Sometimes, for an afternoon pick-me-up, I like to get a little crazy and eat a few almonds and dried dates as a snack. A few almonds can quiet a growling stomach, and the dates provide a touch of sweetness to keep me from going for something like... a cookie! But I mean, have you ever had a Larabar? They are basically just dried fruit and nuts, and they are surprisingly easy to make at home. So let's get a little fancy with that afternoon snack.
In the past, I have tried a few of Chocolate Covered Katie's homemade Larabar/Fudge Baby variations, but since I'm doing a Whole30, I wanted to make something similar that had no oats and no cocoa powder (I just can't do chocolate in moderation).
I follow @thehealthymaven on Instagram and I've been wanting to try her recipe for Blueberry Muffin Energy Balls -- but unfortunately, I haven't been able to find dried blueberries (without added sugar) anywhere! Not EVEN at Trader Joe's. So I decided to mix up her recipe with what I had on hand (and what I could buy at TJ's)... and I ended up with these Cherry Lemonade Energy Bites!
They are basically homemade Larabars, and the flavor variations are endless considering the different dried fruits/nuts/add-ins you could throw into the mix.
If I'm doing a Whole30, I have to be careful as these have the potential to turn into "food without brakes" for me, and they are borderline SWYPO. However, if I just need a little bite of something, I don't feel too guilty going for one of these guys.
Cherry Lemonade Energy Bites
Makes: 50-60 bites (depending on size)
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw almonds
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup dried bing cherries
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 tsp sea salt
Add both types of nuts to food processor and pulse until they are mostly ground.
Add in dates (remove pits if they have them) and cherries -- processing again until the mixture is uniform.
Finally, add in lemon zest and juice along with a sprinkle of salt. Process again, scraping down the sides as needed, until mixture starts to form a ball and starts to stick when you pinch it together.
TIP: If your food processor kind of sucks like mine does, these may not come together very easily. Mine got all goopy on the bottom and refused to mix any further! I just removed the mixture to a bowl and combined it the rest of the way with my hands!
Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with waxed paper, then with waxed paper or slightly wet hands, press the mixture into an even layer.
Place pan in the freezer until energy bite mixture has hardened, then remove the waxed paper from the pan and slice the slab into bite-sized pieces using a large knife or a pizza cutter.
TIP: You could also use small cookie cutters for this step which would be a huge hit with kids!
Store the bites in an airtight plastic container with a sheet of waxed paper between each layer to prevent them from sticking together.
I prefer to enjoy them frozen, but they also keep well in the refrigerator.
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