Recently my schedule has been school to the gym, going from teaching children to teaching adults. Time has been limited for much else in between. I needed something to keep me fueled and ready to teach both. I needed something easy that I could grab with sustenance and calories.
I have tried the energy bars you can buy, but I don’t like eating processed foods if at all possible. So, I came up with these little energy bites. I change them up from time to time for variety.
I have here the basic recipe, but I will give you some suggestions on how to change them up. These are completely vegan and gluten-free. They do have some sugar from the raw honey, but mostly they are made from whole ingredients with nutritious values.
Plus, NO BAKING REQUIRED!!!
I always start with a cup of rolled oats for a base.I place these in a food processor and pulse them into they are have flour consistency and half rolled oats consistency.I then put in a nut. Here I put in a 1/3 cup of walnuts and three dates. FYI….make sure the dates are pitted. I have found breaking the dates up helps them process easier. Raisins are optional. When I use them, I also add 1/3 cup.
I pulse these altogether until incorporated well. At this point, I add 1/4 cup coconut flakes and pulse them to break them up a bit. I put everything into a bowl. It’s important to add all dry ingredients before adding wet.
At this point I add 1/4 cup flax seeds, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup cocoa nibs, 2 tsp. of cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I substitute one of these seeds for pumpkin seeds or pepitas.
I stir all of this well.
Now for the wet ingredients, I add 2 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 cup peanut butter and 1/2 cup raw honey. (A little helpful hint: Put the peanut butter into the measuring cup and put into the bowl before measuring out your honey. Using the same measuring cup you used from the peanut butter, the oil residue left in the cup will allow the honey to exit the cup quicker.)
You can definitely substitute the peanut butter for almond butter or sun butter.
I mix all of this well. Using a tablespoon, I scoop batter out and roll into a ball. I place on a cookie sheet.At this point, I place in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Then I place into an airtight container and store in the fridge for about a month or the freezer for several months. But, they don’t usually last that long!!Or, you can go to this next step. I rolled the balls into some cocoa powder on a plate. Follow the same directions as above for storing these.
Tree-nut free: substitute nut butter for sun butter and walnuts for pepitas or pumpkin seeds
Carrot Cake-like: throw in the optional raisins and grate 1/2 cup of carrot into them. (These need to be stored in the freezer and taken out about an hour before eating them.)
Banana-bread-like: throw in a mashed banana. (These need to be stored in the fridge and taken out about an hour before eating them. Or, I actually like these straight from the freezer.)
White chocolate chip cookie-like: Substitute the walnuts with macadamia nuts and substitute the cocoa nibs for white chocolate chips.
For sinful ones: add 1/2 cup mini-M&M’s and leave out the raisins. Substitute the walnuts with peanuts.
Also, you can substitute any nut for the walnuts-pistachios, almonds, pecans. etc.
You can substitute raisins for any dried fruit-cranberries, apples, prunes, etc.
The possibilities are endless. They make a great after-school snack that you and your grands or children can make together, too!
(makes approximately 25 balls)
1 cup whole oats
3 pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup walnuts
1/4 cup cocoa nibs
1/4 cu. flaxseeds
1/3 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sliced roasted coconut chips
pinch of salt
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup raw honey, preferably local
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (optional)
In a food processor, pulse the oats until half are flour-like. Add nuts and dates. Pulse until nuts and dates are chopped. Add coconut chips and pulse a few more times. Pour ingredients into a bowl. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and stir well. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop out the batter and form into a ball. Place balls on cookie sheet. At this point you can opt to roll the balls into the cocoa powder. Place in freezer for 20 minutes. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about a month or in the freezer for several months.