I recently participated in a class on healthy meals and snacks at Whole Foods Market in Northbrook, IL. One of my favorite recipes for this class was for Lemon Energy Balls. Packed with dates, walnuts, sesame seeds and a bit of lemon, they provided a helpful burst of protein in the afternoon. I got to work on this with my super cool partner Katie, and I brought home extra treats that I shared at work the next day. After a quick brainstorm with some coworkers, I came up with another twist on this recipe – Carrot Cake Protein Bites.
As much as I love to eat and cook, I have never been much of a breakfast person. Bacon, sure. The occasional pancake with peanut butter and syrup? Yes, please! But weekday breakfasts are not part of my repertoire. I rush out the door every morning at 5:45, but I get hungry around 9AM and look for a granola bar. Terrible, I know. These Protein Bites are a healthy alternative to granola bars and tastier too. And they are sturdy, to the point that I can throw them in my purse for an afternoon snack if needed. And dates make them sweet enough to be kid friendly.
This is one of the easiest snacks I have ever made. Seriously, just throw everything in a food processor, pulse, and roll into balls. Coat them in coconut and you are ready to go! I must warn you to check for pits in your pitted dates, just to be safe. The stickiness of the mixture can vary depending on how much carrot or walnut gets packed into your measuring cups. Have extra dates on hand in case your mixture doesn’t stick together perfectly.
Notes: The coconut is totally optional. Most of it won’t stick to the Protein Bites, but it keeps them from sticking together when packaged.
|Carrot Cake Protein Bites|| |
- ¾ cup walnut pieces
- ¾ cup pitted date, roughly chopped
- ½ cup sesame seeds
- ½ cup grated carrot (1 small carrot)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Unsweetened dried coconut flakes for coating
- Add walnuts, dates, sesame seeds and carrots to a food processor.
- Pulse until mixture is consistent throughout.
- Add 2 dates if the mixture is crumbly.
- Pulse again until mixture is consistent throughout.
- Roll mixture into small balls.
- Roll balls in coconut.