Are there ever times that you’re on the go, or in a hurry and grab for the unhealthier, sometimes easier, options like chips or cookies? The hardest part about eating healthy, in my opinion, is being busy or finding the time. I will catch myself grabbing for something processed, rather than fresh fruit or veggies, because I’m trying to do a million things at once, which I hate! I always end up hungry shortly after, and don’t get any nutrients from what I’m intaking; what a waste.
It took me some time to finally pick up on the meal prep trend, as I always thought of it as a hassle, or didn’t feel like taking time to make something I wasn’t going to be eating that day. But I learned quickly, it’s worth it!
Taking the time to prepare meals in advance has honestly saved me much more time, which is the exact opposite of how I felt toward it: time-consuming. Being able to stick things that are already marinated on the stove or in the oven, having healthy alternatives available at all times, and enhancing or bring out flavors in recipes are only a few benefits of preparing dishes in advanced; what else do you love about meal prepping?!
Protein Packed Snacks
These energy bites only takes 10 minutes or so to prepare, can be kept in the fridge for a while (although they’ll be gone before they have the chance to go bad!) and still taste awesome, and are extremely filling, so they make for a great grab-n-go snack on your way out the door.
The fun thing about energy bites is that you can use so many different ingredients, can create so many different textures, and have the ability to choose from a variety of flavors; to put it simply: you’ve got flexibility here.
I started with a recipe from Gemme Some Oven, and modified it a bit to how I like them. The original recipe calls for chocolate chips, toasted coconut flakes, Peanut Butter, Vanilla Extract, Old Fashioned Oats, Honey, and Ground Flax Seeds. Personally, I think nut butters are already fairly sweet, so I omit the honey and vanilla.
I also like to mix nut butters in this recipe, just because almond butter is a little drier, so going half-and-half with both peanut butter and almond butter still gives it a soft, moist texture.
For this recipe, I use:
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats, dry
- 2/3 cup coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup Justin’s Vanilla Almond Butter
- 1/4 cup Justin’s Peanut Butter
- 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
- 1/2 mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tbs. Chia seeds
To prepare, simply combine all the ingredients, and stir thoroughly. Cover and stick in the fridge to chill for half an hour. Roll mixture into 1-inch balls, or however size you prefer, and you’re done! To preserve, keep the bites in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
This makes roughly 20-25 energy bites, and can be kept in the fridge for up to a week! To put a spin on the bites, press the mixture into a baking sheet, cool, and then slice into squares for energy bars instead!
The best thing about this recipe, as I mentioned before, is that it is super flexible. So if you are allergic to any of the ingredients, or if you are just looking for other substitution ideas, feel free to use:
- Different (or no) chocolate: I generally use dark chocolate chips. But you can also substitute in any other kinds of chips (butterscotch, milk chocolate, white chocolate, cinnamon chips, etc.). Or if you are vegan, grab some vegan chocolate chips. Or if you don’t dig chocolate, you can leave this part out all together.
- Different nut butter: If you are allergic to peanuts, feel free to substitute in any other kinds of nut butter, like almond butter, sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or others. (For a great tutorial on homemade nut butters, check out this great post from Tasty Yummies.)
- Different sweetener: Agave is a great sweetener replacement and is vegan, and some readers have had success with alternative sweeteners as well!
I hope you enjoy these protein-packed snacks as much as I do! What are your favorite flavors of energy bites??