I can’t tell you how many times I get to 4pm and all I can think about is raiding my fridge – or the fridge in the break room at work. I’m not a 3 meals a day kind of person. I’ve tried it before, but my appetite kicks into high gear around 3:30 to 4pm every day. Maybe my lunches aren’t big enough? I’m satisfied at the end of lunch so I don’t feel the need to make it anymore substantial. My solution is to LISTEN to my body and RESPECT that it is hungry at 4pm. But I also need to be prepared, because the last thing I want to do is mindlessly gorge on food that is only going to squash my appetite for dinner! That’s where these energy bites come in.
Yes, there are other things you can reach for, such as a granola bar, trail mix or yogurt – but, since I’m still at work at 4pm my snack needs to be quick but satisfying. For the last couple of weeks I’ve been snacking on these Maple Peanut Butter Energy Bites and they’ve gotten the job DONE!
Benefits of Energy Bites
They are QUICK.
They are SATISFYING.
And, they taste GOOD!
Around 4pm, I’ll start to notice my mind is wandering and thinking more and more about food, my motivation is waning…that’s when I know I could use a quick pick-me-up! Pop a couple in and you’re good to go!
No Dates, No Problem
Now, you may have seen countless recipes for this same “energy ball” concept. I’m not the first person to come up with these, but one thing that a lot of energy ball recipes have in common is DATES. I used to leave out the added sweetener and make my energy bites with dates, too – which, I have to admit is reeeeeally tasty – but dates are a high-FODMAP food that unfortunately aggravate my IBS and leave me feeling a little more gassy and bloated than I care to share. But, besides being a delicious way to sweeten these balls, dates are also sticky and make a great binder. So, I had my work cut out for me when I decided to make these balls without any dates.
The first couple trials were crumbly and tasted a little like cardboard (I didn’t add any sweetener to replace the dates – FAIL). But, once I added a little maple syrup…BOOM! Delicious little bites of peanut butter, maple and ENERGY to get me through until dinner! Another great thing about these energy bites is that they are so versatile – you can substitute in different ingredients to change up the flavor anyway you like.
I added a couple of scoops of collagen peptides to add some extra protein. You might be thinking, “collagen whatah??” I’ve written about collagen and whether it is as necessary as the internet claims it to be, which you can read here, but for now I’ll leave you with this – I wanted to know what all the fuss was about with collagen and there was very little research I found online to determine whether collagen could be as good for my hair, skin, nails, joints, GI tract, etc, as the internet claims it to be, so I decided to just buy Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides and try it out myself.
I didn’t notice much in the 2 months it took me to finish the canister, other than my nails grew like weeds and were stronger than ever, and I enjoyed the extra protein boost it gave my morning smoothie and oats. I didn’t really feel the need to repurchase it right away until I noticed that my nails were chipping and weak! It took awhile to dawn on me that maybe I’m noticing how weak they are because of how strong they were when I was taking the collagen powder, so I repurchased it and guess what? – my nails are strong again and I have to go back to clipping them more often or they’ll grow out too long (long nails is not really my thing). Totally anecdotal but I gotta say, I’m hooked! It’s left me wondering what else it could possibly do for me long term. But, I’ll get into that another time.
If you’re like me and you start to feel that 4pm energy slump, or maybe you need a quick snack to take with you on the go, for the kids, before or after you workout, whatever it is, these energy bites are sure to become a quick and healthy staple!
Maple Peanut Butter Energy Bites
- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup ground flaxseed
- 2 scoops collagen peptides (optional)
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- It's really simple - throw all of the ingredients into a food processor and turn it on until everything is mixed together and starts to form a dough-like texture.
- Shape into even sized balls. I used a cookie scooper to scoop out the perfect amount and rolled the balls between my palms.
- Keep in a tupperware container in the fridge to keep them fresh for the next week. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 1 month!