Snacking. My kids, ages 3-10, think it’s an essential part of the day. Because we homeschool, I have the kids home with me all day, and am privy to an almost never-ending chorus of “Can I have a snack?” and “When’s lunch?” and “I’m starving!” I know there are moms out there who can relate!
I don’t allow constant snacking, but most days I give them a snack mid-morning, and mid-afternoon. I’m lucky to have children who aren’t really picky about what they eat – they have their quirks, as all kids do, but for the most part they eat what they’re offered – so I usually give them simple snacks like fresh fruit or slices of bread, and they eat them cheerfully.
I like to do fancier snacks as well, though. One of our new family favorites since starting our healthy diet has been energy bites. Also called energy balls, energy bars, larabars, protein balls, and probably other names I’m not aware of, these little treats contain a powerful nutrient punch. They are high in protein, healthy plant-based fats, natural sugars, and a variety of vitamins and minerals. Plus they are quick to make and delicious.
I like to just throw in nuts, dates, and whatever else sounds good at the time. This time I thought I would try cranberries and almonds, because they go so well together. These turned out to be some of my favorite energy bites I’ve tried.
Cranberry Almond Energy Bites
Makes about 15 2-tbsp. bites
1 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup pitted dates
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1-2 tbsp honey or liquid sweetener of choice (optional)
Place almonds and cashews into food processor. Process until they resemble crumbs. Add remaining ingredients, except for honey. Process until well combined.
At this point, you may choose to add honey or other liquid sweetener to help the mixture hold together and add sweetness. We like sweet, so I added about 2 tbsp honey. If you prefer a less sweet energy bite, you can add some water to help the mixture hold together, or process for a longer time.
Once mixture stays together if you squish it in your hand, roll into balls about 2 tbsp each. Or press into an 8×8″ pan lined with wax paper and cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.