I’ve discovered I have one child who pretty much lives solely off of snacking. It is clear that by the time our fourth-born arrived, I was tired. Structures and disciplines fell out the window at some point. This kid has always loved his snacks, but having him home this year has revealed that he still prefers pretty much a constant intake of snacks all day. His main meals are small portions. He never knows what he wants special for dinner on his birthday because honestly, he doesn’t really care for dinner. Quiche is his favorite dinner. Mental note: share quiche recipe.
Because of this little snackster, I do try to make sure we have healthy snacks on hand for him to choose from. These energy bites are full of good stuff for him to put in his belly – chia seeds, dried cherries, oats, nut butter, pepitas, dark chocolate or cacao nibs. Maybe you have these things on hand? I’m not sure what Trader Joe’s is looking like these days, but I usually get everything for these there. You could substitute dried cranberries. Also, Vitacost is a great site to buy food from. I especially love that they ship to Puerto Rico so when I’m really desperate, I can order from them. They seem to be quite barren right now, though.
Back to the energy bites… don’t be fooled – these aren’t just for the snack man in our family. They only last for a couple of days because all six of us love them. The only thing we don’t love? The chia seeds that get stuck in our teeth and provide potential embarrassment afterward. Must accompany with floss.
Dark Chocolate Cherry & Chia Seed Energy Bites
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1/2 cup chia seeds
- 1/4 cup chopped dark chocolate or cacao nibs
- 1/4 cup raw pepitas
- 1 cup peanut butter, sunflower seed butter, or other nut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup dried tart cherries
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, chia seeds, dark chocolate, and pepitas. Stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix together the nut/seed butter, honey, vanilla, and the salt. Stir until smooth. Pour the nut butter and honey mixture over the oat mix and stir until evenly coated. Then stir in the cherries.
On a parchment-lined baking sheet using a 2-3″ cookie cutter, press the energy bar mix into the cutter and press firmly. Continue until the mixture is gone. Without a cookie cutter, roll about 2 tbsp mix into a ball, place on baking sheet and flatten. Work with wet hands to minimize sticking.
Place the energy bars in the refrigerator until firm, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.