Almond Coconut Cacao Energy Bites
Energy bites are great to keep on hand for those mornings when you need something quick to grab on your way out the door to work. They’re also perfect to use as a topping for yogurt, smoothie bowls, or a bowl of oatmeal. Consider them as the healthy cousin to the indulgent chocolate coconut macaroon – they’re full of superfood ingredients.
Cacao nibs (simply ground up cacao beans) are rich in magnesium and antioxidants, and add a satisfying crunch to the bites. When purchasing cacao nibs and cacao powder, it is important to buy raw cacao and not cocoa, as cocoa powder is processed at high temperatures which can remove a lot of the nutritional benefits.
Dates are great to use to add natural sweetness to your dishes, or to act as a binding agent like in these energy bites. Given that they’re high in carbohydrates, they are a good choice for pre or post workout snacks. They’re also high in magnesium and fibre, so you get a nutrition boost while re-energizing yourself after exercise.
It also doesn’t hurt to throw a handful of chia seeds into the mix, for the fibre and Omega-3 fatty acid benefits. Last but not least, these bites contain a hearty dose of almonds. Not only are almonds known for their healthy fats and Vitamin E content, but you’ll also benefit from the added plant based fibre and protein to your diet. These truly are little bites of energy with all these superfoods!
- 12 large dates (Medjool dates work great here)
- 300g (approx. 2 cups or 1 ½ bags) of raw almonds, or other nuts such as hazelnuts or walnuts
- 3 tbsp. cacao nibs
- 3 tbsp. cacao powder
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
- ½ cup coconut flakes, unsweetened
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of sea salt
Start by boiling water. While it’s boiling, pit the dates and slice in half. Add them to a small bowl, and just cover them with the hot water – don’t fill the whole bowl with water as you only need enough to cover the dates. This helps the dates soften in order to blend easier. Let these sit for about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, place almonds and cacao nibs in a high speed blender or food processor, and pulse for a few seconds at a time, stirring after each time, until they’re roughly chopped.
Mix all the remaining ingredients with the almonds and cacao nibs in a large mixing bowl. Now place the softened dates including the water in a blender, and blend until completely smooth. You should have a thick date syrup consistency. This will help you bind everything together. Scrape the dates out of the blender with a spatula and add to the mixing bowl. It should be a very thick mixture, but not crumbly. If the mixture is falling apart, you can add a small bit of water, coconut oil, or almond butter to help bind together. If you have the opposite, add a small handful of chopped nuts or oats.
With clean hands, form the mixture into small balls. It will get a bit messy, but you can definitely lick your fingers after this one! Once formed into small balls, you can roll in additional coconut flakes, cacao powder, or dried berry powder for an extra special touch.
These can be stored in the freezer if you’re not using them for more than 4-5 days; otherwise keep them in the fridge to preserve their freshness. Plus I love the consistency of the energy bites when they’re a bit cooler.