With summer just around the corner it is really hard to stop smiling and enjoying the world as it is. But since I live in the UK, I am well aware of the fact that the famous English drizzle is bound to come back soon – and I will need something to combat this sudden drop in sunshine and overall cheer. Why not with this delicious roundup of free from energy bites?
Let’s start with a few words on energy bites themselves. They are quite simple things, really – but can be a very good and relatively healthy snack if done correctly. Oh, and they may keep you away from chocolates. Because they are designed to be bite-sized (two bites if you are small like me), they are perfect for party fillers too.
This notwithstanding the main reason I picked free from energy bites was just how therapeutic they can be! I reminded myself of how much I love just moving dough between the palms of my hands during my last let’s try – and I just couldn’t resist an opportunity to spend an entire Sunday morning just rolling and rolling and rolling these little balls.
As always, this let’s try post will feature recipes I have pinned and I have been dying to try out. No simple: it looks good!. We are doing it the hard, messy and definitely tastier way.
Cherry Chocolate Energy Bites by Melissa (My Whole Food Life)
If there is one thing other than chocolate and cute pets I simply cannot resist, it must be cherries. Don’t tell my parents, but in summer I only go to visit them when the cherry (and strawberry!) season starts – because there is simply no better sensation in the whole wide world than eating a cherry freshly picked from a tree.
Dried cherries cannot compete, but still – anything with a cherry in its name has my immediate attention. And cherries with chocolate? Did I die and go to food heaven? It seemed like Melissa’s recipe was made just for me.
My favourite types of recipe are those that start with: put everything in a food processor and mix together. It means I don’t have to designate a special time for baking – I can just throw it all into my blender in between other chores. Sure, I love baking Grand Bakes that will never make it into the Great British Bake Off, but sometimes I just want to eat something now and not worry about preparing it too much.
So here we go: just throwing everything into a food processor or blender. Everything apart from the chocolate chips and chopped cherries, as I prefer to fold them in for a chunkier experience. Then just a little time in the good old fridge and we are ready to go!
I must admit – these energy bites seem like a perfect post-workout treat! They are sweet and full of goodness at the same time, so much more tempting than any protein shake. If I could have one without dairy in it, that is. It comes guilt free and delicious. Cannot get any better.
Plus, it tricks your brain into thinking it is white chocolate. Seriously. Maybe I just did something terribly wrong, but every time I felt them and looked at them, I just thought to myself: hm, white chocolates!
(They were a bit wetter than expected, probably due to the fact that my blender is quite… ruthless.)
Thank you, Melissa, for this great snack idea! Although I must admit, most of them did not survive meeting my boyfriend. And if any of you are interested in some more healthy snack recipes and such, visit Melissa’s blog, My Whole Food Life.
Healthy no bake Ferrero Roche bites by Arman (The Big Man’s World)
I was so hyped for Arman’s recipe. You have no idea. The last time I was so excited about food was when I discovered gluten free potato smiles.
Don’t judge. We all have our weakness.
So there I was, hopping up and down on a hype train, when reality suddenly struck me: I was not at all prepared to go through with this recipe. I have already confessed to you that I am very bad at reading the recipe in advance: and it bit me in the bum yet again.
Chopped caramelized hazelnuts?! To most of you this does not sound like much of a fuss. To me it was three hours of blanching (who buys raw hazelnuts?), caramelizing and waiting for the hazelnuts to dry. They didn’t. After three hours, let it be because I used the blog’s recipe and didn’t do it may way, or because the English summer decided to hit and make everything boiling hot, the nuts were still sticky and just… yuck.
My fault, I admit. But you can imagine how unhappy it made me about the entire energy bites business.
Especially that the recipe does not even state how many caramelized hazelnuts are needed in the first place. At least half of these three hours I spent worrying that I would not have enough and I’ll have to start again. I know, I know it may be difficult to judge and dependant on oh so many circumstances, but it still needs to be at least approximated. I have no spatial imagination. Even my Physics degree couldn’t change that.
Frustrations aside, the rest of the recipe was quite straightforward and very much a pleasant experience. Sticking a nut in the middle of my chocolate balls turned out to be even more fun than forming the balls themselves. My dough was quite sticky, which I blame on the hazelnut spread I used (so it will definitely stick to my trousers if I sat down on them, Arman!), although I used barely any milk at all. They were also quite bitter for my liking. Yes, together with this disaster of a caramel I made. But my boyfriend found them just right, so that may just be the fault of my sweet tooth.
