Staying healthy is a balance of many things: rest, exercise, hydration, and nutrition. Whether our goals are to lose weight, to sleep better, or to even de-stress, the right nutrition can be super-helpful. When the schedule gets away from us and the stress gets on top of us, it’s important to reach for a snack that’s healthy, satisfying, and feels indulgent.
Here it is, meet your new fave: Cranberry Almond Chocolate Energy Bites. Tasty, sweet, but not-too-sweet, and nutritious.
These little bites are the perfect thing before a workout, after dinner, or with a cup of green tea (or a grande latte? Ssh, we’ll never tell) as an afternoon pick-me-up. The hemp seeds, chia seeds, and almond butter help pump up the protein content, and the oats are a great complex carbohydrate. The added dates make this bite size bite an excellent source of potassium.
Not including the chilling time, these beauties only takes ten minutes to come together, and another 15 to prepare. This recipe is extremely flexible to those who enjoy adding their own flair: choose your favorite nut butter, and feel free to swap out the chopped chocolate and dried fruit for chopped almonds or walnuts or even flaked coconuts. Drop the chocolate, add dried strawberries, chopped peanuts, and peanut butter and you’d have a killer PB&J version.
Cranberry Almond Chocolate Energy Bites
Makes 28 1-inch bites, 25 minutes prep time, 1-hour total time
1 cup packed Medjool dates, pitted
1 ¼ cup rolled oats (NOT instant or quick oats, use g-free if you’re avoiding gluten)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
¼ cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons hemp seed, hulled
1 tablespoon chia seed
¼ cup almond butter (use a nut butter of your choosing)
½ cup dried cranberries
Pinch of salt
1 oz. chopped chocolate (I used 1/3 of a dark chocolate bar with cacao nibs, choose your favorite)
- In a food processor or blender, process dates until they make a thick paste and hold together like dough.
- Turn out dates into mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Alternatively, if you don’t mind your bites looking a bit more blended, combine all ingredients in processer and mix until thoroughly combined. (Dried cranberries may be hard to mix here, and I like my bites to look more whole, so I mix with a spoon or my hands.)
- Chill mix in refrigerator 20-30 minutes. (Don’t skip this step. It’s hard to get these suckers to hold their shape if they’re too warm.)
- Remove from refrigerator, and using hands or a melon baller/tablespoon/cookie scoop, scoop out bites onto a wax paper-lined cookie sheet. Roll between palms to make ‘em round.
- Once all the bites are scooped, store in glass (or plastic) jar for 1-2 weeks, if they last that long. For a longer time, store in the freezer, up to a month.
Serving size: 1 bite; Calories: 57; Fat: 2.3 g; Carbs: 8.4 g; Protein: 1.4 g
Enjoy this simple, tasty recipe, the perfect blend of nutrition and delight. Try it out, or make changes, and let us know how it goes for you!