I first made these energy bites a couple of months ago for a workshop I did for teens and young adults in a Teen Fit program at the adolescent health center where I work. I wanted a snack that was was nutritious but still tasty and easy enough for teens (aka did not require any kitchen appliances). I came across these No-Bake Energy Bites from Gimme Some Oven and tweaked them to be allergen-free and vegan. And, FYI, these are perfect for us older kids as well.
For the business lunch I prepped a few days ago, we wanted to include the ingredients for one of the recipes so that they people receiving them could make something themselves. I knew this was a perfect one since it’s one of those big bang for the buck recipes – not a lot of work for a tasty, versatile treat that lasts for a while in the fridge or freezer.
These bites are great for breakfast, before a workout, after a work, as a snack, for dessert – you name it. They are super easy to make and can be tailored to your personal tastes and dietary restrictions. The sunflower seed butter in my usual version provides a nut-free, plant-based source of protein and healthy fat. While the gluten-free oats and coconut nectar help supply carbohydrates to replenish our energy stores. I’m a huge fan of chia and hemp seeds, both also great sources of protein, healthy fats and fiber. An added benefit is that chia absorbs more than 10 times its weight in water – hello hydration!
- ½ cup seed or nut butter (I like sunflower butter)
- 1/3 cup coconut nectar or honey (I use coconut nectar)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 1 Tbsp. hemp seeds
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- 2/3 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup rolled oats
- ½ cup chocolate chips and cacao nibs, mixed to desired ratio (the nibs are crunchier and less sweet)
- Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed.
- Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.
- Once chilled, roll into balls of whatever size you would like - mine are generally about 1" in diameter.
- Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Even better, store in freezer for denser consistency and to keep longer (they can be eaten straight from the freezer, at least the ones I've made with coconut nectar).
- • Feel free experiment - use your favorite seed or nut butters (almond butter, cashew butter, etc.), sub or add in chopped dried fruit or berries, chopped nuts/seeds, or other grains like rice cereal.
- • To keep them gluten free, use gluten-free oats and for vegan, use coconut nectar or possibly maple syrup or agave (or a mix).
- • This recipe is super flexible. If you end up needing to omit one of the dry ingredients (such as coconut or flax), just add in some extra of whatever other dry ingredient is remaining (for example, the oats). If you feel like your energy bites are too dry, add in extra coconut nectar/honey or seed/nut butter.
- • For easier rolling: Wet hands between making a couple of the balls; this helps with sticky hands that tend to make them harder to form into balls.