by HEAB on November 16, 2012

We have a new favorite knack around here…

Almond Butter Balls, AKA “Rocks”.

The first time I presented these to Summer, she pointed at them and said, Rocks.  However, since they came from the fridge and not the backyard, she took a small bite and then another and another, and now I make sure to keep a supply of rocks on hand at all times.  Summer loves these almond butter balls.  So, she’s happy, and I’m happy that we’ve found an easy-to-make snack she enjoys…also happy she hasn’t tried to eat a real rock.

The recipe couldn’t be easier and many thanks to Margie for the tip.  Margie told me that with her kids, it’s all about presentation and texture, and Margie, you are so right!  I kept making Summer various chunky granola bar type snacks, but she didn’t like them.  The almond butter balls are smooth and not chewy.  Perfect!


Honey, almond butter, and whole milk powder.


  • Stir together 1 cup almond butter (or smooth nut butter of choice) + 1 cup milk powder* + 1/2 cup honey.
  • Roll into balls.
  • Refrigerate.

*I found the whole milk powder at Target in the baking aisle.

Edited To Add: You may need to add a little more milk powder if your dough is too gooey.  Margie makes her version with 1 cup oats, 1 cup dried milk, 1/2 cup honey, & 1/2 cup nut butter.  I’m going to try this next time but pulse the oats into oat flour for a smoother texture.

Love little toddler hands…

Oh, and we also tried experimenting with toast presentation this week…

Yeah, that didn’t go over so well.  After eating the eyes, ears, and nose, she was all done. Oh well, more peanut butter for mom. 🙂


Kathy February 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Just curious, I don’t use dairy milk. I wonder if I could use a protein powder instead of the milk? If not, do you have a suggestion I could try that would be vegan? Thanks. I would love to try these “rocks”.

HEAB February 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm

Hi Kathy,
I haven’t tried, but I think these would turn out great with a rice protein powder, although if you’re using a sweetened powder, I would use a little less honey or maybe try maple syrup since it isn’t as sweet. You could also try subbing coconut flour or peanut flour for the powdered milk. Let me know if you try it!

Brittany November 19, 2012 at 4:49 pm

Love it! I have made something similar using Sun Warrior protein powder and maple syrup. I also ground up unsweetened coconut flakes. Simple treats like these are just perfect. Time to go make a batch! Have a great Thanksgiving my dear!!

Alyssa (azusmom) November 19, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Oh, those little hands!!!!!!!
🙂 🙂 🙂

Denise Billings November 19, 2012 at 11:53 am

I’m still looking for some portable, protein snacks for myself. Do the “rocks” melt? Can you take them in your purse for 8 or 9 hours and will they still be safe to eat? Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience, Heather!

HEAB November 19, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Hi Denise,
Well, I do carry the “rocks” in my purse for a few hours at a time, and although they don’t completely melt, they do soften up and kind of smoosh together. Might keep their shape a bit better with a little oat flour added and maybe freeze them the night before? Since they don’t contain dairy, they’re okay to keep out of the fridge for a while. Hope you like them if you try ’em! 🙂

Christa @ Edible Balance November 19, 2012 at 11:48 am

Oooh, what a fun and easy snack! I would definitely use protein powder for these ‘rocks’, and yes, grinding the oats would be a great way to give more of a nutrition boost without compromising the texture.

And those toddler chubby fingers? I die… so adorable!

HEAB November 19, 2012 at 1:27 pm

I know. Love those little chubby fingers – just want to squeeze ’em! 🙂

Kerry @ Totes My Oats November 19, 2012 at 11:12 am

Yum, I have a feeling I would be eating way too many of those balls. They look so great!

HEAB November 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

That feeling is probably correct. Trust me, I know from experience. 🙂

STUFT Mama November 19, 2012 at 2:11 am

Rocks. I like that. I’ve made the version before with oats for myself with protein powder. I need to try these out on the boys. They should love the same. And the toast???? You are just clever. PS- Summer has the cutest, chubbiest hands ever.

HEAB November 19, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Thanks Kristin, and I bet the boys would love some “rocks”! Someone else commented that they called them PB Playdough – I like that name even better. 🙂

Saba @ Less is More (Fun) November 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm

I’m loving (and making a mental note of) all the helpful toddler tidbits you’re sharing! And that little toddler hand is too precious!

