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Pumpkin Spice (No-Bake) Energy Bites

October 18, 2016

'Tis the season for all things PUMPKIN!

Now that October is in full swing, I can't help but utilize pumpkin and pumpkin seeds in full force!  This adaptation of the classic no-bake, energy bite has you enjoying a favourite flavour of the Fall!

 

The great thing about these raw, no-bake, energy bite recipes is that the ingredient composition is so versatile, as long as you retain the wet to dry ingredient ratio to ensure the mixture is damp and sticky enough to roll together. Given the recipe involves just gathering and measuring the ingredients, mixing them together in the food processor and rolling them into balls and chilling them in the freezer, they are a cost-effective, quick and easy snack to prepare on a regular basis.  They are certainly kid-friendly and freezer-friendly, too!

 

Due to the fact that these energy bites all 3 macronutrients (complex carbohydrates, protein and a healthy source of fat), they form a well-balanced snack for when you're looking for that pick-me-up mid-morning or mid-afternoon!

 

The Recipe!

 

Source: Adapted from Gimme Some Oven 

 

Yield: ~24, 1-inch balls

 

Total Time: 40 minutes (30 minutes in refrigerator, to chill mixture)

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

 

Ingredients:

 

8 oz. (about 1 packed cup) Medjool dates, chopped (pits removed)

1/4 cup raw, unpasteurized honey

1/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup gluten-free rolled oats

1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut

1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted

 

Directions:

 

Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and sea salt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and combined.

 

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the gluten-free rolled oats, shredded coconut and pumpkin seeds until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

 

Once the mixture is cool (and easier to work with), use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape it into your desired size of energy balls (mine were about 1-inch in diameter.)

 

Alternately, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.

 

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (*Storing them in the refrigerator especially helps the energy bites hold their shape.

 

Ingredient Highlights:

 

Pumpkin 

  • A rich source of beta-carotene (pro-vitamin A) – converts to Vitamin A in the body

  • Beta-carotene is essential for eye health

  • A source of both dietary fiber and protein

  • A rich source of vitamin K[i]

Chia Seeds

  • A rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids, dietary fiber and protein

Coconut

  • A source of needed saturated fat

  • Possess anti-fungal, antimicrobial and antiviral properties

  • Energy-boosting and metabolism-boosting[ii]

Pumpkin Seeds

  • A rich source of copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc

  • Provide antioxidant support[iii]

     

REFERENCES

 

[i] Greatist: Superfood – Pumpkin.  Retrieved September 25, 2016 from http://greatist.com/health/superfood-pumpkin

 

[ii] Paleo Plan: Health Benefits of Unsweetened Shredded Coconut.  Retrieved February 13, 2016 from http://www.paleoplan.com/ingredients/unsweetened-shredded-coconut/

 

[iii] The World’s Healthiest Foods: Pumpkin Seeds.  Retrieved October 1, 2016 from http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=82

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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