Note to self: When planning on doing a cooking project with Miss G, don’t make mention of it until it’s actually time to begin. I learned this the hard way today when I casually asked Gracen if she wanted to make a treat with me while finishing up a load of dishes. I went to pop the dishtowels in the wash and came back to a butcher block littered with with containers – cocoa, cream of tartar, beans, and baking powder. Not sure what she planned on making, but she obviously got a little excited and jumped the gun. My bad.
Today we whipped up a little something I’ve seen a lot of while browsing Pinterest… Energy bites. Here’s our version, and let me tell you, they’re delish. Sweet and satisfying like dessert, but packed with healthy fats, protein, fibre, and vitamins.
Don’t be intimidated by our giant line up of ingredients… These are all things we always have on hand and I wanted to jam pack these little suckers with as many nutrients as possible, so we used a little of everything. It doesn’t have to be this involved though. I like the way Heidi from Food Doodles stated it… This is more of a formula than a recipe. You could easily get away with less than half of these ingredients. Our list includes organic oats, pure maple syrup, honey, all-natural almond butter, hemp hearts, chia, ground flax seed, wheat germ, raw almonds, walnuts, unsweetened coconut, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and pure vanilla.
To get started, put your almond butter into a large mixing bowl (any nut butter will do, so feel free to pick your favourite).
Next, add some old-fashioned oats.
Then gather your “goodies”. For us this included hemp hearts, chia, ground flax seed, wheat germ, raw almonds, walnuts, unsweetened coconut, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds, but it could really be any combination of dry ingredients.
Dump your goodies into the mixing bowl.
Next, add a generous amount of good vanilla.
And a spice (or spice combination) of your choice. We kept it simple in the spice department and chose cinnamon, but you could really use any of your favourites… Nutmeg, cloves, ginger, and allspice could all be good options.
Mix everything together so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
While you tidy up, pop your mixture into the refrigerator for about 30 minutes (or cheat like we did and pop it into the freezer for half the amount of time).
With your mixture chilled, now you’re ready to form your bites. We found it easiest to take a tablespoon measure, dip it into a mug of very hot water (this would work even better if you were using a metal measuring spoon), fill the scoop, and press the mixture down into the spoon to compact it.
Little dome-shaped bites should easily pop out into your hand or onto your baking sheet.
Tada! Little nutrient-packed mouthfuls.
After you’ve formed all of your bites, pop them into the fridge / freezer for storage or feed them to your desperate toddler immediately. (In all honesty, she stuck around to help form the first five and then begged for me to put her in her seat so she could start gobbling down her creation.)
You may not be able to tell, but she’s got a giant mouthful, plus a fistful, and she’s frantically saying “More! More!” You think she liked them?
‘Mama, don’t you hear me saying “more”? Must I sign it for you also?’
I highly recommend you whip up some of these as soon as possible. The original recipe can be found here and this is our tweaked version:
Nutrient-Packed Energy Bites
- 1/2 of a cup of all-natural nut butter (at room temperature)
- 1/4 of a cup of honey and pure maple syrup (we used mostly maple syrup with just a little honey because I’ve always found the sweetness of honey to be a little overwhelming, but using more honey will definitely increase the stickiness of the mixture, thus making it easier to form the bites)
- 1 cup of organic old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups of dry “goodies” (your personal combination of nuts, seeds, dried fruit, unsweetened coconut, wheat germ, ground flax, hemp heats, chia, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon of pure vanilla
- 1 teaspoon of your favorite spices or spice combination (cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg would all be yummy)
Add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Stir well.
Refrigerate for 30 minutes (or pop in the freezer for 15). Dip a tablespoon measuring spoon into a mug of very hot water and fill the spoon with the mixture, pressing it down in order to compact everything. Gently shake spoonfuls out onto a baking sheet and place in the fridge or freezer to firm them up.
Serve or transfer into an airtight container and store in the fridge or freezer. Pull bites out for a quick, delicious, and nutritious snack.