Healthy Eating Habits: A No-Bake, Easy-to-Make, Nutritious Snack
Giving up delicious but not-so-healthy snacks and desserts is difficult for most of us. It becomes easier when we replace them with tasty and satisfying treats that also have nutritional value.
It takes a bit of searching and experimenting to find snacks that create bliss in our brains' pleasure centers, keep the body strong and energized, and are easy to make – snacks such as No-Bake Energy Bites.
Easy, Delicious, Nutritious
In 10 to 15 minutes, you can whip up two- to three-dozen ball shaped cookie-like snacks that are also suitable for dessert, or an on-the-go breakfast. This quick recipe is also rich in essential nutrients, for instance:
- Chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, phosphorus, manganese, and calcium.
- Oatmeal gives you nutritional goodies such as fiber, thiamine, iron, protein, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
- Peanut butter adds niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin E, protein, and several minerals.
- Flax seeds contribute omega-3s, omega-6s, several vitamins including thiamine, copper, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and more.
No-Bake Energy Bites
You will need:
- 1 cup (dry) oatmeal (old-fashioned oats recommended)
- 2/3 cup toasted coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup ground flaxseed or wheat germ
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
- 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (agave nectar is not recommended since it's not thick enough to hold the balls together)
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, stir together all the ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- When chilled, roll mixed ingredients into balls of about 1/2” to 1” in diameter - whatever size you prefer (a 1” diameter makes 20 to 25 balls).
- Keep the Energy Bites refrigerated in an airtight container for up to a week. (Refrigeration is optional, but it helps the balls stay intact.)
Feel free to experiment with substitutions. For instance, instead of chocolate chips you might add chopped dried fruit, berries, or nuts. Almond or sunflower seed butters can be used instead of peanut butter.
Photo credit: Alison H on flickr