Energy bites are probably my favorite trendy health/fitness foodie item. I make them differently every week so I have something nutritious, filling, and delicious to pack for long days on campus. These ones are mildly sweet and filled with tons of healthy fats and protein. In addition, they don’t require any super weird or hard-to-find ingredients! Most people can probably find most of them in their pantry already.
But they do have one secret super-ingredient. You need to taste to believe it works in this sweet snack. I’m talkin’ chickpeas! Yes — the protein-packed legume that provides over half the daily suggested requirement of folate and manganese. Manganese is an essential trace mineral that helps build bones, plays a role in metabolism and blood sugar regulation, and is a component of a crucial antioxidant enzyme. Folate is the inactive form of Vitamin B9 which assists the body in producing DNA and increases the ability to absorb Vitamin B12. These nutritious beans make up the base of these energy bites. Don’t knock it ’til ya try it is all the more I have to say about that.
Feel free to add or substitute things for flavors you love. Recipes for energy bites are easy to adapt to your desired taste and texture. Too soft? Add more dry ingredients – almond flour, protein, seeds, etc. Too dry? Add more binding ingredients – coconut oil, peanut butter, dates, whatever you like!
Here’s what I did for this batch. Let me know what your favorite energy bite flavor is!
- 1/3 cup raw cashews
- 1/3 cup raw pecans
- 1/3 cup vanilla protein powder (I use Aloha brand protein usually. No weird ingredients and easy to find online, and it’s also sold on the shelves in Target)
- 1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil
- 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans – 16oz.
- 1/8 cup chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas.
- Keep in mind this step is optional, and it’s also the most time-consuming part of this recipe. That being said, I like to peel the outer “skin” off of the chickpeas before adding them to my energy bites. They turn out more silky since my food processor doesn’t blend up the skins as smoothly as I would like. You make the call though! If you choose to, it’s super easy. Squeeze them really gently, and they just pop out of their shells.
- Pour your (shelled) chickpeas into the food processor and pulse until there aren’t any clumps. Think hummus consistency.
- Add the cashews, pecans, and protein you choose. Pulse until the nuts are all in tiny pieces.
- Pour in the chia seeds. I like to wait until most of the batch is mixed up, because they tend to stick to surfaces with a relentless force if you don’t pour them right into the ingredients.
- Lastly, add the sweet maple syrup and honey! Depending on the protein powder you use and your taste preference, you may need more or less sweetener. I advise going easy on it, though. You definitely want them to taste good but we often overestimate how sweet something needs to be for us to enjoy it. Keeping these lower in sugar is what makes them such a great pick-me-up snack. Protein + fat – sugar = dense, sustained energy. That’s what we want!
- Once the sweetness is where you want it, roll the mix into balls about 1 inch in diameter.
- Place on wax paper or parchment paper and put in the freezer to harden.
- Once frozen, move them to the fridge so they are soft and ready to eat!
I hope you get to try these and love them!