No-Bake Cinnamon-Almond Energy Bites
Energy bars and protein bars abound on grocery store shelves, but personally, I haven’t found one that has the perfect combination of good flavor and good nutrition. Being someone who would rather make my food from scratch, I created these No-Bake Cinnamon-Almond Energy Bites for those times when my kids or I need a quick, healthy snack that tastes great too!
I ended up making little balls rather than bars, because they are so easy to take as a grab-and-go snack and they are a great size for my small kids. They pack in a good amount of calories (don’t be alarmed ““ they are meant to provide good calories to keep you going for a while!), as well as good fats and plenty of fiber, coming mostly from the chia seeds in the recipe.
Chia seeds are tiny dark seeds that are traditional to Central American countries. These tiny seeds are packed with fiber, which is one reason they are sought after for health benefits. Just 1 tablespoon of the seeds contains 5 grams of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full for longer, can help keep cholesterol levels in check, and can help prevent constipation and intestinal issues. That’s pretty powerful for such a little seed.
Chia seeds can be purchased whole or ground into a meal (or powder). These energy bites use the chia meal, but if you have whole chia seeds at home, simply grind them in a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) to get meal. If you don’t have any chia powder/meal and want to make this recipe, you can easily substitute flax seed meal.
These energy bites are sweetened both with naturally sweet dates, and honey or maple syrup. Using the dates adds a bit of time to the overall process, however, I just love using dates as a sweetener because they not only add sweet flavor but also boost the fiber and antioxidants too. If you want to shave some time off the process, I’ve given a tip on how to use all honey (or maple syrup) for the sweetener.
Soaking the dates in boiling water softenes them so they puree more smoothly.
This is the chia powder I buy
Once everything is mixed together it looks like this. It’s super quick when using a food processor.
- 8 pitted whole unsweetened dates*
- ½ cup boiling water
- ½ cup toasted slivered almonds
- ½ cup almond butter
- 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 to 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ salt
- 1 ½ cups gluten free dry old fashioned oats
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup chia powder/meal or flax seed meal
- In a small bowl combine dates and boiling water; cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile add almonds to a food processor; cover and pulse until finely chopped. Remove almonds from processor; set aside. Transfer dates and soaking liquid to the food processor. Cover and process until pureed. Add almond butter, coconut oil, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Cover and process until well combined.
- Add chopped almonds, oats, almond meal, and chia powder. Cover and process just until well combined. Line a small baking pan with waxed paper. Shape almond mixture into balls, using about 2 teaspoons of the mixture per ball. Place on waxed paper. Energy bites will firm up slightly as they stand.
- Place energy bites in an airtight container. Store at room temperature up to 5 days or freeze up to 3 months.
- *For an even quicker treat, omit the dates and ½ cup boiling water and skip the soaking and pureeing steps for the dates in step 1. Increase the honey (or maple syrup) to ¼ cup and add 1 tablespoon water.
- about 30 energy bites
- 88 cals, 2 g pro, 7 g carb, 6 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1.5 g sat fat, 2 g fiber, 20 mg sodium