HEAB November 19, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Oh good – hope they help you someday. 🙂

Kirby November 17, 2012 at 7:12 pm

20+ years ago my mother would make this recipe for me and we called it peanut butter playdough! Love.

HEAB November 19, 2012 at 1:25 pm

PB Playdough – that’s brilliant. I’ll have to try that with Summer once she knows what playdough is. 🙂

Tracy November 17, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Ahhh…love those chubby toddler fingers! So glad you found a good knack option. I think they would be great for me as an early morning pre-workout or pre-yoga snack. I think I’ll add the oat flour, too.

Do you still get to practice yoga? You and Polly were my inspiration to start a few years back and now I love it so so much! So thanks for the inspiration and I hope you still have yoga in your busy life 🙂

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Hi Tracy,
Oh how I miss my regular yoga practice. I try to do it here at the house, but it’s just not the same as going to the studio. So, yes, I still get to practice, just not as often. Polly and her family stopped by a few weeks ago to meet the twins while driving through Nashville. Love her – she inspired me too. Still does. 🙂

The Delicate Place (@misathemeb) November 17, 2012 at 10:29 am

lol! rocks. also, i totally love your bear toast presentation…if i were a kid i would eat that in a second! she will come around i think 🙂 you are so patient! bless!

purelytwins November 17, 2012 at 9:23 am

too cute! rocks – that is something our niece would have called them too! it is great when you find something that is easy to make and that they enjoy! those ROCKS sound perfect!

lena November 17, 2012 at 9:00 am

Ha ha! I love the toast!!! Those little hands are so cute! (:
Am sure going to try to make those balls, I might try soy powder instead of milk powder.. yes and oats too!

Averie @ Averie Cooks November 17, 2012 at 6:53 am

Love the looks of these! I’ve made similar things with milk powder, honey, oats and PB – I’ve never tried with AB or without using oats. I do like oats but the texture is pretty distinct and LOVE the look of your smooth, shiny, perfect glassy looking rocks! Summer is one lucky girl 🙂

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:53 am

I’m totally adding oats next time but grinding into oat flour first. Not sure why I didn’t think to do that as I think the oats would add nice flavor. Love a good oaty rock. 😉

Averie @ Averie Cooks November 17, 2012 at 10:25 am

And I almost NEVER use quick-cooking oats (as opposed to whole rolled old-fashioned) but happened to have some recently and used those, as-is. No grinding necessary. Between the PB and the honey, they softened them enough and it was perfect!

Margie November 16, 2012 at 10:01 pm

I just realized you didn’t add oats. We make them with 1 cup of oats, 1 cup of dried milk, 1/2 cup honey, 1/2 cup of nut butter. If you put them in the food processor, the oats won’t be chunky. I’m sure they’re great either way. I got the recipe from this cookbook:

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:52 am

Thanks Margie,
I didn’t add oats b/c of the texture, but why I didn’t think to grind into oat flour, I have no idea as I often use oat flour in other recipes. Just edited the recipe to add your suggestion, and I’ll have to look into that cookbook. Thank you! 🙂

Margie November 16, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Yay!!! I’m SO glad she likes them! Thanks for the shout-out, Heather 🙂

Jess November 16, 2012 at 9:37 pm

Im going to try these!!’ love those adorable little toddler fingers!!

Jennie (the gf-gf) November 16, 2012 at 9:20 pm

I was just about to comment wondering if I could use protein powder on place of the milk powder, but I see someone’s already beat me to it! Anyways, I haven’t commented in a while, but reading your and Summers adventures in knacking has been so helpful as I have a long time between breakfast and lunch on work days and a girl can only eat so much trail mix!

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:50 am

I’m sure you could and I’m also thinking of experimenting with oat flour + coconut flour or some nut flours. Happy to hear our knacking adventures have helped. 🙂
P.S. We can’t do trail mix – someone picks out all the chocolate…just like her dad. Hehe.

