These little bites are probably my favorite that I have made, besides my no bake chocolate chip cookie dough bites. I still can't get enough of those and neither everyone that I make them for!
Over the past few weeks I've been playing a close attention to the amount of sugar I've been consuming and being more aware of how many grams are in each meal, snack, bar, etc. that I eat. Nothing crazy, just being more mindful, but I am not saying I wouldn't be ready to give someone a lecture on how much sugar is affecting your overall health. I've noticed a significant difference in my energy levels, my skin, my mood, less bloating (hello abs again!!), and how I feel in general after drastically cutting back.
I quickly realized that I would need to re-create and re-vamp my snacks because I had a difficult time finding healthy snack options in stores that were low in sugar, high in protein and fiber, and made with minimal ingredients. I am pretty sure this option does not exist.
So, back to the drawing board, well my kitchen, I went. For starters, I started created chia puddings with unsweetened vanilla almond milk or using the toasted coconut flavored almond milk from Califia (now carrageenan free!) and adding vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices to naturally sweeten or give the puddings an extra flavor boost. Or, I've been using cacao to give it a deep rich chocolately flavor for when the mood strikes. My taste buds quickly adapted and I found that I have a hard time tolerating anything high in sugar. I've created granola without added sugar by replacing maple syrup with coconut oil and nut butters, and a few other staples that I'll be sharing over the next few weeks.
But, lets get back to these little chocolate, nutty, and peanut butter bites. My failed searched for low sugar snacks is how these little crunchy bites came on the scene and I also was fortunate enough to be sent a package of NuttZo. Perfect timing!! Have you tried this spread before? Each flavor is made of a variety different organic nuts and seeds (10 in total!) that really pack a powerful nutritional punch in each bite! My eyes were immediately drawn to the chocolate power fuel jar, naturally, and I couldn't stop eating spoonfuls of it out of the jar! It has such a deep rich chocolate nutty flavor and really hit the spot so I knew they would be the perfect healthy addition to the bites.
I know that energy balls, bliss bites, ballz, whatever you want to call them, have been around the block and back but I wanted to make ones that didn't contain any dates or really any added sugar. I wanted ones that contain more fiber and protein than the usual ones we've seen, so I opted to use ground flax seeds, chia seeds, gluten free oats, and sprouted almonds. Instead of adding dates to the mixture to sweeten it up and allow the dough to stick together, I melted coconut oil two different ways; one with honey peanut butter and the other with the NuttZo chocolate power fuel.
After mixing the ingredients together I allowed the dough to "set" in the fridge for about ten minutes. I found it was a bit easier to roll into the balls. The taste to me resembled raw peanut butter cookie dough that was slightly sweetened. They came out a little salty, crunchy, a tad sweet, and of course full of peanut butter, chocolate, nutty flavor! I also decided to make two different flavors but using the same base ingredients. I tend to make these bites in big batches but often like to change up the flavor so I don't tire of the same mix after a few days. Using the same dry ingredients, but changing the flavors of the nut butters you can have two different flavors on hand at all times! This is of course, totally optional! For me, it was the perfect amount of peanut butter to chocolate ratio without being overly sweet yet completely satisfying!
I store them in the freezer and have found them to be a lifesaver for a quick bite before or after working out. I found them to be more filling than the other bites that I have made and think it is because of the protein and higher fiber content in them.
Total time: 10 minutes
3/4 cup gluten free oatmeal
1/2 cup sprouted almonds
1/3 cup chia seeds
1 tbsp. ground flax seed
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
1/4 cup honey peanut butter
1/4 cup NuttZo chocolate power fuel
2 tbsp. cacao powder (optional)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tbsp. vanilla
few pinches of pink himalayan salt
1. In a food processor add the oats and pulse until a flour-like consistency forms
2. Add the sprouted almonds and pulse until finely chopped.
3. Add the chia seeds, ground flax seeds, cinnamon, pink himalayan salt, and coconut oil. Pulse for a few seconds or until combined.
4. Separate the mixture in half. Add half of the mixture back in the food processor and add the peanut butter. Pulse until dough like consistency is reached. If the mixture is not sticking together, add a small amount of water (start off with 1 tbsp. of water) or a small amount of melted peanut butter. Take the mixture out and set aside. Add the other half of the dry mixture in the food processor with the NuttZo chocolate power fuel and pulse until dough consistency is reached. For the chocolate dough, you can also add 1-2 tbsp. of cacao powder for a deeper chocolate taste!
4. Taste test and adjust to your preference.
5. If the dough isn't sticking together and is difficult to roll store in the fridge for 20 minutes. If not, roll into bite sized balls. Leave plain or roll into unsweetened shredded coconut, hemp seeds, or more chia seeds!
I like to store the bites in the freezer as they seem to last longer! (up to a few weeks!)