We try to eat healthfully around our house — not counting Saturday, which is our “cheat” day — so the only cookies we’ve had here since Christmas have been Girl Scout cookies. And they disappeared so fast they hardly count, right? (Curse you, Thin Mints and Caramel DeLites….)
My 7-year-old and 16-year-old boys are constantly hungry and usually they snack on yogurt, cheese sticks, apples, carrots, or trail mix. The 16-year-old is trying to bulk up for football, so he also eats protein bars. Sometimes I buy the Z-Bar protein bars for kids (I think they’re called Z-Kids) for my youngest because he likes to think he’s bulking up too.
Anyway, I haven’t been to the grocery store yet this week and we were out of all of our regular snacks when I started hearing their stomachs growling (or was that their mouths growling about being hungry? who can tell…), so I thought I’d try one of the no bake “energy bites” recipes that are all over Pinterest right now.
Most of the recipes were clean eating, and mine are pretty close except for a few substitutes I had to make due to low pantry inventory. They turned out REALLY yummy and are fairly healthy as well (I estimated around 100 calories, 5 grams of protein, 10 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat per ball). Two of them fit in my own protein-and-carb ratio guidelines for an afternoon snack. Here’s the recipe and my modifications.
N0-Bake Chocolate Honey Protein Bites
Time: 10 minutes; Makes: approx. 24 balls
- 1 and 1/2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chocolate whey protein powder (I used isolate to avoid adding carbs)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 T chia seeds
- 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter (natural would have been better, but I didn’t have any)
- 3 T honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional, but you’d better believe I added them!)
- 2 T water (may need a little more)
- Add oats, protein powder, cinnamon, and chia seeds to a medium mixing bowl.
- Add in peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.
- Mix everything together. It should be crumbly, but slightly sticky.
- Add water and mix in 1 T at a time. I needed 2 T, but you may need 2-4 depending on how dry your mixture is. You want it sticky enough to hold together when you form it into little balls.
- Scoop out mixture with a table spoon and form into balls.
- Put energy bites into a container (I lined each layer with wax paper; parchment would also work) and place in the refrigerator fr at least 30 minutes.
- Store in refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them.
They were a big hit with the boys (and with my husband and me, too!). And based on what I’ve seen on Pinterest, there are about 100 flavor variations on this recipe. Two I’m excited to try are the Lemon Poppyseed Energy Bites from Amy’s Healthy Baking and No-Bake Almond Joy Protein Truffles from Dishing Out Health.
They are a perfect pre- (or post-) workout snack and since they’re stored in the fridge, the coolness of them is also a bonus when you’re hot and sweaty.
If you have any favorite recipes for energy bites, please share! I think we will be making good use of this recipe and its variations.