When I was making the t-shirt quilt, I often found myself getting "brain fog" from using up so much energy concentrating, focusing and thinking so hard on the process. These energy bites came to mind through the fog because they are a quick snack to make and give that needed boost to keep working.
The binding ingredient in the bites is coconut oil. This is an important ingredient because coconut oil is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA) which means it is easily digested and sent right to the liver for energy production. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) found in coconut oil also help brain function by giving your brain cells a healthy fuel source without having to eat a ton of sugar.
Any seed you have on hand will work for these bites as they will all provide lots of protein, fiber, iron, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. I've used hemp, flax, pumpkin and even nuts like almonds in the past and it has tasted just as good. In the recipe below, I listed chia, sesame and sunflower because these are three of my favorite seeds. Chia seeds are high in iron, folate, calcium, magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, sunflower seeds are an excellent source of B vitamins and Vitamin E, and sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber. Yay for nutrient-dense foods!
I've often taken these bites to work to help with that mid-afternoon slump that happens sometimes, and my co-workers are always glad when I bring them in because they really do help give you energy and they are so yummy and not too sweet.
3-Seed Energy Bites
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/8 cup chia seeds
1/8 cup sesame seeds
4 tbsp coconut oil, melted
4 tbsp dried cranberries (or cherries or blueberries)
2 tbsp dark chocolate chips (or dark chocolate shavings)
Mix shredded coconut, seeds, and dates in a food processor until finely ground. Add melted coconut oil, cranberries, and dark chocolate. Process until finely ground again. Scrape batter into a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to solidify the coconut oil just enough to make forming the bites easier. If you forget about the batter in the fridge for too long and it gets too hard, just let it sit on the counter for about 10 minutes and it will soften up enough to work with. Form small balls by hand, and refrigerate.
You'll want to store these in the refrigerator. They will hold together if you take them hiking or pack them in lunches, but they might be a little messy depending on the temperature that day since coconut oil starts melting at around 78 °F/24 °C. They still taste great melted, and you can just rub the coconut oil into your skin like a moisturizer if you don't have napkins handy. Enjoy, and let me know if you decide to try them!