I used to buy granola bars for my hubby until a girl from my work introduced me to these little snacks last fall. She called them Energy Bites and they were filled with some great ingredients. I tried making a recipe I found off of Pintrest and my hubby loved them. That was the last time I bought granola bars. Now, for anyone that knows me and my style of cooking knows that I can’t just let a recipe lie. I have to make it my own, deviate from the path, and put my own swing on it.
My first few batches were very crumbly and hard to eat. They tasted good but would literally fall apart when you took the first bite. I wanted to keep these within a reasonable amount of calories so I didn’t want to just keep adding peanut butter and honey to bind it because that would just add to the calorie count. I searched on Pintrest to see what other kind of ingredients people were using and a lot came up that used dates which are very sticky and very sweet.
That lead me to my next failed attempt and a hard lesson learned.
Do not put the dates in last. For the love of God, do not put the dates in last. ESPECIALLY if they are straight out of the pantry. And when your food processor starts to literally jump on the counter, turn it off. Don’t keep pulsing like I did. If you do it can totally wedge your blade in the food processor, bringing you nearly to tears and requiring the brute strength of your husband and some tools to get it out. Luckily my hubby was able to get the blade out for me and not break any parts of the food processor. I thought I was doomed.
I took a few weeks off trying to make energy bites out of fear of breaking something in my kitchen, or another dry crumbly mess. My mom recently asked me for the recipe and it motivated me to get back into the kitchen making these little guys with some tweaks to the former attempts. Learn from my mistakes if you will.
In my quest to perfect the Energy Bite (or Energy Balls we call them in our house cause we’re immature like that) I have had some big fails and some “not-quite-rights”, then finally a big success last night. I’ve tried about 6 different variations of these little buggers and finally came up with one that I’m proud enough to plop onto my blog to share with you. Some awesome ingredients you can add in or swap out are chia seeds, wheat germ, flax seeds, hemp hearts, dried fruit, coco nibs, unsweetened coconut, nuts, local honey, bee pollen and natural nut butters. Not everything goes into each attempt, depending on what I have on hand and what flavor I’m going for. These particular ones are chocolatey and kind of a chewy texture, with a surprise chocolate center and tropical coconut coating.
Coconut Covered Chocolate Energy Balls
2 cups dates
¾ cup almonds
¾ cup old fashioned oats
½ cup all natural peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons coco powder
1 tablespoon bee pollen
1 teaspoon vanilla
Drizzle local honey
3 chocolate chips per ball
Soak the dates in hot water in a bowl and put aside while you assemble the rest of the ingredients. In a food processor pulse the oats and almonds until they are of the same consistency. Add the chia seeds, coco powder and bee pollen and pulse a few times to mix. Put the mixture into a separate bowl and put aside. Strain the dates (they should have softened up a bit) and put into the food processor. Pulse into a paste, then add the peanut butter, vanilla and honey and pulse again until mixed. Add the dry ingedients and pulse until mixed. Take a heaping spoonful of the mixture and put 3 chocolate chips into the middle and roll into a ball. It should be about the size of a ping pong ball. Roll into the coconut and then place into an air tight container and keep in the fridge. Makes about 22 balls.