Sunday, October 12, 2014

Cashew Chocolate Energy Bites

When I get in to the groove of studying, I get into the groove. Does that even make sense? When I am studying, I often lose track of time and the next thing I know, my stomach is growling. Growling so loud that other people in the library can hear it. Now that's embarrassing. While a big meal doesn't always sound good when I am studying (because I am usually a nervous wreck), small snacks always seem to do the trick. As good as crackers may be, they don't really give me the energy I need nor do they keep me full for very long. Plus, I really should not be eating a whole bag of goldfish. And trust me, I could. I am not ashamed of that. Okay, a little bit. Those things are just so darn addicting!

Over the past few months, I have have been trying to find the perfect granola bar recipe. You know, one that is soft, yet crunchy at the same time. And also one that doesn't turn into granola when you try to cut it. I didn't think it would be this hard to find one that would be just right, but let me tell you, it has. I've tried many tried and true recipes that promise to be the best and they just have failed me. So, when I came across this recipe for energy balls, I knew I had to try them. They would be perfect for a quick pick me up when studying for that all important midterm and also a great snack to throw in your bag when you are on the go. There is no cutting of bars and you just throw everything together, mix and roll. Now that is my kind of granola bar and snack.

To make these super easy and totally yummy energy balls, you'll need just a handful of ingredients - oats, honey, cashew butter, chocolate chips, coconut and ground flax seeds. Now, if you don't have cashew butter, don't go running out to chase it down. Seriously. If you have another type of nut butter at home (peanut, almond, etc.), feel free to use that. If you are feeling extra wild and want to find the cashew butter, I got mine at Trader Joes. I bought it about a month ago and knew I shouldn't have because I could eat it straight from the jar with a spoon. It's so salty and so delicious! To be honest, I had to hide it from myself by placing it in the back of the fridge. Out of sight, out of mind. Regardless of what type of nut butter you use, I am sure that you will love them. You seriously just throw everything together, mix it up well and then pop it in the fridge for about 30 minutes or so. This will allow everything to harden up just a bit so that you can roll them up into balls. Here is a quick tip -if your nut butter has been in the fridge and is too hard to mix or scoop out, place it in the microwave for a seconds to loosen it up. Just make sure there is not any foil on the lid like mine had. Oops. That makes for a fun spark in the microwave. Or scare.

Once the mixture has been in the fridge for at least half an hour, take it out and roll the mixture into balls. One recipe makes about 20-24 balls depending on how big or small you make them. I usually enjoy two as a snack or a quick energy boost before a workout. They are perfectly sweet, filling and curb your sweet cravings with those chocolate chips. These cashew chocolate energy balls may just be your new favorite snack!


because who doesn't want to see cashew butter up close and personal

honey + cashew butter = love

mixing in all the dry ingredients

don't forget the chocolate chips!

pure energy. pure deliciousness.

Cashew Chocolate Energy Balls (slightly adapted from Gimme Some Oven)

1 cup dry oatmeal (I used old-fashioned oats)
2/3 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup cashew butter
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup chocolate chips 

 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together in a medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Cover and let chill in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Once chilled, roll into ball of whatever size you would like. Mine were about one tablespoon (give or take) in size. Store in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for up to one week. Enjoy!

Delicious energy in bite size snacks!

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