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Cooking with Karina: Move Past the Summer Slump

Karina Arnold
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Energy Balls

Karina Arnold mixes together nut butter, honey, vanilla extract, oats, flax seed, chia seeds plus chocolate chips and/or sprinkles to make these Energy Balls. 

Karina Arnold is a junior at the University of Oklahoma who’s passionate about healthy cooking. She provides creative, healthy recipes and tips on clean eating.

Summer’s honeymoon phase is over. Mom is missing her free time while the kids are at school and teens are losing their first job excitement. Work has become an uninteresting routine that minimum wage can’t pay off and entertaining the kids is now an impossible, draining task. When I worked my first “real job” at a frozen yogurt shop, my original excitement of a summer filled with froyo actually became sticky, monotonous days ending in late, humid nights.

Remember those pre-summer jitters? Remember the ball of energy that burst inside you after the final bell? Scrolling through my Pinterest “summer” board, I am reminded of why summer is the best. Summer is a time for learning, but a learning outside the classroom, a learning through experience, adventure and exploration. Kids learn crafts at camp, teens learn professional skills at work, parents learn more about their kids through increased quality time spent together. Revive that original first day of summer ball of energy with these Energy Balls. This recipe is packed with healthy fats, grains and natural sugars that will give you the spark to move past the slump. In her recipe, Jordan Maedgen opts for coconut flakes in Jordan’s Energy Balls. In your version, you can add nuts, dried fruits or try different nut butter flavors. Since these snacks require no baking, this recipe is perfect to make with the kids or friends. You can pack these quick bites for a snack in the park or an afternoon pick-me-up.

You decide how you want to flavor your energy balls, but I recommend sticking to old-fashioned oats in your recipe. As mentioned in my T-oat-ally Awesome article, old fashioned oats stay fresh longer due to their steaming production process. Furthermore, the wide-oat kernel absorbs flavor without getting soggy, providing the perfect consistency that is not too chewy and not too brittle. Old-fashioned oats ensure that your energy balls will not crumble when you grab them but not stick to your hands.

Boost your energy and move past the summer slump. Chock-filled with vitamins from dark chocolate, oats, flax seeds and nuts, these energy balls keep you full and fueled. Make a mundane day into the best day ever!  

This summer, take an adventure. You can adventure to a new park, travel to a new world through a book, experience new flavors at one of Houston’s many restaurants, or learn a new skill at summer camp. You can always escape your summer slump, all you need is some spunk!

Have any creative summer activities to share? Comment below!

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