energy bites

Walnut Cocoa Bites

Don’t get me wrong- I am a big fan of some convenience protein bars, but I’m also a big fan of making snacks from scratch when able to. The closest I get to making granola or protein bars is these poppable little energy bites! I love how easy they come together, how the ingredients can be customizable, and that they are a perfect midday snack or fuel before a workout.

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During the winter I seem to have an abundance of unsweetened cocoa powder around from hot chocolate making, and so I figured it deserved some love during snack time too! The sweetness and flavor comes not from the cocoa, but from the naturally sweet dates and nut butter. These bites stay fresh in the fridge for about a week, after which I’d recommend storing in a container in the freezer to enjoy for weeks to come.

What are you waiting for? Go, cocoa!

Walnut Cocoa Bites- makes 22 small bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 2 cup dry, unsalted walnuts

  • 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3 tbsp nut butter- almond or sunflower seed work great

  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds, plus extra for finishing

  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse dates until broken into very small pieces. Then add walnuts and pulse until a fine ground meal is made.

  2. Add cocoa powder, nut butter, hemp seeds, and salt. Process until everything comes together and a semi-wet dough forms. Chill this dough for about 10 minutes in the freezer.

  3. Use your hands to form the chilled dough into small bites; the size is really up to you, but quarter sized bites will yield about 22 bites. To finish, sprinkle with more hemp seeds, finely shredded coconut, or even more cocoa powder.

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Cashew Coconut Bites

Wait, now she's using coconut in another recipe? YES! Lessons learned from my post discussing the nutritive value of coconut included using it in moderation, and that's exactly what I'm doing in this recipe.

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When I'm in need of a midday slump bump snack or looking for a quick addition of protein to my post-workout refuel I love having energy bites to turn to. Besides, the jar of peanut butter in my desk drawer at work is running dangerously low...

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Nuts are certainly one food group that I value and always strive to include in my daily plant-based eating routine. Consuming nuts has been shown to reduce one's risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Daily intake of nuts has also been suggested to provide better blood sugar control in persons with type II diabetes. My patients know all too well that a handful of unsalted nuts pairs perfectly with an afternoon fruit snack!

If you're curious about how each nut stacks up against each other, take a look at this handy chart from California Almonds. And here's a look at the nutrition facts for the featured nut in this recipe, cashew nut, courtesy of Nut Health:

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Not only do nuts provide you with top-notch nutrition, but they are tasty and versatile too. I love adding chopped nuts to my baked goods and morning yogurt, and also tossing them in dinner dishes such as salads or mixed-up bowls.

These Cashew Coconut Bites come together in under 10 minutes, the flavor is extra dreamy, and they will surely make a great addition to your snacking or fueling routine. Enjoy!

Cashew Coconut Bites- makes one dozen

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup raw, unsalted cashews

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients into a food processor. Blend for about 1 minute until mixture is crumbly, with no large chunks left behind.

  2. Using your hands, roll mixture into golf ball sized bites. Depending on how you roll, this recipe will yield about 12 bites. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

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