Regardless of the painful process and the massive failure of my efforts, I still love the idea though. I know this entire description is very moany and picky, but I do believe that with a little bit of tweaking this could be a great recipe. It just needs more… shape. True, it can work with a splash of improvisation here and there, but this series tries to follow the recipes to the every word (Almost! As much as I can) and to every word is just not precise enough.
Thank you for the recipe, Arman! It was so creative – even if it stuttered a bit for me. I am sure I’ll end up adapting it for myself and trying it again. If you’d like to see more of the gluten free bakes from around the world, check out Arman’s blog, The Big Man’s World.
Chocolate Truffle Energy Bites by Willow (Will Cook for Friends)
When I hear chocolate truffles my brain does not automatically think: hmmm, healthy! It doesn’t think dairy free either, really. But I am very welcoming towards any chocolate truffles that come my way and won’t pass an opportunity to try making one.
Where Willow’s chocolate truffles differ from others is that they do not contain any chocolate. Well, it does contain tons of cocoa, but no store bought chocolate bars. Forget about these. Forget about sugar as well (minus the one found in other ingredients, of course). It is all raw, non-refined goodness over here.
The process itself is yet again very simple: throw everything together, blend, and roll into a coating. As basic as it gets, really. If we don’t count soaking the nuts (which I also didn’t remember about – but luckily they soaked enough while I was waiting for the caramelized hazelnuts!), the entire production of all the energy bites took probably around 15 minutes.
But what I love most about this recipe is how versatile it is. The truffle itself is just a simple base – a blank canvas on which you can paint your own dessert. It is firm and not sticky so it shapes very well, it tastes predominantly of chocolate so you can pair it with any other ingredient really, and it is not sickly sweet as often happens with chocolate heavy energy bites.
Most of my truffles ended up being rolled in shredded coconut, but I decided to chop some goji berries for a few of them and, trust me, it was such a good decision! I am looking forward to trying raspberry powder as well – it never occurred to me, this whole idea of pulverizing frozen food and I am really really keen to give it a go.
My sin – I didn’t use any hemp seeds. I couldn’t find any in my local Holland and Barrett and I had no time to look elsewhere. I replaced them with more chia seeds and it worked out just fine for me. Since some people are likely to run into the same problem, I decided to come clean (although I did just say that I try to follow all the recipes to every word, hmmm).
Thank you, Willow, this recipe really made my day! Since I eat a strictly free from diet reading your blog is sometimes a painful experience, so much stuff I want and cannot have, but for any of you who are interested in healthy, natural food and don’t have to worry so much about dietary restrictions, check out Willow’s blog, Will Cook for Friends.
Sea Salt Chocolate Caramels by Andrea (Forest and Fauna)
Aaaand I am cheating again.
You see, Andrea’s chocolate goodness is technically not an energy bite, but I just liked the idea so much and felt like I won’t be able to include them in any roundup soon, so I had to stretch my definition a bit. They are small and definitely count as bite-sized, they will give you plenty of energy because of all the sugar in the dates… Come on, they are at least borderline energy bites (with a little bit of good will).
The idea is pretty simple – we take some dates and cover them with a chocolate coating of our own creation. No melted store-sold chocolate bars over here, just pure cocoa and coconut butter deliciousness.
No fuss as well – and if there is one thing I love most about these energy bite recipes; it is the lack of fuss. Free from baking, like free from living, is quite a messy thing in general; even going gluten free can take substantial effort, let alone getting rid of dairy and eggs too. And in baking? Baking is all about flour, eggs and dairy, right? So a fuss-free recipe is always welcomed in my house.
The recipe itself is quite flexible as well – it suggests a few swaps here and there, for people who are unused to free from ingredients which can be harder to source.
Prepare for a dipping extravaganza! Sure, you can get messy in the process, but who wouldn’t want to lick some chocolate off their fingers? This process itself is already satisfying enough for me to forget about the final result. A date in, a caramel out – that is a trade I approve of.
Because you wouldn’t believe me if I served you those and told you: have your dates. They don’t look like dates and covered with so much goodness that they don’t really taste like dates either. An important remark to make if you are anything like me and you’d rather dates tasted just… a bit less date-y. I chose to cover mine in coconut as well, naughty me, never following the recipe fully, which I would recommend for a more coconut-focused experience.
Thank you for the recipe, Andrea! Please keep them coming, they put a big chocolatey smile on my face. And if any of you reading are interested in more paleo recipes, check out Andrea’s blog, Forest and fauna.
And here we are again, at the very end of my roundup! Anyone with any more energy bites recipes I should try? I actually pinned one more recently, so I think I am past the point of salvation…
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