Nut free sunflower seed energy bites with dates and raw cacao make a great quick snack for whenever you need an energy boost. These budget friendly bites are a whole food staple and ideal for very busy or active people.
Since I started doing wellness coaching, I’ve been discovering, reading, and utilizing many more blogs than I used to. I had a handful that I read consistently but didn’t keep up as well as I should have. Now, however, I need to read blogs every week to find new recipes to share with clients, and there’s a lot of amazing work being done in this community. I have a running document going and keep adding whole foods blogs that have really wonderful recipes – I’ll share a handful of my favourites below for anyone looking for some great blogs that focus on healthy, plant based foods. I subscribe to over a hundred WFPB blogs but I can’t share all of them here, unfortunately! This is clearly not an exhaustive list, just a few sites that share great vegetarian recipes or have extensive archives as some of them don’t have very many new posts.
Green Kitchen Stories
The Simple Green
The First Mess
Dishing Up The Dirt
Dolly & Oatmeal
The Green Life
Happy Hearted Kitchen
Vanilla & Bean
My Darling Lemon Thyme
With Food & Love
The Full Helping
Oh She Glows
Working as a wellness coach has also brought me to the realization that it’s okay to write posts that are just great, everyday recipes and not necessarily fancy or for special occasions. So for the past couple of weeks, I’ve been photographing the things that I make on a weekly basis and that we eat as part of our daily fare. I’ll be sharing more of these simple, go-to recipes in the future alongside some of the special recipes that I also like to make sometimes.
These raw energy bites have become a staple in our home since moving to Germany. We’ve been eating only organic food since we moved here, which is wonderful, but it’s also meant that we can’t buy as many grocery items that are pricier, like nuts or medjool dates. I’ve been using more seeds, basic flours like spelt, and less expensive fruits. Despite what other blogs tell you, regular dates work perfectly well to make energy bites, and you’ll save a lot of money by using them. If they’re a little hard, just soak them in hot water for half an hour. Any longer, and your bites will probably be a little too soft when thawed and too hard when frozen from the extra water content.
This recipe can be easily adapted to your tastes by changing the spices or type of oil used. If I have hazelnut or walnut oil (which make great gifts for food-lovers) then I use them – hazelnut particularly makes a nutella-like bite that’s absolutely delicious without having to splurge on hazelnuts. If you’re not fond of lots of spice, then you can just add vanilla or cinnamon, and you can mix up the seeds used too. Sesame, hemp, and chia are all great in these. Adding bee pollen to energy bites is my favourite way to eat pollen, but you don’t have to use it. Obviously they’re very healthy, with high protein, fibre, and healthy fats, but you are getting quite a lot of fruit sugar from the dates, so just have one or two per day. I rarely use a recipe for energy bites but this is how I generally make them, so I wrote the measurements down for you!
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Sunflower Seed Energy Bites
- 125 grams / 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 130 grams 1/2 cup packed dates*
- 3 tablespoons cacao
- 2 tablespoons bee pollen optional
- 1 tablespoon oil hazelnut, walnut, or coconut*
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pod cardamom crushed
- Pinch nutmeg
- Pinch salt
In the bowl of a food processor, add the sunflower seeds and blend until a coarse meal forms. If you blend too long, oils will release and you'll make sunflower butter. (Don't do that.)
Add the dates, cacao, bee pollen, oil, and spices. Blend until the dates have broken down and a ball of dough has formed in the processor.
Form the dough into small balls, about half the size of a golf ball, using your hands. You can roll it in cacao if you'd like. Place the bites onto a plate or board and freeze for 30 minutes before removing and placing in a jar or container. Store them in the freezer and thaw slightly before eating.
* I use deglet noor dates, but of course medjool will work in this recipe. Remove the stones before blending.
** The oil is not absolutely necessary, but it does add a nice element of flavour, will help keep your energy levels up for longer, and makes the bites easier to roll. Of course to keep them nut free use an oil that isn't made from nuts.