Bon EYEppetit: Bites for sight

Protein Balls and Hummus

Are you team sweet or team savory when it comes to snacks? Fortunately, there is no rivalry between these two finger foods. Both are delicious and bring their nutrient A game for your eyes. The protein energy balls rolled with a variety nuts help protect healthy eye tissue1 and they have chocolate chips – score. The easy-peasy hummus recipe rippled with olive oil helps decreases the risk of late age-related macular degeneration.2 Pair it with carrots or peppers to dip or use it with the eye nourishing veggie platter.

Protein Balls Recipe

Serves: About 15 balls
Time: 20 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

1/4 cup of uncooked rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped raw almonds
1/4 cup chopped raw walnuts
1/4 cup chopped raw pecans
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tbsp honey
1/2 cup peanut or almond butter
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Using a sharp knife, finely chop almonds, walnuts, and pecans.
  2. Combine sunflower seeds, rolled oats, chocolate chips, chopped almonds, chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, cocoa powder, peanut butter
    and honey in a bowl.
  3. Using a spoon, mix ingredients together well. You may need to add more honey to hold it all together.
  4. Once you’ve finished mixing all ingredients together, line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper.
  5. Next, use your hands to begin rolling spoonful scoops into balls.
  6. Place the rolled balls onto the lined cookie sheet so that they’re not touching and place in the fridge until cooled and hardened, about 2 to 3 hours.
  7. Store in an airtight bin in the refrigerator for up to one week and enjoy!

+ Pro tip: You can store energy balls for up to 3 months in the freezer and defrost in your refrigerator for an easy, quick snack.
+ Variation: You can easily substitute your other favorite nut variations in this recipe, or add dried fruit using your favorite combinations!

Hummus with carrot and pepper dippers

Serves: 6-8
Time: 25 mins
Difficulty: Medium

Ingredients

1 can of chickpeas (15 oz)
2 chopped garlic cloves
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp paprika
+ pinch of salt
1 bag of baby carrots
1/2 sliced red bell pepper

Hummus steps

  1. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas.
  2. Next, peel two bulbs of garlic. Then, place garlic bulbs on a chopping board. Using a chef’s knife, place the blade flat on the bulb and smash the bulb using your palm.
  3. Chop the garlic bulbs up into small pieces.
  4. Next, place chickpeas, garlic, olive oil, tahini, cumin, paprika, a squeeze of fresh lemon and a pinch of salt into a food processor.
  5. Puree ingredients, adding water as needed to achieve a smooth texture.
  6. Once you’ve reached the consistency you’re happy with, transfer hummus from food processor to a bowl.

+ Optional: Garnish hummus with 1 Tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle of cumin or paprika to taste.

Dippers steps

  1. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice bell pepper, removing stem and seeds.
  2. Place on side of hummus bowl and enjoy!

+ Variation: For a little extra flavor add different spices, such as red pepper flakes or add roasted peppers to create a favorite flavor combination.


1. Ricker, Stuart, and Steven Newman. “Caring for Your Vision: Diet & Nutrition.” American Optometric Association,. https://www.aoa.org/.

2. Cougnard-Grégoire, Audrey et al. “Olive Oil Consumption and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Alienor Study” PloS one vol. 11,7 e0160240. 28 Jul. 2016, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0160240. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/.