Simple and delicious, One-Bowl Honey Sesame Energy Bites are easy to make and are perfect as a snack, in lunch boxes, or as an afternoon or after dinner treat.
I grew up in hippie towns.
The first part of my childhood was spent in Boulder, Colorado, and the latter in Eugene, Oregon, arguably two of the "hippiest" towns in the US.
Growing up, my best friend's dad made his own granola using seeds and dried fruit from the bulk aisle at our local co-op.
Cultivating sprouts in mason jars was a completely normal thing that people did on the regular. People commuted by bike. And recycled. And carried around reusable water bottles. And were vegetarians. And wore socks with Birkenstocks.
All this waaaaaaaaay before it was cool. (Side note: socks with Birkenstocks is still not cool).
Shopping at health food stores was a given. And I'm not talking about the trendy Whole Foods kind of markets. Those didn't exist.
I'm talking the super-earthy-crunchy-hippie kind of natural stores. Stores that burned incense and sold Tibetan prayer flags. Stores that smelled like a mix of curry, patchouli oil, vitamins, and Dr. Bronner's natural soap.
To this day, those smells still somehow seem like home to me. Not that I like smelling them all together at the same time. But still. Home.
One of my earliest food memories was going to Alfalfa's, our neighborhood natural foods store, and my mom buying us halva.
Halva is a traditional nut-based or semolina-based dessert served in different variations across the Middle East and Central and Eastern Europe.
The version we ate was a super-sweet mix of tahini (sesame seed paste) and sugar. I'm not sure why the connection between halva and natural foods stores, but my guess is that because it's packed with seed-based protein it's a good snack option for vegetarians.
At any rate, my sisters and I loved halva, and begged my mom for it anytime we were at the store. And as an adult, I've often thought about that little childhood treat and recently have been tinkering around with recreating it.
Traditional halva is made with quite a bit of sugar, and my version veers from the original in that it's just sweetened naturally with a bit of honey. My version does use tahini, which lends an unmistakeable taste, plus protein and plant-based calcium. Everything is held together with oat flour, adding more fiber and protein to the mix.
Since these contain tahini, they are nut-free, thus making them a great option for lunch boxes. They also make a lovely afternoon snack or after dinner treat.
They're a snap to prepare, and just the thing to keep in the fridge for when the snacking mood strikes.
Look for tahini near the nut and seed butters. If you can't find it there, check the "ethnic foods" aisle. It can come in a can or in a jar, and needs to be stirred really well before using.
I hope you'll give these a try soon. Now, let's make some One-Bowl Honey Sesame Energy Bites!
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | Instead of sesame seeds, roll the dough balls in dye-free sprinkles to make these extra special.
2 | Swap in natural, unsweetened creamy almond butter, peanut butter, or sunflower seed butter for the tahini.
PREP-AHED & LEFTOVERS
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Vegetarian, Nut-Free and Naturally-Sweetened
One-Bowl Honey Sesame Energy Bites
⅓ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup tahini (sesame seed paste) at room temperature, well stirred
¼ cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups oat flour*
¼ cup sesame seeds
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, tahini, honey, and vanilla extract until smooth.
2. Add the salt and oat flour, stirring until well combined.
3. Using a cookie scoop or 1 tablespoon measure, scoop the mixture into your hands and roll gently into a balls. If the dough is too sticky to roll, place in the fridge for 5-10 minutes to harden a bit. Then wet your hands with water in between rolling to keep the dough from sticking.
4. Pour the sesame seeds onto a large plate. Roll each ball in the sesame seeds until well coated.
4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, then serve or store.
Makes about 12 Energy Bites.
*Notes: Make your own oat flour for this recipe by placing 2 cups whole oats in a blender and blending until a coarse flour forms. Alternatively, you can buy pre-made oat flour at well-stocked grocery stores and online (either regular or gluten-free). Be sure to buy gluten-free oats if you want to keep recipe gluten-free.