When there are children in the house, snacks are a big deal. And when those children are growing and active (which is probably all children, come to think of it) a plentiful supply of snacks is often the difference between slamming doors and sneaky smiles, grunts and toothy grins, laughter and tears. It’s a fine line to tread, but certainly in our family, snacks are an essential part of keeping everyone fed and watered.
And what are the snacks that go down particularly well around here?
- A bowl of breakfast cereal – It goes without saying that you must walk around with the bowl while eating this, also slurp the milk very loudly and then leave the empty bowl on the nearest flat surface when you’ve finished the last mouthful. It’s part of the deal when you’re a teenager, I suppose.
- Rice cakes – Slightly salted are the most popular. Marmite flavoured comes a close second. Unsalted will be tolerated at a push. Mostly these are eaten as they come, but sometimes a smear of peanut butter is involved.
- Water biscuits – ‘Carrs’ … remember those? I have to admit that for the first 3 or so years of #1 teenage son’s life, I had him convinced that these were in fact ‘chocolate biscuits’! The definition of a bad mother do you think? Not sure it’s done him any harm and he still eats them by the handful so any scarring would appear to be superficial.
- Crunchy bars – You know the things … dried fruits, nuts and oats held together with something sticky. We get through tonnes of these.
- Arabic breads – Also known as pitta breads in other parts of the world, these are defrosted in the toaster and filled with either peanut butter or Marmite. One is never enough.
- Whatever cakes or biscuits I’ve been making/trialling – These always get inhaled pretty pronto.
So, snack consumption round here is always significant but even more so when there is a swim gala going on. And it was one of the lovely swimming Mums who first introduced me to these No Bake Energy Bites (which, incidentally, I do keep inadvertently referring to as ‘No Energy Bites’!) as an alternative snack for hungry swimmers. Or footballers. Or rugby players. Or ballet dancers. Or runners. Or netball players.
If you follow me on Facebook, you might remember that I shared the link to the original recipe and I have to say that the link was enormously popular … only pipped by the ‘behind the scenes photo of me balancing on the dining room table whilst photographing a plate of chocolate brownies’.
I’ve only ever so slightly tweaked the recipe as these beauties are completely delicious as they stand. But I still wanted to post this as a blogging version of one of those oversized, inflatable pointing fingers that you get at football matches … coming down from the sky and pointing at these No Bake Energy Bites and shouting at top volume, ‘THESE ARE FANTASTIC. REALLY THEY ARE.’ Worth having in your repertoire for sure.
So what’s the big deal?
- There is no baking, no cooking, no melting, no nothing. This is literally measure, mix, combine and …… Da, dahhh.
- They are filled with wholesome, nutritious ingredients to give you plenty of slow releasing energy. Oats, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, honey …
- They taste drop dead gorgeous – dark chocolate, peanut butter, coconut. Need I say more? And there’s not a hint of tasting ‘like they’re good for you’.
- Perfect as energy/recovery food for sport, great in a packed lunch, ideal for a breakfast on the run – I’ve even indulged with a sneaky glass of wine. Allowed? I think definitely, yes.
- These balls will sit in the fridge, as good as gold, until you’re ready for them. No drama.
But in our house, there is one problem with these No Bake Energy Bites – they have never lasted beyond the day that they were made. Not sure there’s an answer for that. Give them a try, and see what shelf life you can achieve. Now there’s a challenge …
- 1 cup jumbo porridge oats
- ⅔ cup shredded coconut (NOT sweetened)
- ½ cup smooth peanut butter
- ½ cup ground flax seed
- ½ cup chocolate chips (I used plain - otherwise it gets a bit too sweet)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Measure all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and thoroughly combine - it's much easier to start with a spoon and then finish off with your hands.
- Chill the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, use a spoon to scoop out balls of the mixture and roll it in your hands to make balls - approximately 15-20.
- Store the balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.