I have a confession.
As much as I try to stay away from convenience foods, I am a huge fan of energy bars. Clif Bars, LaraBars, Luna Bars, Kind Bars, and Balance Bars got me through long blocks of class during college and often temporarily sate my hunger between a workout and work. They’re filling enough, it’s no longer difficult to find brands with “real” ingredients, and they’ll do in a pinch.
But then I saw these coconut energy bites on The Daily Garnish. Not only did they look simple to make, but they’re also easily customizable as far as flavors go. And the best part is that I had all the ingredients in my pantry, meaning that I can make them any time I want without making a trip to the grocery store.
I’m not saying I’ll never buy another energy bar. But as far as homemade alternatives go, I’m a huge fan of this recipe.
No-Bake Coconut Energy Bites (makes ~7)
4 large Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
~1/4 cup slivered raw almonds
~1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
~ 2Tbs unsweetened flaked coconut + more for rolling
zest of one lemon (or less, if you’re not huge into citrus)
pinch of salt
pinch of water
Add dates, almonds, sunflower seeds, and coconut to a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add lemon zest and salt and pulse briefly. Add water, a pinch at a time, until mixture is just sticky.
Shape into balls ~2inches diameter,
roll in coconut to coat. Refrigerate (or pack in a lunchbox with ice) & enjoy.
My version ended up being soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free, but you could easily change out ingredients to suit your own dietary preference. Emily used rolled oats in hers (I don’t eat rolled oats and consequently didn’t have them on hand); you could add dried apricots, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, pumpkin seeds, or spices… the options are pretty endless. I wouldn’t suggest adding any type of sweetener, since these puppies are already candy-like thanks to the natural sugars in the dates.