Power Balls: Food for an Earth-loving Bike Commuter

Happy Earth Day everyone!

What are you doing to celebrate this awesome planet – today, or every day?

I’m definitely not the perfect environmentalist, despite being the daughter of two environmental scientists.

I don’t compost as much as I should.  I usually choose the peace and quiet of my own car over a bus on a rainy day.  I have been known to occasionally let my engine idle, afraid that turning it off would wake up the baby sleeping in the back seat (and in the last year, I am a weensy bit more compassionate towards idlers – whereas I used to be really tempted to knock on their window and tell them to shut their dang cars off – I now realize that maybe when you have only had two hours of sleep the night before and the baby is finally napping and all you want to do is lean the seat back and catch a few zzzz’s yourself and turning off the car will ensure that you DON’T get that much-needed nap, that it might be semi-excusable.  I get it.  But on those days, plant a tree or something, eh?).

I do, however, buy local whenever possible.  I consider it a challenge to eat locally in mid-winter.  I avoid packaged and processed foods as much as possible.  I have a garden.  I’ve started shopping for used clothing before heading straight for new duds.  I get out and breathe the fresh air as often as possible.

One of my biggest commitments to being a little more earth-friendly is my relationship with my bike:  I’m a regular bike commuter – 20km a day to and from work, with lots of thigh-burning, sweat-prickling, lung-busting hills.

Getting ready for the morning commute on this beautiful, sunny Earth Day

Getting ready for the morning commute on this beautiful, sunny Earth Day

All this physical activity, while awesome for my body, my brain and my planet, leaves me in a bit of a food quandary at times:  firstly, all this hard work makes me darn hungry.  All day.  Secondly, I only have the backpack on my back to carry my day’s supply of food.  Not to mention my work clothes, requisite supply of earrings/bracelets/scarves, and my trusty iPad.  So.  I need food that packs a lot of bang for the buck.  Or size.  You know.


Enter the Power Ball (name made up by me).  These little babies are quick to make, no bake, tasty, and filling.


Here’s what you need:

½ cup peanut butter

¼ cup honey

1 tsp vanilla

¾ cup oatmeal

¾ cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)

½ cup ground flaxseed

1 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp nutmeg

½ cup raisins

Here’s what you do: 


Mix all the ingredients together, stirring until they form a cohesive ball.  Roll into balls, whatever size you like.  Enjoy!  These can be frozen or refrigerated.  I like to package them, two to a ziplock, so they’re easy to grab for a snack and so that I’m not tempted to eat more than two – they are seriously addicting.  Also, I’ve done a huge number of variations of these – chocolate chips and candied ginger, dried cranberries, raisins and a couple tablespoons of cocoa…the list goes on.  Be creative!


Recipe adapted from Krista Butler, Taste of Nova Scotia blogger