6 simple ingredients combine in Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Energy Bites for a dreamy, naturally-sweetened dessert or snack you can throw together anytime!
I have a serious sweet tooth. It's kind of a problem. Especially when 3:00 pm rolls around. I don't know why. What is it about mid-afternoon? I'm going along fine, eating salads and quinoa and all-the-kale. And then, bam. I turn into a crazy sugar monster. What is up with that?
And then there's the after-dinner craving for sweets. The second I tuck Elle into bed my mind immediately turns to sugar. It's definitely my weakness, and something I'm still working on. I always talk about this real food and healthy eating journey is a process. And I'm still midway through the process when it comes to sugar, that's for sure.
Anyway, one of the best ways I've leaned so far when dealing with sugar cravings is to "crowd out" with healthy, naturally-sweetened, real food alternatives. I picked up this habit during my first barre3 Challenge and it's stuck with me ever since. Having naturally-sweetened options on hand definitely helps me quell the cravings and keeps me from feeling deprived.
No-bake energy bits are the perfect option to keep on hand because they can be made in a matter of minutes, only require a few ingredients, and there's no baking required. Pitted dates give the bites natural sweetness and help the bits to stick together. Just be sure your dates are nice and soft. If they're not, soak them in hot water for a bit, then drain and proceed with the recipe.
Also, can we just talk about the vanilla + sea salt combo for a minute? I mean, seriously. If you can find whole vanilla beans (and your budget allows) the seeds lend such a lovely flavor to these, but pure vanilla extract also works beautifully. And sea salt is great if you have it, but kosher salt will work just fine. Now, let's make some energy bites!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Use pure vanilla extract if you don't have whole vanilla beans.
2 | Swap kosher salt for sea salt.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Refined Sugar-Free, and Paleo Friendly
Vanilla Bean Sea Salt Energy Bites
1 cup very soft, pitted madjool dates (about 8-9)*
½ cup unsalted, blanched, slivered almonds
1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds removed OR 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1. Add all the ingredients to a food processor. Mix on high until very well combined, about 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides once or twice.
2. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture, press together, then roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining mixture.
3. Store the energy bites in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
Makes 12 energy bites.
* Edited to add: If using delget dates, which are smaller and drier than madjool, reduce the amount to 3/4 cup to start. Proceed with the recipe. If the mixture is on the dry side add additional dates until it sticks together well. If the dates aren’t very soft, soak them in hot water for a few minutes, then drain and proceed with the recipe.
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