Healthy, sweet and satisfying. These energy bites are the perfect solution for the 2 pm “hangries”.
Sometimes my boss can be a stinker. A few weeks ago, he appeared in my office with a gift: a ginormous bag of mini Reese’s cups for my office mate and me. You know, those irresistible, melt-in-your-mouth, sweet and salty little devils? To make matters worse, when he dropped them off he said, “I am giving these to you two; you are the only people who work here that can practice portion control”. (Really? Where did he get that idea?)
It’s true, both Caroline and I eat pretty healthfully. Not every day but on most days. So, when we were graciously given upwards of ten dozen Reese’s cups we made a quick but necessary pact to eat no more than two a day. That pact lasted about a week but after that, there were more than a few days when we both went over our limit. We just had to find something to replace those Reese’s!
Enter Energy Bites.
These little bites have so many healthy ingredients – and so much flavor! The peanut butter and the pumpkin seeds provide protein and healthy fat, the oatmeal and flax provide soluble and insoluble fiber, and the apricots and dark chocolate are absolutely amazing when combined with the other good-for-you ingredients and crunchy other stuff. (Don’t get me going on the espresso coconut chips!)
A little messy, but worth it. Depending on the peanut butter or nut butter you choose, and the honey or agave syrup, making these energy bites can be a bit messy – #totallyworthit.
Can you freeze them? Yes, yes! They freeze beautifully. Just put them on a cookie sheet, place them in the freezer for about an hour and let them harden. Once frozen you can pop them inside a freezer safe bag and take one or two out as needed.
One word of caution: Energy bites taste great and are usually made with super-healthy ingredients however, they ARE high in calories. If you are watching your weight (and who isn’t these days?) be sure to limit yourself to one bite for a snack, or two if you make them small.
Change it Up! There are lots of changes you can make to this recipe if you retain the original wet to dry ingredients ratio.
- Use almond or sun butter instead of peanut butter
- Use unsweetened flaked coconut instead of the Espresso Coconut
- Swap out the pumpkin seeds with another nut such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or macadamia nuts. (If you can, toast them first.)
- Replace or add another type of dried fruit such as dried cherries, cranberries, or mango.
What’s your favorite energy bite recipe? Are you willing to share it?
Peace, love, and good eats; from our Empty Nest to yours.
Healthy Tip: Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber which helps pull the bad cholesterol out of your body. Dried fruit is high in fiber too. Men need about 35 grams of fiber a day and women need about 25 grams.
Now trending in the Empty Nest Kitchen: Italian Espresso Coconut Chips – find them here.
My New Favorite Energy Bites
Yield 12-14 golf ball size bites
Sweet and salty, with a touch of coconut and a surprising burst of coffee flavor, these energy bites are just what you need when the 2 pm "hangries" hit.
- ½-3/4 cup natural peanut butter or almond butter – stirred well
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon almond or vanilla extract
- 1 cup oats (quick or old-fashioned)
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- ¼ cup chopped, roasted pumpkin seeds (leave about a tablespoon out for step 3 below)
- ¼ cup chopped, organic espresso-flavored coconut
- 2 tablespoons chopped dark chocolate (leave about a tablespoon out for step 3 below)
- ¼ cup diced, dried apricots (leave about a tablespoon out for step 3 below)
- Combine 1 tablespoon each of chopped apricots, dark chocolate, and pumpkin seeds in a small bowl. Set aside and save for step 3.
- Carefully mix all other ingredients together in a large bowl. Combine well.
- Roll into 12-14 golf ball size balls, then roll lightly in the apricot, pumpkin seeds, and dark chocolate topping (from step 1.)
- Cover and place in the refrigerator to set for 30 minutes.
- Serve cold or at room temperature.
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Sodium 22 mg
Total Carbohydrates 9 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 4 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.