Do you have one food that you buy all the time but don’t use? Maybe you buy it out of habit or to eat “healthier”, but after you get it home it sits on the shelf or in the fridge. For me that’s trail mix. I really like the idea of trail mix but using it is another story. That’s why I’m so pumped about today’s recipe for these no bake energy bites.
In my last post I mentioned ways to reduce food waste. One of the tips I gave was to plan recipes around what you already have on hand. This idea of using what you already have is one part simple and one part complicated. It should be so simple because you already have it. But, for reasons unknown to me, when something has been sitting in your pantry for a while it is so easy to overlook it.
Maybe we just need to look at it from a different vantage point.
That’s where my organizing bender came in very handy. A few weeks back as I was pulling food from the depths of my pantry, to reorganize, I found four partially eaten bags of trail mix. Four! How did they even get there?
Let me take you on a journey into my nonsensical brain.
You see, every so often, usually late in the afternoons, Noe and I will hit up Trader Joe’s. In a moment of weakness or hunger I’ll swoop up a bag of trail mix and greedily eat it on the stroll home. Still not keen on giving Noe whole nuts, I quickly tuck the trail mix into the diaper bag before we get home and sneakily get it to the back shelf of our pantry when she’s not looking.
Because if she even gets a glimpse of what mom is eating, she “needs it”.
Her words not mine.
And there it stays, forgotten, abandoned, until last week when I pulled each one out and started thinking about trail mix recipes and searching around for what else I could use up with it.
Lo and behold.
That’s when the idea of these energy bites using leftover nuts and dates came to mind.
Friends, this energy bites recipe is so, so, easy.
It takes 5 minutes to make and includes only 5 ingredients.
Plus for some reason, it makes me overly happy to use up long forgotten ingredients and get them out of my pantry.
Before I jump into the recipe, a note about the vanilla flavoring. I bought a small jar of vanilla paste from a specialty shop in our neighborhood a few weeks ago, after hearing about it from another blogger. I won’t kid you, this tiny jar is pure heaven but it’s expensive! Luckily it packs huge flavor using just a little so I suspect it will last a while. I’m loving it in oatmeal and smoothies. It’s best when it isn’t baked. That said, if vanilla paste isn’t in your budget, vanilla extract works just as well.
Here’s to continuing to reduce food waste with little steps. All while also making delicious energy bite snacks.
No Bake Energy Bites Recipe
- 1 cup nuts (I used a mixture of almonds, peanuts and cashews but any mix or single nut variety will work)
- 1 cup pitted dates (If your dates are not fresh, cover with water and soak for 5-10 minutes, then drain and pit before using)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or ¼ teaspoon vanilla paste
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Sesame seeds for rolling, optional
- Place nuts into a food processor and pulse until broken into small piece. I pulsed 15 times.
- Next, add all remaining ingredients. Pulse another 15-20 times until mixture starts to form a big ball in the food processor.
- Scoop a bit of mixture and roll into a small ball. If the mixture seems a bit crumbly, add a tablespoon of water and pulse again a few times.
- Place sesame seeds in a small dish.
- Once balls are formed, roll them around in the sesame seeds.
- Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.