A couple of weeks ago my dad gave me an article to read in Sports Illustrated about a dietitian working with athletes and teaching them about eating real food. It made me so happy (obvs) and the woman totally has my dream job: working with a team. Please Toronto Raptors: hire me when I graduate. Actually, Boston Celtics.
Anyways, in the article the dietitian explained that she makes energy bites for the players – rather than giving them highly processed, sugar-filled, possibly-junk-filled, energy bars. Winning.
I’m a huge energy bar, bite, ball, Larabar fan. They are great for snacking: on-the-go, pre and post workout, and even for a sweet treat. But I have to tell ya: I had nooooo idea how to make them at first. I’d see them all over the place but didn’t know how to make them myself. Well I quickly learned that energy balls are typically made with dates (or another dried fruit) and nuts. Seems easy enough right? Well it wasn’t. I couldn’t get the balls to stick! I blamed my mom’s food processor (and then we proceeded to get in a “fight” about how I was going to break it) but ultimately it was my bad for not using medjool or sticky dates. Oops. Sorry mom. Another perk of living at home.
Even though I’ve figured out the whole bites-made-in-a-food processor thing out (like these) cleaning the food processor is an absolute hassle. So many parts. So much to wash. So much to dry. I just don’t feel like it all the time.
A one-bowl-minimal-mess-energy-bite… no food processor required? Yes please.
So back to the article my dad gave me. He said that the energy bites the dietitian makes sounded delicious: peanut butter, coconut, flaxseed meal and honey. This made me really excited so I tried to re-create them for him. Even though my measurements were a little off, dad actually said he liked them. Well he said they would be better with chocolate chips and “his” peanut butter but hey, he still liked them.
If you’ve been around these parts for awhile, you know I have a slight obsession with peanut butter. I didn’t think I’d be able to give it up for my Whole 30 but I did and eating the bites I made for my dad was the first time I had had peanut butter since March 1st! That’s 4 months PB-free. I honestly didn’t think it would be a problem for my stomach or digestion but low and behold… a few hours after eating one of the bites, my stomach was bloated and I was sooo uncomfortably gassy (not to mention my skin broke out too… worst). Sorry if TMI. Remember that peanuts are actually a legume – and you know what they say about beans. Damn you phytates, lectins and aflatoxin.
So that’s where almond butter comes in.
Peanut butter is soooo delicious but I’d prefer to be bloat and gas-free so I’m saving my PB for special treats (you can read more about the effect of PB here). I used to hate almond butter but now love it (dare I say it) as much as PB. But, feel free to use your favorite nut butter – I have come to enjoy many. I bet cashew or hazelnut would be great too.
I still try to limit my nuts and seeds (too many still hurt my tummy) but these little bites have been perfect pre-5:30am CrossFit (when a hard boiled egg just doesn’t do it for me). They are full of healthy fats and a bit of protein to give you a yummy boost. They seriously could not be easier… I hope you enjoy them too!
Almond Butter Bites
Ingredients (Makes 12 bites)
- 1/2 cup all-natural, creamy almond butter (or your favorite nut butter)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
- 2 tbsp. honey (vegan option: maple syrup)
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
2. Use a tablespoon measure (or a spoon) to form 12 bites.
3. Store in the fridge in an airtight container – will keep for a few weeks.
Questions of the day…
What’s your favorite nut butter?
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