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Subscribe! Click here to get free recipes by email!The search for the perfect granola bar has left me frustrated to say the least. Almost all commercially-made granola bar products are full of unhealthy ingredients and preservatives, and the ones that aren't are exorbitantly expensive. And, to top it all off, we deal with some food allergies in our family that make finding the perfect granola bar even more impossible. So, I figured it was time to stop looking and start making my own homemade snacks.
My husband and kids love these no-bake energy bites made with only nuts, dried fruit, coconut, oats and spices. They're packed full of healthy fats and fibre and they're sure to give you a boost of energy and satisfy your hunger when you need it most. And if you have a food processor then you can make these vegan and gluten-free energy bites for your family too!
Like the look of this recipe? You'll love these delicious Pomegranate Granola Greek Yogurt Parfaits or this Garlic Parmesan White Bean Hummus!
Cranberry Cashew Energy Bites (makes about 24)
This recipe was inspired by the Cashew Coconut Chia Squares recipe from the Gluten-Free Family Favorites: The 75 Go-To Recipes You Need to Feed Kids and Adults All Day, Every Day cookbook.
1 3/4 cups raw cashews
15 dates (pitted)
1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups large flake oats (gluten free)
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
a food processor (I have the 9-cup KitchenAid Food Processor)
Add the raw cashews to the bowl of the food processor fitted with the multipurpose blade.
Process on high speed until the cashews become a thick, smooth, powdery mixture (about 5 minutes). It's a good idea to stop every minute or two and scrape down the sides, just to make sure the mixture is processed evenly.
Add the dates and the water and process again on high until everything is evenly combined and the mixture is smooth (you may need to scrape down the sides once, just to make sure everything is incorporated).
Add the cinnamon, vanilla, and salt, and process again on medium speed until they're evenly incorporated.
Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and add the oats, cranberries and coconut.
Mix these ingredients together by hand using a rubber spatula.
You'll be left with a mixture resembling a thick oatmeal cookie dough.
Roll into balls using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the mixture for each ball (This recipe makes about 24 energy bites.). Place in a fridge-safe container lined with parchment paper, to prevent the balls from sticking together as you layer them.
Chill them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before you eat them, but chilling them overnight is best. That is, if you can keep any little hands away from them for that long.
I often make a batch of these in the evening so they can chill all night. That way my husband can take a few to have as snacks at work the next day and I can throw a few in a container and into my diaper bag to take on-the-go with the kids.
They store nicely in the fridge for up to two weeks, but if your family is anything like ours they'll never last that long. Storing them in the freezer and grabbing one or two out to thaw the night before is also an option.
Like this recipe? You'll love these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites or these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars!
I hope you like this recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what's your favourite homemade healthy snack on-the-go?