May 28, 2024
Sweetened with dates and stuffed with super foods -- chickpeas, cashews and flax meal -- these energy bites make a great lunchbox snack.

These little energy bites taste like cookie dough but are packed with fiber, healthy fats and even chickpeas. Sweetened with dates and full of super foods like whole oats, flax seed and cashews, these energy bites give kids and adults alike a healthy burst of fuel to get through the day — without the sugar crash associated with typical snacks full of refined sugar and low in fiber. And best of all, they’re easy to make and store, at the ready for popping into a lunchbox or as an after-school snack.

For nut allergies, sub in sunflower seeds for the cashews. You can omit the baking soda, but my kids like how it really gives these a cookie-doughlike flavor. If you’re avoiding sugar, leave out the chocolate chips and add 1 tablespoon cocoa powder when mixing the dough.

Back to School Energy Bites

Makes two dozen 1-ounce bites

INGREDIENTS

1 cup pitted dates

1½ cups unsalted cashews

½ cup ground flax meal

1 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1½ cups rolled oats

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½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

¼ cup mini chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS

Place the dates, cashews, flax meal, chickpeas, salt, baking soda and cinnamon in a food processor and process for 1-2 minutes or until it forms a fairly smooth dough that sticks together. Add the oats and coconut and process for another half minute or so until well incorporated.

Empty the dough into a large bowl and mix in the chocolate chips, kneading the dough against the bowl until well distributed. Use your hands to form 1-ounce balls of dough (about 1½ inch in diameter) and roll until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Registered dietitian and food writer Laura McLively is the author of “The Berkeley Bowl Cookbook.” Follow her at @myberkeleybowl and www.lauramclively.com.

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