Tag: diy energy bites

Cherry Bombs: Greens Energy Bites

Every once in a while, I have an aha moment in the kitchen, and something surprisingly creative emerges! These Cherry Bombs Energy Bites were something of  an accident. They are similar to the previously shared Chocolate Energy Bites recipe (here). I was separating out all my ingredients to make a batch of those since my supply was running low. I like to have a few in the freezer at all times; they are convenient snacks to grab before a long run or work out. When reaching for the chopped cashews can in the pantry, I accidentally grabbed the greens powder container instead. I looked at it, and that was when the light bulb above my head went on! What a great opportunity to add some greens to my diet in an unexpected way! It was then that I mixed   four tablespoons of greens powder into the whole batch since I did not want a strong greens flavor in these bites. But feel free to add more in if you are looking to maximize your greens intake. The results were fantastic!

We believe that you should eat greens  as much as possible in their natural raw state. But for those days when you just don’t have time to prepare a salad, or make a smoothie with fresh greens, turning to green powders is an effective  way to supplement your diet. Until I created these bites, the only way I had previously utilized my greens powder was in smoothies. I have seen some recipes that incorporate them into cookies or baked goods, but I had  never had the opportunity to try them . These energy bites are a well suited vessel for greens powder. They are sweet enough due to the naturally occurring sugar in dates,  covering any bitterness that you may taste from the  greens powder formula.

Another new addition to these energy bites are the chopped tart cherries. As mentioned a few posts ago, (see link here), tart cherries have incredible properties that benefit in muscle recovery and lower inflammation, when consumed post exercise. Their tart flavor added  a bright fruity touch in these super-chocolaty bites, as well. Moreover, you can use any of your favorite Once Again nut butters  instead of cashew butter. The chopped cashews and pecan meals required for this recipe are also easily swapped for other nut flavors you prefer or may have available in your kitchen. Since I always keep a supply of most nuts, I usually get to pick which one to use, but while at a friend’s  house, I decided to show her how to make this recipe when  all she had were  Brazil nuts. We used those instead of the cashews and the final results were delicious.. Just pulse the Brazil nuts a few times in  the food processor to break them up into smaller bits before adding them to the energy bites mixture.

It’s a delight to watch how children love these energy bites.  I sometimes pack a few  in my children’s lunch boxes, and inevitably they come back asking me to write out the recipe because they shared the bites  with a friend who now also wants to make them. That’s partly why I first made the video of the original energy bites recipe (see video here). It’s much easier to show people how to make them than  trying to write it all out. Do you add any fun twists to your energy bites at home? Share them with us in the comments’ section below!

Cherry Bombs Energy Bites

Cherry Bombs Energy Bites

16 ounces of dates

2 tablespoons of cacao powder, unsweetened

4 tablespoons of pecan meal

¼ cup chopped of cashews

¼ cup of chopped tart cherries

2 tablespoons of Once Again Creamy Cashew Butter

4 tablespoons of a greens powder of your choice

Start by adding dates to your food processor. Even though you can purchase dates without the pits, I always recommend checking each one by hand before adding them to the food processor. Pulse them several times until you achieve a ball-like consistency. Next add cashew butter, greens powder, pecan meal and cashews. Lastly, remove dough from food processor and mix in the tart cherries. You may use your hands to fold in the cherries, just make sure to wet your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick to them. Roll the mixture  into balls and keep them in the refrigerator for up  to 10 days. Or freeze them for up to 45 days. (They may last longer, but so far I have only savored  their flavor and consistency after having them stored for a maximum of 45 days.)

Pre and Post- Workout Snacks: Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Pre and Post- Workout Snacks: Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Sometimes working up the energy and willpower to go on a 5-mile run sounds much like the soundtrack to one of Rocky Balboa’s movies. I tell myself I can do it, and before you know it, I’ve at least gotten my shoes laced up and the iPod ready to go. The feeling you get when you finish that run or similar workout is again much like victory after a boxing match. Joking aside, one of the most important things in the planning of my workout is the pre and post-snacks. I don’t often exercise long enough (usually 1-2 hours max) to need a mid-exercise fuel as well, but the pre and post-snacks are a must. After a few years of studying nutrition and getting some valuable experience, and after gleaning knowledge from the nutrition experts in the University of Florida’s athletic program, I’ve learned that what you eat after a workout is just as significant as what you eat before.

The before snack or meal is best taken within 1-2 hours of the workout, as it provides the energy you’ll need during exercise. The post-workout snack will repair muscle tissue and replenish glycogen stores. But the best piece of information I have to share is that those two snacks are very similar in terms of what they should contain. They both need to have some quality carbs, preferably a slow-release whole grain to fuel your entire workout, and lean protein: your muscles need amino acids for repair, and lean protein has just that.

Eating within 1 to 2 hours before starting the activity will allow your body to stock up on and utilize enough energy without compromising performance. Feeling bloated and full just before workouts is not part of the program. Most people grasp the concept of eating before exercise: it allows for a longer period of activity with better results. On the other hand, the post-workout snack is something most people have to get used to and include in their routine. But those 30 minutes post-workouts are crucial for replenishing your body; after all, there is another workout to look forward to, usually the next day!

20150131_213725643_iOSAfter a run or workout, it goes without saying that you should drink water, but eating something right away is not on most people’s mind, including mine. The idea of eating a sandwich or drinking a 12 ounce protein shake just did not work for me. (Those are great options by the way, if they appeal to you!) But I found it hard to adapt to them. Hence my Energy Bites materialized. They fit the bill for a pre-workout snack, as well as the post-snack. And they are perfect small- portion- sized bites that I can eat after a long run without upsetting my stomach.

They have good quality carbohydrates derived from the oats; due to their fiber content, they provide that slow- release energy that will provide a boost for the entire duration of your exercise. Additionally, the protein from the peanut butter and chia seeds is perfect for muscle repair. Post-workout calls for some quick energy, which the honey and coconut provide. They are pretty easy to make, as you can see on the short video below, and you can store them in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Timing is more important than quantity when talking about pre and post-workout snacks. Focus on eating a snack- sized portion of quality carbohydrate and lean protein, and don’t worry so much about how many grams you’re consuming, unless you are training for a marathon or long distance challenge that will require more specific guidelines. And even in those situations, these Energy Bites are a great choice!

20150131_215429477_iOSPeanut Butter Energy Bites
makes 12 servings
½ cup Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
2 ½ tbsps. honey
½ cup quick oats
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ cup chopped nuts
¼ cup raisins
Add Once Again peanut butter and honey to bowl, and mix well. Add oats and chia seeds, and mix again. Lastly, add the coconut, nuts, and raisins. Cool mixture in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, and then roll into small balls. Store in air-tight container in refrigerator.

Watch the video here: