Put down that store-bought energy bar, throw out that chocolate bar, and embrace the infinitely customizable and far healthier energy bite – or ball.
Energy bite. Energy ball. Potato. Potaato. Important is, these little bites rock. Whether you’re looking for a bite of breakfast, a pre-workout energy booster, a post-workout snack, an afternoon pick-me-up or just a healthy sweet treat, give energy bites a try. Pack them with protein and superfruits, keep it simple with oats and nut butter, or just use what you’ve got to hand – no extra special ingredients needed. These little guys can be anything you want.
Start with a core recipe and then adapt it to suit your needs.
ENERGY BITE MAIN INGREDIENTS
The body. This is basically the core ingredient. Think oats, shredded coconut, dates, protein powder and wheat germ. Mostly these are dry ingredients..
The glue. This is what keeps everything together in a shapely ball. You’re looking for wet/ sticky ingredients. Nut and seed butters work really well. But soft, mashable fruit/ vegetables such as mashed banana, cooked sweet potato and avocado can also work if you’re avoiding nuts. If you’re not using nut butter or you generally just need something to hold it together better, adding a tablespoon or two of coconut oil works great.
Burst of flavor. Dried fruit or cocoa nibs make for fantastic additions, and give a lovely burst of flavor.
Sweetener. Depending on how sweet you like your treats you can add something extra to sweeten things up. Try honey, maple syrup, molasses, or agave nectar. If you’ve added sweet fruit such as cranberries or dates, you might need less sweetener.
Flavor. Add an extra layer of flavor with a splash of vanilla or a dash spice. This brings out the sweetness, without actually adding extra calories.
Health boost. This is a great opportunity to add some healthy extras such as chia seeds, maca powder, and even spirulina! This is where you upgrade your energy bite to a nutrient-packed powerhouse of goodness. Where the other ingredients are about adding protein, healthy fats and complex carbs, this step is all about adding extra micronutrients – vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and other goodies. You can also make it more filling by adding chia seeds for example. These little fellas may look tiny, but once they’re in your stomach they expand greatly to make you feel fuller.
Bonus! For an extra nice finish, roll the energy bites in dusting of cocoa powder, crushed nuts, seeds, shredded coconut or melted dark chocolate.
NO-BAKE ENERGY BITE BASIC RECIPE
Energy bites are super easy and quick to make. No awesome kitchen skills required! This recipe makes about 20 balls.
2 – 2 ½ cups core ingredients
½ cup nuts or nut butter
½ cup dried fruit (or chocolate chips)
1/3 cup sweetener
½ – 1 tsp flavor enhancer
1 – 2 tbs health booster
Of course this is just a starting point. You can be more adventurous and change things up a lot more. Just keep the consistency of the mixture in mind, as you want it to hold together when you roll it into tasty little energy balls! If you prefer your bites more sticky, be careful with how much extra “glue” you add, as these ingredients tend to be heavier on the calories.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
Allow mixture to cool in the refrigerator for 15 – 30 minutes.
Once chilled, roll into energy balls!
It’s that easy.
NO-BAKE ENERGY BITE TIPS
For a pre-workout energy bite go for more carbs and less protein. You’re looking for energy to power you through your workout and also want it to be easily digestible so it won’t upset your stomach when you’re exercising. To do this, add in more fruit. Also, carbs such as oats are great, as they’re low-glycemic, meaning that it’ll help avoid big fluctuations in blood-levels and provide you with a steady stream of energy.
For a post-workout energy bite a combination of carbs and protein helps speed up muscle recovery. Protein helps to rebuild and repair, whiles carbs help to replace energy stores.
The more protein and fiber you pack in to your energy bites the more filling they are, which means you get more bang (feeling full) for your buck (calories). Remember, this is not an unhealthy sweet treat. These energy bites are not meant to be empty calories. Quite the opposite! These energy bites punch above their weight. Yes they’re tasty, but you want something in return – for it to be satisfying and highly rich in nutrients, even though they’re super small.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR ENERGY BITES
Customize your energy bites to suit your needs and purpose. Breakfast, snack, or workout. Paleo, gluten-free, or vegan. These energy bites are totally adaptable.
THE BODY/ CORE INGREDIENTS
Amaranth, cooked, toasted
Whole wheat flour
Gluten free flour
Protein powder (e.g. brown rice protein, pea protein, hemp protein work great)
Blended nuts or seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, macadamia, etc.)
Nut or seed butters (e.g. cashew, almond, pumpkin seed, sesame seed, sunflower seed, etc.)
Cooked sweet potato
BURST OF FLAVOR
Chopped dates/ figs
Other dried fruit
Ground flax seeds
FOR ROLLING/ DUSTING
Seeds (e.g. sesame seeds)
CRANBERRY & RAISIN ENERGY BITES
We made cranberry and raisin energy bites with the following ingredients:
1 cup oats
1 cup wheatgerm
½ cup shredded coconut
½ cup nut butter
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup cranberries
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs chia seeds
Did we miss any awesome ingredients? What’s your favourite recipe? Let us know in the comment box below!