Saturday, November 5, 2011

No-Bake Energy Bites

Lately I have been finding a lot of AMAZING stuff on Pinterest. Being as poor as we have been, it's great to find ideas to make wonderful gifts. I used to love this season, because I loved shopping and finding unique, perfect gifts for everyone. Well, last year I wasn't able to participate in Christmas gift giving, which greatly saddened me. This year funds are even lower. However, while I was creating so many things for my wedding this summer I realized how much I enjoyed crafting. It makes sense, really...I've always enjoyed art, was in the gifted and talented art classes during elementary school, and ended up a graphic and web designer for over 11 years.

Anyway, I digress! Pinterest has not only given me amazing gift ideas, but also great recipes. This latest one is a healthy, delicious no-bake one that I put together in about 5 minutes. I found this one on the blog Smashed Peas and Carrots, so proper credit should be given there. However, I knew I had to share this one as well (albeit slightly modified), because it is a healthy alternative to high-fat, low-protein snacks such as candy bars or even sugary mass-produced granola bars.

One of the best things about this snack is the integration of flaxseed meal. Flaxseed is definitely a superfood, and most notably for three main ingredients:
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types. (source: WebMD)
For more information on the health benefits of flaxseed, please visit this link.

No-Bake Energy Bites
Yield: 24 balls
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. peanut butter or other nut butter (I combined 1/4 c. natural peanut butter and 1/4 c. unsweetened natural cashew butter)*
1/3 c. honey
1 c. coconut flakes (sweetened or unsweetened)
1/2 c. flaxseed meal or ground flaxseed
1/2 tbsp. cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 c. mini chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix everything together in medium bowl until thoroughly mixed. Chill in refrigerator for at least 1/2 hour. Form into balls and enjoy!

*I combined peanut butter and cashew butter because I have had mild reactions to peanuts and peanut butter in the past, and didn't want to push the envelope. I prefer its taste to cashew butter, though, but found the mix was still delicious.

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