Karey @ Nutty About Health November 16, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Those “rocks” sure look delicious! I don’t have kids, but I think I’d definitely like this recipe, especially for how much I LOVE nut butters! Thanks for sharing! Oh, & that toast is adorable!! 🙂

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

You’re welcome. I really like the rocks too. 🙂

Anna @ On Anna's Plate November 16, 2012 at 8:12 pm

I’m going to pass this recipe on to my sister– my niece Sophie is about two and a half, and she has turned into the PICKIEST eater!

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:48 am

Thanks Anna, and I hope the recipe helps. Summer used to eat anything we put in front of her and now she is super picky. Hoping it’s just a phase…but honestly, I don’t mind eating her leftovers. 🙂

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) November 16, 2012 at 7:21 pm

These look awesome! Definitely trying this out! I’m going to use my protein powder instead of the milk powder.

That toast is too cute! I would definitely be all over it! So funny how kids are all over the place with food. Everyday is a new adventure!

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:47 am

I’m going to experiment with a non-dairy version. I’m thinking oat flour + coconut flour maybe????

Jennifer November 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm

Such cute toast, Heather. 🙂

Thanks for the tip about the Target powdered whole milk. I’ve tried to find a whole milk version for so long.

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:46 am

You’re welcome. I’d seen it online but never got around to ordering it and while perusing Target one day, there it was. I think I’m going to experiment next time with subbing flours for the milk powder – maybe oat + coconut or almond.

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance November 16, 2012 at 6:31 pm

I’ve never heard of whole powdered milk before. Very cool recipe! And I love the presentation for your daughter…too cute!

Heather @ Bake, Run, Live November 16, 2012 at 6:22 pm

What a great snack for little ones! And I had to laugh at your description…” eyes, ears, and nose…” all I could think of was the song “Head, shoulders, knees, and toes!! 🙂

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

Heather, haha, that’s one of our favorite songs around here. 🙂

Maya November 18, 2012 at 2:00 am

Or perhaps, “Head, shoulders, knees, and TOAST!”

Meagan November 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Heather! This is so fun 🙂 PS – I LOVE that you’re blogging more regularly!

I just wanted to ask, have you heard of oxidized cholesterol that occurs in milk powder? I know that you follow the Weston Price organization a little bit… So I just wanted to pass this along – let me know what you think! It occurs in milk powders of any form, (and eggs powdered too), and I avoid it like the plague!

This is from Sally Fallon:

“The confusion comes about by what causes cholesterol in food to oxidize–it is not pasteurization or cooking (scrambled eggs are fine), but the spray drying of milk or egg yolks when they are forced through a very tiny hole at high temperature and pressure to make powdered milk and eggs. Powdered milk is added to 1% and 2% milk to give it body.

Regarding milk, the more I learn about pasteurization, the more I realize how harmful it is (for other reasons than the oxidation of cholesterol). And now most milk is ultra-pasteurized, especially most organic milk.

I think if people can’t get raw milk, the next best thing is pasteurized (not ultra-pasteurized) cream diluted with water. The fats are much less prone to damage by pasteurization than the water portion of the milk, and at least the fats in cream have not been homogenized. This is what I did for my family when we could not get raw milk. We used diluted cream on porridge and in cooking.”

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

Hi Meagan,
I do remember reading something about this but forgot all about it – or maybe I just had in my mind that non-fat milk powder wasn’t good. Hmm, something to think about. Might try the recipe next time with a blend of oat flour and coconut flour. Thanks for the info!

lindsay November 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm

that’s how i make a few healthy bites, but with goats milk powder and chocolate chips. Rock ON!

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:41 am

I thought about adding chocolate chips, but I was pretty sure Summer would just pick them all out and not want to eat the rest of her rock. 🙂

Amy November 16, 2012 at 5:34 pm

Trying these soon after I make my next trip to Target! Thanks for sharing!

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:40 am

You’re welcome. Enjoy! 🙂

Sarah November 16, 2012 at 5:25 pm

Pinned for the win! You all have been on my heart lately. Hope all is well 🙂

HEAB November 17, 2012 at 8:40 am

Hi Sarah, we are doing well. Hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving – kind of nice just being in charge of the cranberry sauce, huh? None of us are cooking this year. We’re going out! 🙂

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