Something about dreary winter weather always makes me want to get in the kitchen and get baking.
If the holidays hadn’t just happened and I didn’t happen to be still recovering from a cookie coma (Make me feel like less of a bad nutritionist and tell me I’m not alone. Just kidding. Life and food happens.) Anyway, if all of that hadn’t just happened, I probably would be getting to work on an indulgent treat this morning, but alas…
Luckily, I have this recipe for no-bake Cranberry Orange Coconut Energy Bites stashed away for such a day.
The name is a bit of a mouthful to say, but whatevs. Energy bites are easy to make, fun to eat, and the perfect between-meal bite/dessert. Win, win, win.
Post-holidays is a great time to make these Cranberry Orange Coconut Energy Bite variation, too, because if you’re anything like me, you still have half a bag of dried cranberries hanging out in your cabinet. If you’ve resolved to eat cleaner in the new year, this recipe is free of refined sweeteners (the white stuff), gluten-free (if that’s your thing), and full of the good stuff (fiber, protein, healthy fats).
This is one of those throw all ingredients – oats, dates, chia, nut butter, dried cranberries, shredded coconut, orange zest/juice, and a few other flavor boosters – in the food processor and blend recipes. One bowl to clean. It doesn’t get easier. Well, with the exception of toasting the oats…and you could skip that step if you’re really in a hurry, but it takes minimal time/effort.
I love the slightly toasty/nutty notes from toasted oats. Poet and I didn’t know it.
I should tell you (and the recipe does) that it’s best to chill these bites for an hour or so before snacking. The texture is just better and all the flavors get a chance to hang out and mingle. But hey, if you get to rolling them balls and can’t wait, that’s cool, too. You do you.
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup dates (about 6 dates)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ cup dried cranberries, unsweetened preferred to keep recipe refined sugar free
- pinch of kosher salt
- ½ cup nut butter (I prefer Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter, but plain almond or peanut butter works, too!)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- zest & juice of 1 orange
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- In a skillet set over medium heat, toast oats till lightly golden and aromatic, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes.
- Combine oats, chia seeds, dates, coconut, cranberries, salt, nut butter, maple syrup, orange zest/juice, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse till combined, making sure to scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula if necessary.
- Using your hands, roll mixture into 1.5 inch balls. If the mixture is too dry or crumbly to roll into balls, pulse 1 tablespoon of water at a time into the mixture until it is moist enough to roll.
- Chill in a single layer in the refrigerator at least 1 hour or until firm. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.