f i e
SIGN IN

Blog

Flexible Dieting

Sign up for our Newsletter

Simple Energy Bites
November 3, 2018

Here’s how to make your own homemade "Lara Bars or bites" which I call Simple Energy Bites. You only need three ingredients - dried fruit, nuts, and salt! Use your creativity and favorite ingredients to create variations—including chocolate, apple pie, and cashew cookie. They’re paleo, easy, gluten-free, and delicious!

These homemade Simple Energy Bites are a great stored in the freezer and can be quickly thrown into lunchboxes, gym bags, back packs, or anywhere else you need to stash a quick pre-workout snack! These Simple Energy Bites are especially fantastic for athletic youngsters who require more calories to support growth, development, and the demands of physical activity. The dense source of carbohydrates and fats from the dried fruit and nuts make these a great little snack to support the calorie requirements of these athletic youngsters. 

The timing of meals and snacks can be a challenge for athletes who are managing school, homework, work, and/or family life in addition to the commitments of training, practice, and competition.  Alongside three nutritionally balanced meals, snacks provide the extra energy young athletes need for sport performance, energy, and growth requirements. Packing portable nutritious snacks should be a habitual routine for every young athlete to maximize training and competition sessions.  These Simple Energy Bites do the trick  

Sports such as lacrosse, hockey, soccer, and baseball involve steady state effort in addition to short bursts of high intensity effort. The primary fuel source for these efforts is carbohydrate. Planning “real food” snacks that are focused in carbohydrates with small amounts of fats and protein will not only provide a balanced nutrition profile for sustained energy in sport but the nutrients needed for optimal health, development, and growth.   

Pre-event snacks should be items that are easily digested so that the athlete isn’t feeling overly “full” but at the same time feels energized and is not distracted by hunger. If the athlete eats too much and/or too close to the session, they may experience consequences such as cramps or sluggish muscles. This occurs when energy and blood are drawn to the digestive system to process the calories consumed rather than to exercising muscles. Most athletes will eat anywhere between 2 to 4 hours before their session to allow enough time to partially digest their meal. Many young athletes will benefit from a pre-event “top-up” snack within the hour before their game, practice, or competition.  

Click here for a specific blog post with more info, ideas, and food choices to fuel young athletes!

Nuts and tree nuts are a concern if young athletes are taking this Simple Energy Bites to school. Peanut butter (and other peanut-containing products) are restricted from many elementary school classrooms because of the growing number of children with peanut allergies. School peanut restrictions typically include tree nuts, too. That means products including almonds, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and pistachios also can’t be packed in lunch boxes. Pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are an allergen-free alternative to nuts or peanuts. Read labels carefully as brands made in facilities that manufacture other peanut and tree nut products will declare “may contain peanuts or tree nuts” 

While most of this energy comes from balanced meals eaten prior to exercise, planning for pre-event snacks is essential as snacks provide the energy needed to optimize physical performance and improve mental focus for technique and skill execution on the field, ice, or court.  Some ideas to consider for atheltes who require a snack within 30 minutes of physical activity:

   

Consider the recipe below as the "base recipe" with opportunity to add other creative mix-ins!    

Dark Chocolate Simple Energy Bite

Prepare the bars according to the base recipe, using:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt    

Note: you may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to get the mixture to stick!

Apple Pie Simple Energy Bites

Prepare the bars according to the base recipe, substituting the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried apples
  • 1 cup raw pecans or walnuts
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cashew Cookie Simple Energy Bites 

Prepare the bars according to the base recipe, substituting the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt 

PB & J Simple Energy Bites

Prepare the bars according to the base recipe, substituting the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup packed dried cherries
  • 1/2 cup packed dates
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

Cake Batter Energy Bites (click here!)

Yields:

12 Servings

Calories:
114
Fibre:
2g

Nutrition Facts

 

 

Protein: 2g

 

Fat: 5g

 

Carbohydrates: 13g

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dates (160g), soaked
  • 1 cup nuts (120g)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt   

Directions:

  1. Place your nuts in a food processor and process until finely chopped but not pastelike. 
  2. Add the dates to the nut mixture and process until they are broken down into small pieces. Note: if your dates aren't moist, soak them in hot water to rehydrate them prior to adding them to the food processor. 
  3. Add the salt and any other creative mix-ins and to the food processor and pulse until the mixture begins to stick together. The mixture will begin to stick together forming a large ball. 
  4. Remove the mixture from the processor and form into 12 balls.  

  Search "Vitality Nutrition Simple Energy Bites" to add the base recipe to your MyFitnessPal tracking.


 

Learn how Vitality Nutrition can help you!

Get Started