Running a food blog that predominantly makes sweets can be trouble. Each week I test one recipe and of course I always try everything I make. And not to toot my own horn but most things I make are delicious and end up eating almost all of it! Not because I feel the need to eat it all or anything like that, I just truly love eating things that I make myself. There are very few things that satisfy me more than spending hours in the kitchen on a dish and getting to enjoy it afterwards.
Now as you might guess, you can easily gain a lot of weight being a food blogger. You really are responsible for testing all of your recipes personally so that you know what you’re sharing is actually good. Of course there are other people who taste my recipes such as my husband, family members, etc. but I still have to do it as well. So I decided that every once in a while I would give myself (and my husband!) a break and make healthier recipes.
Rest assured, the blog itself will not change. I just think that we all should be more conscious of what we put into our bodies. Eating an entire chocolate cake in under a week feels good in the moment (yes, I have done this) but in the long run it’s not good for your health. So I am making an effort to experiment a little more with healthier alternatives. I hope you guys enjoy these new creations!
This week on the blog I am sharing these Chocolate and Hazelnut Energy Bites. These energy bites have no artificial sweeteners, no preservatives, contain only four ingredients, and are completely raw! No baking involved. They also just so happen to be naturally gluten free, dairy free, and vegan! They are rich, decadent, and perfectly sweet. And since they use a combination of chocolate and hazelnuts they even taste like Nutella, bonus!
Now I don’t stick to a dairy-free, gluten-free, or vegan diet but I wanted to create a recipe that would give a boost of energy without having to consume processed sugar or massive amounts of coffee. My favorite part about these energy bites is that they only require four ingredients! All you need it Medjool dates, hazelnuts, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. You toss everything in the food processor and then roll into bite size balls!
How Do They Give You Energy?
I’m sure you’ve wondered this anytime you’ve seen “Energy Bites” online. They are very popular and for good reason! Every ingredient in these Chocolate and Hazelnut Energy Bites is good for you. The ingredients provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Have you ever noticed how after you eat a candy bar you feel a jolt of energy for a short while and then you feel a crash soon after? That’s because the sugars in those products is ultra processed and not a reliable source for energy. These Energy Bites will do the opposite; you will have long sustained energy and won’t need that mid-afternoon coffee like you usually do.
The dates in this recipe provide the sweetness and also act as the binding agent for the bites. They also provide the majority of the “energy” in this recipe. According to Eating Bird Food, “They contain natural sugar, but they have a low/medium glycemic index score because they also contain a good amount of fiber, which slows the release of the carbohydrates and gives you sustained energy rather spiking your blood sugar crazy high. They’re also low in fat and packed with nutrients like potassium (50% more potassium by weight than a banana), copper, magnesium, vitamin B6, niacin, calcium, iron and vitamin K.”
The cocoa powder in this recipe provides a small amount of caffeine as well and of course gives the energy bites their chocolatey flavor. The hazelnuts provide protein and also give the bites a little bit of texture. And the salt, well, it’s an essential mineral! It also brings out the flavors of the other ingredients. Trust me, USE SALT IN SWEETS.
I hope you all enjoyed the first “health-ish” recipe on the blog. I had a lot of fun making them and I ate them for two weeks strait so I can say for sure that they give you energy when you need it. I ate one everyday right after lunch when I always feel the groggiest and they really did give me a boost to make it well past the end of my shift. If you’re busy like me, it’s just a bonus that they last up to three weeks in the fridge!
If you try this recipe, please share your thoughts with me! I would love to hear your feedback on this new addition to the blog. And of course, if you try this recipe or any other on the blog, share your photos with me! Happy baking everyone!
4-Ingredient Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bites
Makes about 16
20 Medjool Dates, pitted
1 Cup Raw Hazelnuts
¼ Cup Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
In the bowl of a food processor add all of ingredients and pulse for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture starts to form into a large smooth-ish ball.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a small cookie scoop or your hands, scoop out some of the date mixture and roll it between your hands to form it into a smooth ball. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with the remaining date mixture.
Place the Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bites into the fridge to harden up slightly— about 15 minutes. Remove the baking sheet from the fridge and transfer the energy balls into an airtight container in a single layer. Place back in the fridge to keep them fresh.
When ready to eat, remove however many energy bites you want and let them warm up for about 5 minutes.
These Chocolate Hazelnut Energy Bites will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can also transfer them to a ziplock bag and freeze them for up to 3 months.
If your dates feel dry, soak them in warm water for about five minutes. Pat them dry before adding them to the food processor. If the dates are too dry the energy balls won’t hold together. The dates act as a sweetener but also as the binding agent in the recipe.