Energy bites have been having a moment and for good reason. The one barrier that I always hear from clients when it comes to healthy eating is a lack of time. For this reason foods that are compact and provide you with the energy and nutrients you need for that afternoon boost are doing very well. For others, it is not necessarily a boost they are looking for but something to satisfy their sweet tooth. So, for this recipe I have put together some of my favourite ingredients and some that are not only popular right now, but also nutritious to create these energy bites.
I had to play around with the recipe a bit to get the proportions right. I also was not sure if I wanted them to be raw or cooked. The recipe you will find below does ask you to bake them for about 8 minutes, but you can in fact leave them raw. I personally prefer the cooked version. I should also mention that if you prefer a ball shape, please go ahead and do that. For me I wanted to do something different and I do prefer the bites.
What is great about this recipe is that you can change the ingredients based on your preferences. I do strongly suggest that you try the combination provided below and make changes to subsequent batches.
What’s great about this recipe is that anyone can make them. That’s right, you can get your kids involved! Getting kids involved in the kitchen is extremely important. In fact, kids are more likely to eat what they help prepare. So, what are you waiting for? Learn more about the nutritional benefits of some of the ingredients in this recipe right below, OR, if you absolutely cannot wait to try them, scroll down to the recipe below but be sure to review the nutrition spotlight section.
Oats are having a moment, well they have been having a moment for a while now and for good reason! Oats contain fibre, specifically, soluble fibre which may help control blood sugar levels as well as help improve blood cholesterol levels. Oats also contain other nutrients of interest including magnesium. However, there is still some confusion to whether or not oats are healthy. The type of oats and how they are prepared is an important part of this. So, to clear any confusion here is a breakdown that can help you decide for yourself.
Steel-cut oats are the least processed form of oats and the closest to the original form of the grain. Although they have been cut into smaller pieces, they still contain the entire oat kernel. Steel cut oats take longer to cook compared to its instant counterpart. Depending on the specific type of steel-cut oats and how crunchy and chewy you prefer them, it can take as little as 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.
Rolled oats (a.k.a. old fashioned oats) have gone through more processing compared to the steel-cut oats. Most noticeably, rolled oats are in fact rolled. For this reason it takes less time to cook them, approximately 15-20 minutes.
Quick cooking oats are rolled, like rolled oats, however, they have gone through extra processing which helps them cook quicker.
Instant oats go through the most processing and as a result cook very quickly (within minutes). Instant oats have been pre-cooked and dried and are usually found in individual flavoured packs for consumers.
So, from the explanations above, we know that oats, originally a whole grain, can come in a variety of different forms based on how it has been processed. The more the oats are processed (including cooking, steaming, drying, etc.) the less nutritional value they contain. Although the nutrient content is extremely important when it comes to choosing oats, you also have to consider the type of recipe you are using. If you are looking for the best kind of oats to use for oatmeal, steel cut oats would probably be it. If, however, you are looking to add oats to a specific recipe, such as granola or baked goods, you will most likely choose rolled oats. This has to do with the texture and cooking time.
Take home message? Avoid the instant, highly processed oats that have added sugar and salt. Instead, stick with the plain steel-cut or rolled oats and adjust based on your recipe. For those looking to enhance the fibre content of their food, incorporate rolled oats to your recipes such as in pancakes. And remember to speak to your health care professional before making any changes to your diet.
Dates have been considered a staple food in countries in the Middle East for a very long time. Now, you can find many recipes online and on social media that use dates as a star ingredient. There are several different varieties of dates and although some are eaten fresh, they are often consumed dry.
Dates are sweet and do contain natural sugar, however, they are also high in fibre and potassium. They can be incorporated in desserts, meals, and even as snacks. They are a great binding agent in this recipe as well as a form of natural sugar that brings out the sweetness in these energy bites.
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 3-4 dates (pits removed)
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- Preheat the oven to 320°F and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a food processor, combine all of the above ingredients. Pulse until all the ingredients are mixed well and form a semi paste.
- Form a small ball with your hands (you can change the size if you wish) and place the ball on the baking sheet. Press down with your thumb to create a round shape. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
- Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until the edges of the bites and coconut become lightly golden.
- Enjoy and store leftovers in an airtight container.