These bite-sized balls of yum are packed full of natural protein and fiber, and will give you a kick of energy! They're grain free, gluten free, clean eating, and are easy to make, freeze or refrigerate, and have ready for whenever you need them.
I have been experimenting with energy bites for a while now. The inspiration started with my 10 year old son announcing after doing a kid's CrossFit class with his dad that he needed to eat more protein. Haha! I guess the lean and lankiness he inherited from me isn't as much appreciated for a boy.
I tried making them out of my Homemade Protein Powder and with different ingredients blended together (which turned out really yummy by the way), but I needed to make some energy bites that were completely grain free as well - in other words, no oats. This inspiration came after realizing that in order for my youngest daughter to enjoy one I had to make a oat-less batch just for her (we've found that with her possible Crohn's and/or Celiac that she feels much better without any grains at all). The inspiration for the flavor came from my husband's birthday cake he requests every year....cherry chocolate!
I guess another inspiration is that I'm running my first marathon! A bite of energy to get me started will definitely come in handy on race day.
Anyway, regardless of where or how these bad boys came about, now they can be enjoyed by everyone!
*To make these nut free as well, you can replace the almond butter with Sunflower Seed Butter
Cherry Chocolate Energy Bites
Makes about a dozen energy bites
1 cup almond butter
8-9 Menjool dates, pitted
2 tbsp. unsweetened Cacao Powder
2 tbsp. Unsweetened Coconut Shredded + extra for rolling them in
1 tbsp. Hemp Seeds
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 -2 tbsp pure maple syrup or 1 tsp. vanilla (depending on how sweet you like it)
pinch Pink Himalayan Salt
1/2 - 1 tbsp. water (as needed)
2 tbsp. raw shelled sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
handful dried cherries
Place dates in a food processor and pulse until they resemble crumbs. Add in the almond butter (or sunflower seed butter), cacao powder, 2 tablespoons of coconut flakes, hemp seeds, cinnamon, maple syrup or vanilla, and salt and pulse to combine. Add a little water if it seems dry or crumbly until it forms a sticky ball. Add in the sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds and give it a couple pulses to stir them in. You still want them big enough pieces to provide a bit of crunch. Stir in the the dry cherries.
Scoop and roll into balls. Sprinkle some coconut flakes onto a plate and roll the energy ball through the flakes so that they stick.
* Even though maple syrup is a less refined form of sweetener and contains lots of natural minerals, it still contains sucrose (sugar). If you want to keep the sugar content low then by simply using vanilla extract you'll bring out the natural sweetness without adding any extra sugars.
Cover and store in the fridge or freezer. Toss into lunch boxes for you or the kids, enjoy as a mid-morning snack, or a treat at the end of the day.