(Shoutout to my friend Alayni for being a great hand model/taste tester!!)
One of my coworkers brought a version of energy bites to work to help us through a couple of long meetings last spring, and the rest of us instantly fell in love. (Thanks, Melissa!) They’re like granola bars in a cute little bite-sized form and make a perfect morning or afternoon pick-me-up snack!
To change up the snack for fall, I decided to create an apple pie version! Our cast of characters includes old-fashioned oats, cubed apples sautéed in cinnamon and allspice, ground flaxseed, almond butter, chia seeds, vanilla, maple syrup, and APPLE BUTTER!
If you have the time and some apples to use up, homemade apple butter is SO worth it. (No judgement if you use store-bought! I used my mom’s homemade apple butter, which is even easier for me than buying it from the store.)
I included my mom’s recipe for apple butter below, which she got from one of her coworkers years ago. All you need are apples, sugar, apple cider vinegar, cloves, and cinnamon. To turn the apples into applesauce for the apple butter, my mom just cooks some apples in a big pot of water until they’re tender, then runs them through a food strainer to get rid of the skin, seeds, and core. Throw everything together and let the ingredients simmer for a couple of hours in the crock pot or bake them in the oven. (Prepare for your house to smell amazing!)
Another important ingredient in these energy bites is the almond butter. In my first attempt at making these, I didn’t include any nut butter because I was trying to stay as close as possible to an apple pie flavor. I took them in for my coworkers to taste test, and we all agreed that they were lacking the density of the other energy bites. Adding a small amount of almond butter didn’t really impact the apple pie flavor, but made the texture more truffle-like instead of oatmeal-like! After forming them into bites, I also rolled them in ground almonds for some more texture.
Besides the sugar in the apple butter, these bites are refined sugar-free and pretty healthy! (But it’s fall, so we deserve a little apple butter!) I once read that Aztec warriors consumed chia seeds to fuel them before battle. So… I feel like that’s a pretty good testament to their energy-boosting power!
Whip these up and get ready to battle through the rest of your week!
Apple Pie Energy Bites
|Prep:||Cook:||Yield: about 22 1-inch bites||Total:|
These healthy vegan bites are a great energy-boosting snack for fall!
- For the apple butter:
- 9 cups homemade applesauce (no sugar added)
- 4 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp. cloves
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- For the energy bites:
- 1 cup chopped apples
- 1 tsp. coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. allspice
- 1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
- pinch of salt
- about 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- If making the apple butter, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Combine the applesauce, sugar, vinegar, cloves, and cinnamon in a dutch oven and bake for about 3 and a half hours. You could also let it simmer in a crock pot on low until it reaches your desired thickness. This recipe makes about 6-8 pints. Or just skip all of that and buy some apple butter from the store. (Or if you're lucky enough to know someone who makes homemade apple butter, steal some of theirs like I did!)
- For the energy bites, add some coconut oil to a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Sautée the chopped apples with the cinnamon and allspice until tender. Set aside until cooled.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the sliced almonds, in a bowl. Add the cooked apples and mix well. Chill in the refrigerator for about a half an hour.
- Put the toasted sliced almonds in a food processor and pulse until they're in tiny pieces.
- Roll the oat and apple mixture into 1-inch balls. Coat them with ground almonds.
- Store in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week! (If they last that long.)
Emmy is always happy to help clean up the almond butter spoon!