food

No-Bake Protein Bites (GF + Vegan)


I am constant on the run, and I typically snack on banana chips, dark chocolate covered nuts, granola, or pretzel chips. I chose these snacks because they’re “healthier” than potato chips, crackers, or other processed bars, but I realized I was actually gaining weight and not feeling satiety at all. When looking at the nutrition labels, I realized I was duped by words like “banana” and “dark chocolate”, because banana chips are seriously no better than potato chips, and that dark chocolate used on nuts includes a lot of oil and sugar. I should have known better, which teaches the important lesson that when you make your own food, you know what ingredients go into it, which is why I made my own on-the-go snacks which allowed me to customize the recipe to my liking. The protein bites were somewhat inspired by aussie bites, commercial protein bites most commonly sold in Costco. They’re very tasty but include some unfavorable ingredients like canola oil, butter, and refined sugar, and is low in all vitamins.

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There isn’t too much to these protein bites except getting the proper consistency, reaching your desired sweetness, and adding your own desired ingredients. Personally, I like it to be less sweet and on the harder side, though some people enjoy a softer consistency. For recipe adjustments, I have included some suggestions:

Adjustment Solution
Softer Add 2-4 more dates OR add 1-2 tsp. more water OR add 3-4 tbsp. more date water
Sweeter Add 2-4 more dates OR  Add ¼ c. chocolate chips OR Add vegan sweetener

No Bake Protein Bites

yield: approx 16 squares (1.5″ x 1.5″ x 0.5″) OR 35 balls

Ingredients:

  • 12 pitted dates soaked in hot water (any kind works; I used Deglet Noor Dates because they’re cheaper)
  • 2 tbsp. hot date water
  • 1 1/4 c. uncooked old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/4 c. chia seeds
  • 1/4 c. flax seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. nut butter or nut-free butter (I used a combination of almond and peanut butter)

Directions:

  1. Microwave 1 c. of water until boiling in a bowl and soak all the dates in for 5 min.
  2. In a food processor, put in all the ingredients except the hot date water and pulse for about 15 seconds. The mixture should come together and resemble very fine cookie crumbs. Add in the date water slowly, as needed, and pulse about 5 times until the mixture comes together.
  3. Form the mixture into bars or balls, and refrigerate. Refrigerating will help the bars/balls become more compact.
  4. Customize with dried fruits, chocolate chips, or nuts if desired.

Bars last in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks. I have included the nutrition facts below. I recommend eating bars as a snack or as a part of breakfast, but never as a whole meal. Bars are high in fiber, protein, and omega-3s.

 

 

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