Right down the street from where I work, and conveniently located on my drive home, is a shop called Subculture Coffee. I also like to think of it as the world’s loveliest little coffee shop. Give me a good book and a couple of cafe au laits and I could literally spend all day there sipping coffee and people watching. One Saturday, about a year ago, I was doing just that and overdid it a bit on the caffeine. I was in need of a little something to offset the jitters when I found a snack wrapped so sweetly in a cellophane bag, tied with raffia string and holding three little bites of goodness. My world was forever changed.
It was truly the most perfect snack I had ever eaten. Filling. Healthy. Sweet and savory. I immediately knew that I had to learn to make these at home and in bulk, or I might go broke with all of the additional trips to Subculture. So, I went straight home and began researching. I quickly found a dozen similar recipes, but as luck would have it they either included ingredients that I didn’t care for, or left out the ones that I loved. So, instead I pulled ideas from a few and ended up with a variation that incorporated all of my favorite elements. And the best part of all is that they are seriously the simplest snack to make. Most of the other recipes I found used a food processor to finely ground all of the ingredients before mixing them together, but not here. All you do is measure, mix, and form into a bite-sized ball.
My friend Natalie eats a couple of energy bites every morning before working out and Patrick likes to pack a few in his golf bag to snack on throughout his 4-5 hour golf rounds. Ella, our 6 year old niece chooses these as a treat over a Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cup or lollipop – if that tells you anything! Energy bites are a healthy, versatile treat that can be a great addition to your breakfast, a complete snack, or even a light dessert when you need just a bite of something sweet.
The oats and flax seeds both provide a good dose of Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber into your diet, and the cinnamon is chock-full of antioxidants. Really, as long as you are using quality ingredients every item in this mix offers a great deal of health benefits. Even the chocolate chips! Also, as long as your oats are labeled gluten free, this entire recipe is friendly for those with gluten allergies.
I like to use all natural peanut butter to avoid all of the added sugar and unnecessary ingredients that are used in the big name brands. All natural peanut butter should really only contain one ingredient – peanuts. And yes, it will come with a few tablespoons of oil on top that can be a total pain to stir the first time you open it, but look on the bright side – you’ll get the most delicious peanut butter and a great arm workout, all at the same time!
- 1 cup steel-cut oats, dry
- 2/3 cup coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, such as Enjoy Life’s mini chips
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 cup peanut butter, preferably all natural
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the steel-cut oats, coconut flakes, ground flax seeds, mini chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, and cinnamon.
- Add in the peanut butter, honey, and pure vanilla extract. Stir well until combined.
- Cover bowl and place in the refrigerator for one hour. This allows the mixture to harden, making it easier to form into balls.
- Using a cookie dough scoop (or your hands), form mixture into bite-sized balls.
- Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week – but realistically, ours are typically all gone within a few days!
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If you try the energy bites or any of my other recipes, please let me know. The most fulfilling part of having this little food blog is when I hear that other people are actually making my recipes!