Gluten Free Energy Bites

vegan gluten free energy balls

Planning to eat healthier in the recent future?? Then consider yourself forewarned of the dreaded 3 pm snack attack. When the hunger pangs strike, the situation curiously turns into a case study of the ancient-hungry-human psyche. Here’s how it usually goes in my case.

It’s 2 hours to tea…no binging today….I could have fruit….nah…I do want something sweet though…I could make something…too much work…I can order something healthy….That would take too long….There is a muffin in the fridge though…It’s better for the environment to not have something delivered to your doorstep….how many calories are there in a muffin??…Lemme google that…500!!…What if I eat half??….Then it would be fine… 

Needless to say, in the end I just convinced myself that eating the muffin was the best possible solution to my dietary crisis and nobody ever in the history of world ate only half a muffin.

A fail-safe was needed for this urge to binge-snack in the afternoons. There are some great protein bars out there but for purely economical reasons, I decided to make something myself. That is a big deal for someone who couldn’t cook if her life depended on it. It had to be something delicious, healthy, fast and mess-up safe. Enter the chocolaty, gluten free, 10-minute, no bake energy bites.

I have been making many versions of these bites for sometime now, but of late I have started to add more nutrient dense ingredients in small amounts to make it even healthier. It is so easy to customize, you can vary the amount of nuts and seeds to suit your taste buds without really messing anything up.

Try these, you will not regret it. Here is a breakdown of the steps to help you recreate these nutritional treats.

Step 1. Gather the ingredients

1 cup Almonds

1/2 cup Rolled Gluten Free Oats

1/3 cup Walnuts

4-5 Brazil Nuts

1 tbsp Hemp Seeds (Shelled or Whole)

1 tbsp Flax Seeds

7-8 Pitted Dates

1 tbsp Unsweetened Peanut Butter

1 tbsp (scant) Cocoa Powder

Raisins (optional)

Desiccated Coconut (optional)

ingredients for gluten free energy balls

Let’s talk the nuts and seeds first. This time around, I added Brazil nuts to the recipe for selenium, flax seeds for omega 3 and hemp seeds for additional protein. Please do your own research before you include any of these to your recipes, but they are generally considered very beneficial and rich in trace minerals. I have sometimes added sunflower seeds and/or pumpkin seeds to this recipe in similar amounts. Word of caution: try and find shelled hemp seeds, this kind is rather hard and the shells stick in your teeth afterwards. I do not mind it so much, but thought it is worth mentioning.

nuts and seeds in gluten free energy balls

Next up are sweeteners and flavors. I use pitted dates as the main sweetener for this recipe but I think figs will also work. The unsweetened peanut butter is essential for binding since we are not using any heat or oil, it also adds to the nutty flavor. The cacao powder is great for lending a unified chocolaty flavor to these bites as so many ingredients can be slightly confusing to your palate. The raisins are optional but important bits that I throw in at the end to add more texture to the bites. You can also add sugar free chocolate chips.

sweeteners for gluten free energy balls

 

Overtime you can vary the amount of ingredients depending on how sweet, sticky or flavorful you want it to taste.

Step 2. Pour the ingredients in a Food Processor.

gluten-free-energy-balls-food-processor

Add all the ingredients in the food processor except raisins and desiccated coconut. Do not forget to pit the dates.

Step 3. Pulse for 10-15 minutes.

gluten-free-energy-balls-dough

There is a cacophonous sound once you start pulsing, as the nuts and seeds pulverize. You have to keep a visual check on how things are going as the mix tends to gather on one side when the nuts start releasing their oils. Check occasionally to see if the mixture has moistened and become more malleable.

Step 4. Add the raisins.

gluten free energy balls dough with raisins

Start binding the mixture into bite sized balls. I like to roll them into rather huge balls. #badpun #iknowyouwerethinkingit 😀

Step 5. Dust up some desiccated coconut on top of the bites.

gluten free energy balls rolled with desiccated coconut

I like to give them a final roll over in desiccated coconut for some extra texture and flavor. And No!! They do not look like you-know-what with fungus on top….I hate it when the husband makes fun of my occasional cooking escapades and then I can not get the image out of my head.

You are DONE. Enjoy the fruits of your 10 minute labor!!

gluten free energy balls with desiccated coconut

Please Read: Any form of sugar or fat (processed or natural) should be taken in moderation and with caution keeping in mind your existing health conditions. I would not recommend this recipe to diabetics as a be-all-end-all alternative to exercising control over their sugar cravings. This recipe can not serve as an excuse for consuming sugar or fat if you have pre-existing dietary restrictions. However, when you occasionally feel like indulging it would be better to eat these energy bites than any other traditional sweets made from ghee or refined sugar.

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