By: Lauren M. Koch, RDN
PHEW. We made it through the holidays, friends! Not completely unscathed here in my house. We had the seasonal flu, a few really snotty common colds, and most recently, the stomach flu. Sparing you details, let me just say that it was an exhausting time.
Now that we are all healthy, I’d love to stay that way. At least for the next few weeks. My poor kindergartener has already missed way too much school. So, of course, I look to food for some help. I happen to agree with Hippocrates when he said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”.
Enter: these immune-boosting, superfood-filled, delicious-tasting no-bake energy bites. I’ve been toying around with creating a healthier energy bite to send for school snacks, or for on the go. Plus, it really helped clear out my pantry a bit too.
I used one of my new favorite products, Sari Foods Vitamin C Powder. It’s a food-based Vitamin C, which makes a big difference when it comes to our body being able to recognize and use it. Adequate daily intake of vitamin C is vital to a healthy immune system. Not only is it a strong antioxidant, but vitamin C is also thought to increase the production of infection-fighting white blood cells. And for those of you concerned about glowing, youthful skin…vitamin C is important there too. Take a peek at my article on Beautiful Skin when you finish here!
These oversized raisin-looking things are called Medjool dates. They are increasingly being used in the health food community as a natural substitute for sugar in recipes. They have a pleasant, almost caramel-like sweetness that integrates well into baked goods. I love that they also add fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other phytochemicals to foods that sugar does not.
To use as a sweetener in recipes, first prepare a date paste. Remove the pit by making a small slice down the center of the date. Then, soak your dates in warm water for a few minutes. Once nice and plump, add to a food processor or blender with a bit of water and blend until smooth. Easy easy!
It is important to note that this is a “no-bake” recipe for a reason. Yes, it’s always nice to have fewer steps and fewer dishes to deal with. But, the heat from cooking is also destructive to vitamins, so a heat-free recipe like this is ideal for maintaining nutritional value. Once you are finished whipping up your energy bites, close them up in an airtight container & store in the refrigerator.
No-Bake Energy Bites with Vitamin C and Medjool Dates
By: Lauren M. Koch, RDN, The Family Foodnag
- 8 Medjool dates, soaked & made into paste
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats (I used GF oats)
- 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 tbsp raw vanilla plant protein powder*
- 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut**
- 2 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries, chopped
- 1/4 cup Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp Sari Foods Vitamin C powder
- Prepare date paste as described above. Once smooth, mix in vanilla extract.
- Combine all following ingredients in a medium bowl, combining well.
- Blend date paste mixture into dry ingredients until well mixed. Should still be slightly moist.
- Using a tablespoon at a time, form dough into balls. Makes between 20-30 bites per recipe. Nutrition Facts listed are per individual bite.
- May roll balls in additional coconut, cocoa powder, cacao nibs, or peanut powder as desired.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.