These easy to make chocolate peanut butter energy bites are the perfect to-go snack when you need something healthy yet want something sweet!
I've done a lot of hard things in my life. All through high school I worked at a barn cleaning stalls, feeding horses and mending tack to pay for my horse back riding lessons while also waiting tables at a local diner (not at the same time, of course...). In college I double majored, kept at least 18 credit hours at a time, tutored, and worked my butt off to understand Microbiology, Physical Chemistry, and Physics (ok, so I barely passed Physics, but still... I worked hard at it!). Summer jobs were always working with vets, where often we were so busy I didn't get to eat lunch. After college I spent several weeks as a wrangler at a ranch in New Mexico, where we worked 13 hour days - doing cattle drives, mending fences, shoeing horses, and riding about a dozen horses a day. I have given birth to two girls, all naturally. Hard work is not something I am afraid of, or shy away from. But by far the hardest thing I think I have ever done is RAISE those two girls.
Seriously - figuring out how to raise two strong, independent, clever, modest, respectable girls is HARD! On one hand I want them to be witty and clever and independent thinkers. But on the other hand I want them to also be kind and generous, to follow instructions (but not blindly, of course...). I want to simultaneously shield and protect them and also arm them for battle like an Amazon warrior. What I think about most, though - is body image. Oh man, body image and girls is soooo tough. Growing up I knew so many girls who suffered with bulimia, or who were constantly dieting, constantly exercising, always self-shaming themselves into that "perfect" body. If I could go all fairy godmother and gift my girls with ONE thing, it would be to have a strong body image.
For myself, body image has always been in the back of my mind, but not something that was a forethought. I LOVE food. I will never, ever, ever stop eating and loving food. And I am also not a "gym" girl. I detest working out, running laps, lifting weights. It's just not me. I would much rather prefer a good hike, a long horseback ride, a bit of yoga, actually doing something. So, I've never been a skinny girl, and I never will be. I've always had curves, and as I grow older and keep having children, my curves just keep on getting curvier. But you know what - I'm ok with that. This is my body, and its done some amazing and miraculous things. I am 34 and I am at peace with my body - its far from perfect, but its mine.
So, back to raising girls. My husband and I talked a lot about how we can foster that independence, how we can show our girls that strength > skinny, where being confident and sure of yourself is more important than what size you are. One of the first things my husband said was that he wanted the girls to know how to swim - he was a swimmer in school and wanted our children to have that life skill. We also decided to put our youngest daughter into gymnastics. It started as a way to burn off some extra energy for the little overactive monkey who gave up her naps too early for mama's liking, but we quickly fell in love with what it was teaching her - strength, flexibility, balance, agility, coordination, spatial awareness, resilience, mental toughness, commitment and dedication. We quickly enrolled my oldest daughter as well, and couldn't be happier. I don't expect them to ever join an Olympic team, or being an amazing athlete who brings home a medal or a trophy. That's not why we are going this. We want them to be strong, inside and out, with a strong sense of self-esteem.
Because we now have both swimming lessons and gymnastics after school, as well as the occasional rock climbing session, we are always looking for a quick snack in between school and lessons. Finding something that was easily transportable, wouldn't make a giant mess in my car, and was slightly healthy. I also wanted to balance that line between not being filling enough for an hour long lessons and being so full they feel uncomfortable.
These chocolate peanut butter energy bites were the gold-star solution! They taste amazing - exactly like a no bake cookie, and yet they contain fantastic ingredients meant to satisfy and give them energy! Made with oats, raw honey, flax seeds, chia seeds, peanut butter and unsweetened dark cocoa powder - these bars will give you the energy you and your kiddos need to play and work hard without a huge sugar rush! Plus I love that they don't make a giant mess in my car (or on my kids faces), either!
- ½ cup natural peanut butter
- ⅓ cup raw honey
- 1 TBSP coconut oil
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- ½ cup ground flaxseed
- 1 TBSP chia seeds
- ¼ cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 scoop protein powder (either chocolate or vanilla)
- Line a plate or baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.
- Melt the peanut butter, honey, and coconut oil together until it becomes thin and liquid. It doesn't need to cook, just warm up.
- In a large bowl, stir together the oats, flaxseed, chia seeds, cocoa powder, vanilla, and protein powder.
- Using a rubber spatula, mix in the peanut butter/honey mixture into the oat mixture until well combined. You might need to switch to using your hands.
- Using your hands, roll out 20-24 small round balls. You want these to be bite sized, about 1 TBSP worth at a time.
- Place all the bites on the lined tray, and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- Store in a covered container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 116Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 28mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 3gSugar: 5gProtein: 5g