school safe energy bites

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a fun surprise in the middle

My last few posts look the same don’t they…I definitely still have an obsession with dates but I have been baking and cooking with other things too haha!  Now that pie-pie has started school, I am hoping to have more time to post more recipes regularly! Sorry for the lack of posts but I am pretty good at keeping instagram up to date since it’s super fast and easy:)

So my previous energy bites had lots of nuts in them…I had to post this one because so many of my friends are now mommies who need to pack school safe snacks! It’s tough nowadays, no nuts for sure, and in some cases sometimes no eggs, no seeds, no chickpeas (I have heard this it’s true!). Previously I had used rice crispies for crunch, but this time we didn’t have any at home.  There was some left over cornpops from our cottage vacation two weeks ago, so I thought it might be fun to hide one cornpop in the middle of the date ball. It’s like a little treat within a treat:).

This recipe is nut & dairy free.

what you need:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 generous cups of pitted dates
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (if your seeds are not salted)
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • cornpops

what to do:

  1. Use a food processor or blender to grind your seeds (not too fine – or you’ll make seed butter!).
  2. In a food processor, buzz up the dates until they form a paste / giant ball shape that is whipping around your food processor.
  3. In a pot over medium heat, melt coconut oil and then add the pureed dates to soften them. Add cinnamon and salt. Mash with a large fork to combine evenly.
  4. Remove from heat and add vanilla and seeds. Use the fork again to mix evenly.
  5. Wet your hands slightly with cold water (this will prevent the mixture from sticking to your hands). Use a spoon to scoop up about a golf ball size of date mixture, place a corn pop in the middle and roll into a ball.
  6. Store in airtight container for up to 1 week. It will keep even longer in the fridge. Enjoy!

date balls (energy bites!)

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So I am officially a huge date fan now and remember that huge bag of pressed dates I had kicking around in the pantry?…Well it is gone and I had to buy pitted dates this time (I couldn’t find the pressed ones) and the 1kg container is at it’s half life already!

These are very similar to the previous post crispy oat, nut & date bars but they have a hint of peanut butter in them (which means less butter butter!), less sugar and lots of almond & pumpkin seed goodness.  Definitely experiment your favourite seeds & nuts – and the measurements don’t have to be exact but be careful to add them slowly to the date mixture because the important part is to be sure there is enough date ratio so the ball holds together well. These are a household favourite now and my kids just love them! They are a great snack to keep in your purse (they snacked on them this morning at the grocery store) with minimal mess!

*If your seeds and/or nuts are salted – you don’t need to add salt to the recipe.

what you need (give or take!):

  • 1 1/4 cup pitted dates
  • 3/4 cup whole almonds
  • 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup rice crispy cereal
  • 2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 small pinch of salt

what to do:

  1. In a food processor, pulse almonds until quite fine (you can keep it chunkier but it tends to stick better in the ball if it’s smaller). Remove.
  2. In the same processor, pulse pumpkin seeds. Add to almond mixture and combine.
  3. In the same processor, pulse the dates until it forms a ball going around and around – paste like.
  4. In a small pot on medium low, add dates, butter, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar – use a firm spatula or large fork to mash everything together, until evenly combined – then turn off the heat. Add vanilla and stir.
  5. Add about 3/4 of the seed and nut mixture to the date mixture – stir to combine – if it’s still quite sticky and date dominant – add the rest. Add the rice crispies as well – stir and either form balls or press into a 9×9″ square pan for squares.

*if you are making balls – grease your fingertips a little bit with vegetable oil or butter so that they don’t stick to you.

*if you are making squares – make sure they are completely cooled before you slice. a knife dipped in hot water will make the slicing easier.

ENJOY!