The days of summer are quickly coming to a close and fall is almost here. Most of us have returned to a schedule that resembles our previous norms, which means less time to prep healthy foods. Kids have been back to school in our neck of the woods since the second week of August, so my time has drastically been limited ever since. In order to have healthy snacks on hand that don’t require a lot of prep time, I often turn to no-bake recipes.
In addition to their quick and easy nature, no-bake recipes are especially important for us Floridians right now. For the past several weeks we have been hit with an extreme heat wave, with indexes averaging in the low 100’s each day. Since I have no desire to fire up the oven and place more strain on the A/C unit trying its best to keep up, a no-bake recipe is golden. One of my favorite no-bake items to prepare are energy bites.
What makes energy bites a favorite of mine, besides their no-bake nature, is the sheer versatility you have with them. Just a few simple ingredient swaps can completely transform the flavor for whatever your taste buds currently desire. For example, a few years ago I created my first energy bite recipe and to this day it remains my main formula. When developing this recipe, all I had to do was simply swap out a few items and replace them with items that fit the flavor profile I desired to create. In a matter of moments I had a brand new recipe with minimal effort.
For this recipe, I decided to take one of my favorite energy bar flavors, dark chocolate cherry, and transfer it into a more portable energy bite. While I love energy bars, there are some downsides to them, making a energy bite version necessary. Energy bars are great if you consume them at home, but if you’re packing them in a lunch box or throwing them in your gym bag, they tend to break apart very easily. This is especially true for homemade bars, as they do not contain the filler ingredients that tend to hold processed bars together. Energy bites, however, do not suffer the same fate when taken on the go. That is why I now prefer to make them over bars.
So without further ado, let’s talk specifically about why I love THIS energy bite recipe. For all the busy bees out there, these bites only take 15 minutes of prep time. Honestly…that’s it! And for all those who don’t consider themselves bakers, no worries either. Prep consists of literally dumping all the ingredients into a food processor and then shaping the resulting dough into little circles. So easy a kid could do it…which leads me to all the parents out there. These bites are a perfect way to teach your kids healthy eating habits, as the recipe is easy enough for them to participate in and participation increases their desire to try a new food.
Lastly, for those concerned about nutrition, there are a plethora of healthy ingredients packed into each sweet little bite. Almond and coconut flour packs in the nutrients and makes them gluten-free. Dark chocolate provides plenty of antioxidants and minerals. Dried tart cherries provide even more antioxidants and nutrients that support heart health and reduce inflammation. Honey is a natural sweetener that is better for diabetics and is rich in both antioxidants and antimicrobials. Flaxseed is highly nutritious, rich in omega-3 fatty acids, enhances immunity, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Lastly, oats are high in fiber, help lower cholesterol, control blood pressure, and prevent certain cancers.
So if you want to get a boost of energy, indulge your sweet tooth with ease, improve your health with beneficial ingredients, and have plenty of leftovers to store in the fridge/freezer, add these delicious bites to your next meal plan!
No-Bake Dark Chocolate Cherry Energy Bites
- 1½ oz. Unsweetened Dark Chocolate; chopped (80% or higher)
- 1 cup Almond Flour
- ½ cup Dried Tart Cherries
- ½ cup sliced Almonds
- 1/3 cup Raw Honey
- ¼ cup Coconut Flour
- 2 tbsp. Sunflower Seeds; roasted & unsalted
- 1 tbsp. Flaxseeds (not ground)
- 1 tbsp. Sesame Seeds
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- In a food processor, combine all ingredients except the oats. Process mixture for 1 minute. Add the oats and process an additional minute. Roll the mixture into a large ball, cover in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Remove dough from the freezer and roll into 30 (1 inch) balls. Place bites in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. Bites can keep in the refrigerator for 3 days. Freeze any remaining bites in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.