Energy Bites!

Actually, energy doesn’t bite. Hangry bites. And here’s a solution. 

It’s 4pm on a typical Saturday in Bloomington. We’ve been to the farmers market, a birthday party at Bryan Park, and we’re just finishing up errands around town. We’re at least 2 hours from a sit down dinner, and we’re all hot, tired, and SO SO HUNGRY. 

I review my son’s diet for the day…Breakfast: a delicious (albeit not nutritious) fancy donut from the farmers market (plus a little kettle corn and a honey stick). Lunch: Pizza, cake and ice-cream. Typical birthday fare. I remember a veggie tray sitting at the party table. Maybe he ate a cucumber? While this isn’t a regular meal plan at our house, I can’t help but feel a little guilty for what I fed my son today. I’ll make up for it with a healthier dinner, but right now, we all need a snack. Preferably something with a little protein, fiber, and a vitamin or two. Energy Bites to the rescue. 

Energy Bites can rescue you too. For school lunches, after school snacks, bedtime treats, a thank you gift for the neighbor, but I prefer mine with a spoonful of nutella at 2 pm by myself. 

There are a million recipes for these babies. I’ll narrow down my top 3. Try them or branch out with a quick google search and share your results please. Happy snacking!! 

The Classic 

This recipe is from the food blog, Gimme Some Oven. All of Ali’s recipes on this blog are fantastic, but I particularly like her energy bites. They are low fuss, no bake, and contain chocolate. 

1 cup rolled oats*

2/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup peanut butter*

1/2 ground flax seed

1/2 chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon chia seeds (not required, but I love the little crunch)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix everything in a bowl, then let the bowl chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or so. Use your hands to roll the dough into balls about an inch in diameter. These keep in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week (if they last that long).    

*if I have it on hand, use half regular oats, half quick oats- the quick oats seem to make the balls come together a little more easily. This is the case for all the recipes. Steel cut oats DO NOT do well in these recipes.

*sub whatever nut butter or sun butter you like. With sun butter and gluten free chips and oats, these are super food allergy friendly.

The Oatmeal Cookie

These taste excellent on a fall day with a cup of chai tea. The recipe is similar to the Classic and influenced by the food blog, Two Peas and their Pod. Put on some fuzzy socks and get rolling! 

1 cup rolled oats 

1/2 cup almond butter*

1/4 ground flax seed

1/4 cup honey

1/4 raisins 

1 tablespoon chia seeds (again, not required, but that crunch!)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

a pinch of salt

Almond butter can be a little tricky, so you may want to warm it in the microwave with the honey for 15 or 20 second before adding the other ingredients. You know the drill! Mix everything together, chill and shape into one inch balls.

*If you want to splurge, these taste amazing with cashew butter. 

Pumpkin Bites (aka little morsels of fall heaven)

Okay, so these involve a food processor. But they also contain pumpkin. And pumpkin spices. And maple syrup. So even after pulling out the food processor AND cleaning it afterward, I think you still come out ahead. The recipe is adapted from Well Plated.

1 cup pitted dates

1 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup toasted pecans

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 tablespoon ground flax seed  

2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

If your dates are dried out or on the harder side, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Pulse the dates in the food processor until they form a sticky ball. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until the oats and pecans are about the same size, but not completely smooth. Chill in the fridge (I just put the entire processor bowl in the fridge- no need to transfer and mess another bowl) for 20 minutes. By now you are an expert at this, so feel free to oversee homework, create tomorrow’s to do list in your head, or ask your significant other to pour you a drink as you roll that mixture into one inch balls and create wholesome, delicious, love filled snacks for your family. Well done Mama. 



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