By Alicia Ghio
Snacking and eating healthy don’t always go together. We try not to snack, but sometimes we just need a little something to hold us over between meals.
Nuts and seeds are a great source of protein and fiber, both of which help control appetite and cravings by boosting the feeling of fullness. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
In addition to homemade granola and trail mix, you can make your own protein or energy bars. They are not only packed with good ingredients, but they also taste great and can satisfy your hunger pangs.
My crunchy protein bites are packed with energy-boosting nuts, seeds and nut butter. Maple syrup provides a hint of sweetness. Since these bites don’t contain any fillers or binders, they tend to be a bit more crumbly than store-bought ones. They are also dairy-free and egg-free.
Crunchy Protein Bites
Makes 20 pieces
Serving Size = 1 piece
- ¼ cup chia seeds
- ¼ cup pepitas (raw, unshelled pumpkin seeds)
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- ¼ cup ground flax seeds
- ¼ cup dried unsweetened, unsulfured bing cherries, chopped
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup unsweetened, unsalted creamy peanut butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Coconut oil, for greasing pan
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with coconut oil.
- In a large bowl, combine the first 10 ingredients.
- Stir in the peanut butter and maple syrup; mix well, until all ingredients are evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the lined pan and press down evenly. Pack very firmly or bites will crumble.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let pan cool completely.
- Once cool, lift parchment paper out of pan and cut into 20 pieces.
- Feel free to substitute any of the nuts/seeds/peanut butter. I do not recommend removing an ingredient without replacing it, as that will greatly impact the consistency and the bites may not hold together.
- Raw honey is a good substitute for the real maple syrup.