If I’m not in the kitchen, chances are I’m working out in a make shift gym (thanks COVID), and I’m not usually that organised when it comes to meal prepping (shock). Depending on my schedule, this can mean that I am either starving before my session, or immediately after - no bueno! I had seen a lot of people making protein bites and I had tried them in the past, but most of the time I wasn’t a fan of the ingredients. So I decided to make my own! I make a batch Sunday night, keep them in a Tupperware in the fridge and just take what I need to my sessions. They last me the whole week with enough to share! They’re great to have to hand during busy days in the kitchen when I may be working on orders and not have time to really sit down and have a proper lunch. They’re filling and keep me going until I am ready to eat!
I wanted to create an energy bite that was packed full of all the good stuff whilst also being delicious! The base is a good quality peanut butter! I go for a natural peanut butter with no additives, sugar and palm oil and just because I love it, I go for a crunchy version! You could also use a smooth version if you prefer, but I enjoy the extra crunch!
Next up is a good quality honey! I have a variety of different honeys in my house ranging from your standard runny honey, to jars from farm shops in Kent and even from Latvia and Lithuania. Find a honey that you love and stick with it - and make sure it is runny! This will help the balls to form, but note that if you do change your honey, the flavour of the energy bites may be affected! If you want to keep these vegan, you can also replace the honey with maple syrup, or even date syrup! Again, the flavour may change slight, but they will still be delicious!
Let’s talk about raw cacao! Cacao is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet - so I guess we can call it a “super food”! It is rich in protein, iron and magnesium and has no refined sugar or saturated fat! So it is the perfect addition to these energy bites! It’s giving you all the chocolatey flavour and it sneaks in some extras to help your body feel great! It is a little more on the expensive side, but as you will only be using a tablespoon or so in these, you will find that it is worth the expense! I also use mine in baking such as in my gluten & dairy free brownies so it really does have its benefits!
The various seeds are also packed with goodness, the flaxseed provides healthy fats, fibre, protein and vitamins whilst the chia seeds give you healthy omegas as well as healthy fats which are said to keep your fuller for longer. Don’t be afraid of hemp seeds! These seeds are packed with a great source of amino acids and fibre and is higher than flax and chia in protein!
With the oats, I love using rolled oats and if you’re gluten-free, you can 100% replace these with certified free-from oats! Oh..and the desiccated coconut…well I just love it so why not!
Now, I personally don’t use protein powder in energy bites, but if you are someone who does, you could certainly add a scoop into these bites depending on what the brand recommendations and either remove the raw cacao or add some additional peanut butter and honey to help keep the bites moist. Just note that if you plan on share them with others, that they may not want to consume protein powder!
Make yourself a batch and ensure you don’t get peckish just before a training session (I don't anymore)!
Peanut Butter & Cacao Energy Bites
Makes: Around 12-15 balls
Prep time: 20 minutes
150g Crunchy peanut butter + extra if required
85g Runny honey (or maple syrup)
55g Rolled oats (use gluten free oats if needed)
15g (1 Tbsp) Raw cacao
25g Roasted hazelnuts, chopped
20g Pumpkin seeds, chopped
45g Ground flaxseed
20g Chia seeds
15g Hemp seeds
20g Desiccated coconut
In a medium bowl, add the peanut butter and honey and stir to combine.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir again to ensure everything is well coated and combined.
Spoon around a tablespoon into your hand and roll into balls. If you find they aren’t sticking, add a little extra peanut butter.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge and consume within 7 days.