One of my go-to post-yoga snacks are LARA bars because they are one of the healthiest snack bars out there – few ingredients (nine max, and most have four or five), gluten-free, vegan, soy-free, Kosher, non-GMO, and no added sugars (except for the ones with chocolate), preservatives, fillers, or colorings. I like products with ingredients that I can say and name on one hand.
They make a great snack, pre-workout energy boost, and dessert. So what’s the downside? They’re pricey. Also, all their flavors include nuts, meaning those with nut allergies can’t enjoy their deliciousness. I’ve made a variety of fruit and nut “bites” (about half the serving of a LARA Bar) over the last few years – recipes are all over the web and in lots of vegan/raw cookbooks. A few of my favorites include the raw balls from the Kind Diet (they need a better name, but are amazing – my friends know them as vegan truffles), and the chocolate chip cookie homemade LARA bars and dark chocolate energy bites from ohsheglows.
But I couldn’t find a nut-free LARA bar recipe so I created this one.
Whether you use my recipe or one of the gazillion other ones out there, do give this tip a try: use an ice-cube tray to form the bites. In the past, I’ve just rolled them into a ball, which didn’t necessarily look all that appetizing and was kind of messy. Using an ice-cube tray is great to get standard-sized bites that look a little nicer and don’t get your hands covered in date paste.
Fill up the tray, press it down with a spoon, and stick it in the freezer to harden for a couple of hours.
Remove from the tray into a storage container (I used a knife to help pop them out), and keep them in the fridge in an air-tight container for a week or two (if they last that long). There are some fun ice-cube and cookie trays out there – you could experiment with some creative shapes for you bites!
What flavor energy bites do you want me to develop a recipe for? Let me know in the comments.
Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
Yield 8 bites (using an ice-cube tray)
Raw or toasted sunflower seeds both work in this recipe, choose based on your flavor preference. I’ve tried both and couldn’t make up my mind which I like better.
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted* or raw
1/2 cup dates, chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon tahini
1 tablespoon chocolate chips
dash of salt
Pulse the sunflower seeds for a few seconds to break them down. Add the rest of the ingredients, and process until crumbly, and sticks together when you press a clump of it in your hands. Spoon into an ice-cube tray, and press down with a spoon. Freeze for 2 to 3 hours, or until hardened. Remove from the ice-cube tray using a butter knife, and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
* Toast sunflower seeds yourself rather than buying pre-toasted seeds at the store – this makes sure they are fresh and don’t have any hidden added salt. To toast, place on a baking sheet in a 350 degree oven, and toast for about 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
Nutritional information per bite (calculated with loseit.com): Total Calories 106, Total Fat 6.1g, Total Carb. 9.6g, Fiber 1.6g, Sugars 7g, Protein 2.6g