, KS

  15. […] (via Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls | the taste space ) […]

  16. […] Peanut butter cookies to the rescue. Peanut butter and wait for it, mashed chickpeas, are the base for these cookies. I chopped up some chocolate to incorporate into the sweet batter. Now we had peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies! I am no stranger to beans in cookies, either. One of my favourite cookies are these chocolate mint cookies made with black beans and these chocolate chip chickpea blondies were a hit, too. I like bean-based cookies because they are softer and more cake-like, instead of hard and crackly cookies. They certainly have a different texture but you would never know there were chickpeas in them. These would also make a nice snack while cycling/exercising – a nice change of pace from date-based treats. […]

  17. […] you think this blog is only made up of Asian and Southeast Asian/Indian, or ridiculously easy treats, sometimes it is nice to branch out a bit. Branch out into fancy foods, even if Rob is […]

  18. […] recipe blog. I have gushed about her homemade coconut-almond ice cream before and since I knew her recipe for brownies was good, I was excited to see how her other recipes […]

  19. Jac -Tinned Tomatoes (@tinnedtoms) said, on November 4, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    I can’t believe they are so simple! Cooper is going to love these!

  20. […] Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls […]


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