These energy bits might be my easiest and maybe tastiest yet. This protein powerhouse of a snack is bursting with flavor, tasting like a guilt-free version of a cookie and is great before or after a hard workout when you need a little snack on the go.
I have been wanting to make a quinoa energy bite for so long, but never did. So when I had extra quinoa cooked after a casserole and wanted to make energy bites, well hello perfect timing!
Knowing I needed something to stick together these awesome bits and using my past energy-bite-building experience, I grabbed peanut butter and agave, a perfect mix of binding and salty-sweet. Quinoa itself doesn’t have a lot of flavor, but it’s chewy and filling, so I would have to impart flavor. Wanting to keep things simple, I added cinnamon and some flax for good measure and a bulking agent, and to add more fiber and protein and other nutrients. I needed just one more thing and figured dried fruit would add some color and texture. Any dried fruit will work here. I used dried plums, cutting them to the size of raisins.
Since the quinoa was already cooked (which only takes about 15-20 minutes on its own) the work was very minimal, Mix everything into a bowl. That is it! So, when you find yourself with some extra quinoa, I strongly encourage giving these bites a try!
Easiest quinoa energy bites
Makes about 8 golf-ball sized bites
3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup nut butter
1 tablespoon agave
3 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup dried fruit of your choice, the size of a raisin
Cook quinoa, if needed. Let cool.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
Roll 8 energy bites about the size of a golf ball.
Put into the freezer until set. Then place in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
Since the weather finally turned cooler in South Florida and today is Halloween, I decided to open a can of pumpkin puree and make something.
With one can of pumpkin puree I got two different quick and easy snacks, so I was pleased.
I made pumpkin muffins with common ingredients found in the pantry. I’ve made these and love them, though they call for a lot of sugar, so they aren’t the healthiest, I’m sure. It’s like a pumpkin pie muffin, with little time and effort. To cut down on sweetness, I didn’t add the cinnamon-sugar topping and it wasn’t lacking those flavors.
The other snack is pumpkin spice energy bites. Since I’m getting back into a more scheduled running routine, I knew the moisture and flavor of pumpkin would be perfect for energy bites. And one bite and I know why they are called pumpkin spice. Wow, they are full of the warm spices in the bites.
If you have noticed, I’ve been on a bit of a health bites kick. It’s a pretty good little dose of sweetness and a great pre- or post-run snack. I tend to make these in balls just because it’s easier for me to make them that way, but by all means make bars if that’s your thing.
These have chocolate, which I’m not a huge fan of normally, but I thought I would give them a shot and I know many of my readers are into chocolate. And I made two batches, one with maple-flavored agave and one without. I started with a recipe I found on (where else?) Pinterest, and adapted it to meet my needs. These aren’t my favorite because of the chocolate, (a little too sweet and not my taste) but I would make them again to mix things up.
Chocolate Peanut Butter & Oat Snack Bars
Makes about 8 balls
2 Tbsp chocolate chips
2 to 3 Tbsp nut butter
2 Tbsp milk (or milk substitute)
1/2 C oats
Optional: 1 Tsp vanilla extract, 1 Tbsp sweetener (Brown/White Sugar, Agave, Maple Syrup or Stevia), 1 Tbsp nuts, seeds or dried fruit
Melt the first three ingredients together on low heat, stirring constantly
Add the Oats and any optional ingredients, stir to combine. (You want this mixture to be fairly dry. If it’s not dry enough, add more oats one tablespoon at a time)
Press mixture into bars or balls.
Put in refrigerator or freezer for 10 minutes or until bars have set up. Slice or break apart.
Is it worth making homemade bars?
Since I have posted a few different recipes for homemade granola or energy bars, I thought I would take a moment and touch on if it’s worth making your own. This is a personal preference to everyone and I enjoy making them, eating something I’ve made and customizing them how I want.
The Kitchn has a fun series, Make or Buy where they see if it’s worth the time, money and taste to make or buy different foods. here is there take on granola bars.
Do you make or buy your bars? What do you always add to yours?
Remember the simple homemade power bars I made? Those are rocket science compared to the dried fruit and nut bites. These are more a snack while the power bars are a good pre- or post-run meal, but these are really easy (take about 10 minutes, tops) and a great healthy snack with natural sugar and some salt. Can’t be beat.
I’ve been working on the food and drink part of my run and trying to focus on good foods that will keep me fueled and energized. I have a lot to learn, but I have a better idea of how much water is right for me before a run, and about one banana before is good.
After, I’ve started eating homemade energy bars. I have seen a lot of recipes with endless combinations. Some recipes use a lot of dried fruit as the binding agent, and you could adapt these by omitting nut butter and sweetener and adding another cup of dried fruits pulsed until they are almost a paste. Also, cinnamon or coconut or chocolate powder or pieces could be added.
All kinds of fun stuff in these bars!
This is the perfect balance of sweet and salty and a bar is the perfect post-run snack. (For me a jog-walk is 2.5 to 4ish miles.) Even if you don’t work out, it’s a quick, healthy homemade snack that I’m sure will curb any cravings.
Homemade power bars
1 1/2 cups chopped mixed nuts
2 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 cup oats
1/4 cup dried fruits, roughly chopped
1 cup nut butter
1/3 to 1/2 cup sweetener (honey, agave, maple syrup) based on how sweet you want it
Warm nut butter and sweetener over medium heat in the stove, mixing until warmed and blended together
Put everything else in a big bowl.
Pour the nut butter and sweetener into the bowl and mix until coated.
Pour in an oiled baking dish or form into cookies and place it in the fridge overnight to set.