Thursday, March 6, 2014

St Patrick's Day Energy Bite Recipes

Energy bites are tasty, bite-sized energy bars. For St. Patrick's Day, we experimented with three different flavors to make an Irish flag. They are all vegan, kid-friendly and require minimal use of the oven--just for toasting ingredients. See what we used to make these green, white and orange treats!

Green took the most experimentation, and also ended up the healthiest. We developed a recipe for pistachio, kale and date energy bites. These came out looking like darling little emeralds, and are pleasantly delicate, nutty and melt-in-your-mouth. We also made use of a mortar and pestle to make these, although they would require less time if made by a food processor. We chose mortar and pestle so we can involve our kids in grinding the ingredients. These bites are vegan and gluten-free!

Pistachio, Kale and Date Energy Bites
Makes 12-16 bites

Half a bunch fresh kale, washed and dried well
½ cup shelled pistachios
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or pepitas)
1/3 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 cup pitted dates
1 Tbsp agave nectar
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. Roast the kale into kale chips: tear the fresh kale off the stems and center ribs, into bite-sized pieces. Put on a baking sheet and drizzle with vegetable oil. Toss to coat with the oil. Place kale in the oven for 12 to 17 minutes, until the leaves appear paper thin and crisp. Transfer kale to a rack and cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, place pistachios and sunflower seeds in mortar and pestle. Pound and grind until the nuts are fine, loose grains. Sprinkle in salt and cinnamon.

4. Add kale chips and grind to break into smaller pieces and mix with the nuts.

5. Pour nut and kale mixture into a separate bowl. Place dates and dried cranberries and a splash of water into mortar and grind them into a paste. Pour in nut and kale mixture, cranberries and agave nectar and mix together. Take a tablespoon and roll between your palms to form a walnut-sized ball.

6. Set aside on a tray lined with wax paper. Continue rolling until all of the mixture has been used. Chill for 30 minutes, and enjoy.

 Carrot struck us as a natural ingredient for the orange bites. These spiced granola-based bites are sweet, and also slightly tangy with the addition of dried mango.

Carrot and Mango Energy Bites

Yield: 16-20 energy bites

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/2 cup sunflower seed butter (or regular peanut butter or almond butter)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves)
1/2 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup dried mango, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Spread oats and pecans on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes, shaking the pan halfway through.  Cool for 10 minutes, and then transfer to a mixing bowl.
3. Add remaining ingredients to the oat-nut mixture. Mix until well combined. Prepare a wax-paper lined tray. Take tablespoon size chunks of the mixture and roll between your hands to make 1-inch balls. Place balls on the wax paper tray and chill for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

The white energy balls are the most dessert-like of the energy bites. They feature yummy granola, white chocolate and coconut.

Coconut and White Chocolate Energy Bites
(adapted from Your Southern Peach)

Yield: 16-20 bites


1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1/3 cup agave nectar
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, coarsely chopped
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Combine oats and coconut flakes on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 5-8 minutes, until coconut and oats are lightly toasted. Shake pan halfway through the toasting time. Cool for 10 minutes.

3. Pour oat and coconut mixture into a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and combine well. Prepare a wax-paper lined tray. Take tablespoon-sized chunks of the mixture and roll into 1-inch balls. Place on wax-paper tray and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Energy bites can be eaten chilled or at room temperature. To save them for longer, refrigerate them in a covered container for up to a week, or freeze for even longer. Have a colorful St. Patrick's Day!


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