Ah, the delicious and nutritious “energy bite”: a bunch of nuts, grains, healthy fats, and super foods smushed up together and rolled into a ball for snackable ease and delight. Throw in some dark chocolate chips (I always do) and you have yourself something magical.
Energy bites are very hot these days. Google “energy bites” (or “energy balls,” if you can can make it past the inevitable snicker) and you’ll find hundreds of different varieties: carrot, blueberry and lemon, coconut, coffee, pecan, hemp, oatmeal raisin, and so on.
My recipe is quite simple and packed with nuts for protein, coconut oil for healthy saturated fats, chia seeds for calcium, fibre, omega 3s, and more protein, and of course dark chocolate for general awesomeness (plus iron and antioxidants).
I’ve tried making my own cookie dough protein bars before, and damn, they were delicious. These chia energy bites are kind of a mashup of that cookie dough protein bar recipe with some tweaks – namely, the addition of ground chia seeds.
The chia seed has rather a fascinating history. Back in the day, chia was one of the Aztecs’ most important crops. They used chia for its slow-release and sustained energy, and cultivated it for its many food and healing properties.
Nowawadays, we know that chia has a whole host of benefits including:
- high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids
- source of complete protein
- impressive amounts of key vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, iron, selenium, manganese, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, folate, and niacin
- phytonutrients and antioxidants
- no gluten/few allergens
If you find this interesting, consider perusing the book Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood by Wayne Coates. Yes, it’s an entire book devoted to the chia seed, but, when you see the benefits below, suddenly this doesn’t seem so odd.
In his book, Dr. Coates suggests that chia is beneficial for:
- weight loss
- energy and endurance
- digestive health
- lowering cholesterol
- fighting inflammation
- supporting your immune system, nervous system, & mental health
- improving your skin
That’s not bad for one little seed.
So what’s your next step? Eat more chia.
Is it that simple? Yes.
Start with these chia energy bites and you’ll be on your way.
Easy No-Bake Energy Bites with Chia, Dark Chocolate, & Coconut Oil
- Author: Backyard Owl
- Recipes Notes: vegan, gluten-free (if using certified gluten-free oats), soy-free, naturally-sweetened, source of protein, fibre, and healthy fats
- 2 tablespoons nut butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup ground chia seeds
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
- pinch of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt
- Under a broiler, lightly toast coconut, watching closely to make sure it doesn’t burn (because it will, in like, 2 minutes. Just saying).
- In a food processor, whir together oats, cashews, and coconut until finely ground. Add dates and process until a moist paste forms.
- In a large bowl, stir together peanut butter, melted coconut oil, and espresso powder, if using.
- Add ground oat mix, and stir until fully combined.
- Stir in sea salt, chia seeds, and dark chocolate chips.
- With your hands, really smash the dough together. Then, form into 1 inch round balls.
- Store in the fridge but eat at room temperature.
Recommended Reading: Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood by Wayne Coates.
© Backyard Owl