Hey everyone! As part of a lazy day, I decided to make some energy bites for the coming week and thought that it would be fun to put it on the blog! I want to make it clear that this is not my own recipe, I actually just found it on Pinterest. This is the exact recipe by a Nicole from “Gluten Free on a Shoestring”, a blog which I have used in the past when making Gluten Free cookies! It is kind of unlike me to do a blog post on a recipe, but I just decided to go for it! ♥
We all know how important it is to snack between meals, but choosing healthy and beneficial snacks seems to be a real challenge. I am no health expert, but these energy balls are amazing, not only because they are gluten free, but because they are extremely nutritious. They are filled with tons of fiber, protein, carbohydrates, unsaturated fats, omega-3 fatty acids, and so much more that fuel your brain and give you long lasting, steady energy and fullness. Just two balls kept me full for a few hours, which was amazing! These energy bites are so easy to make and extra convenient because they do not need to be baked. So enough rambling and let’s get into the recipe!
Begin by spreading your dry ingredients on a baking sheet. You need 2 cups of certified Gluten Free rolled oats, 2 cups of coconut flakes, 1 cup of chia seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. If you do not have chia seeds, you can use her recommendation of hemp seeds or even sunflower seeds. Honestly they are optional, but add even more nutrition to the snack. I happened to have some chia seeds so I used those!
I actually also had some cacao nibs on hand, which are another superfood that I like to use in smoothies or vegan banana “ice cream”. I tossed them in with my dry ingredients to toast and they worked perfectly!
Nicole recommends toasting the dry ingredients in a 300° F oven for about 15 minutes. I would say that you could leave it in for even longer. This simply enhances the flavors of the ingredients, but is optional.
While your dry ingredients are toasting, you can start to put together the base for the energy bites. You will need 1 and 1/4 cups of peanut butter, 1/2 cup of honey, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Of course, if you prefer to use something other than peanut butter, like almond butter or even sunflower seed butter, feel free to use that. I do not have a problem with peanut butter, so that is what I decided to use. Also, if you are looking to make this recipe vegan as well, simply substitute the honey for agave and omit the chocolate chips (or use vegan chocolate).
To incorporate the wet ingredients well, it helps to heat up the mixture for about 45 seconds in the microwave.
Once your dry ingredients are toasted, they should be a light golden brown. Let each of the components cool for a few minutes before mixing.
Add your dry mixture in with the peanut butter mixture into a large bowl and start to fold them together. I recommend working quickly since the peanut butter naturally becomes thicker as the mixture cools down.
Once everything is well incorporated, you mixture should be flaky enough that it is not just dough but sticky enough that it will hold together if you press it.
Next, feel free to add 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips. Obviously you can omit them, but come on? Now if you are like me and do not have mini chocolate chips you can either use them whole, crush them with a cup, or blend them in a food processor, which is what I chose to do.
It is extremely important that you let the oat and peanut butter mixture continue to cool for at least another 20 minutes. I did not let my mixture cool enough, which resulted in my chocolate chips melting into the mixture. This isn’t necessarily bad, but learn from my mistakes and wait, wait, wait.
So after you mix your mini chocolate chips, you “batter” is ready to be molded. You can use a scoop or a spoon for this, but I just used my fingers to roll the dough into little balls, about an inch in diameter. It is not imperative that all of the bites are equal in size, large or small. With the sizes I made, the recipe yielded about 35 bites, which is what the recipe said as well!
I am not lying when I say that this recipe is so, so easy to make. Without toasting your oats, this would take maybe 10 minutes to make. And since the recipe makes such a large batch, it is perfect to make on a Sunday so you can enjoy them all week long!
I am realizing that my energy bites look a lot like meatballs, but that is just because the melted chocolate darkened the color. I promise they tasted great!
Nicole actually recommends keeping these in the refrigerator, which is what I decided to do. Depending on exactly how your bites ended up, chilling them may make them a little dryer in texture, so keep that in mind! They are delicious chilled or at room temperature, so it is really just preference.
Now, I am definitely not a health expert or a chef, but I definitely am one to appreciate the simple things. These little snacks were such a fun treat for myself that is beneficial for both my mind and my body. If you try out this recipe, I would love to know how you end up liking them! Thanks again to Nicole for sharing this recipe and have a great day!