This recipe for paleo, vegan Vanilla Coconut Energy Bites has been getting RAVE reviews from everyone that has tried them (including some of the pickiest eaters I know!) These little bites are packed with healthy fats, low in sugar, low carb, and totally guilt-free treat. These have been my go-to treat for pre workouts and if I’m craving a little sweetness. Even better, these energy bites are the perfect healthy snack for kids! My 4 year-old and 18 month-old boys love them and I can feel good knowing they’re eating a healthy, nourishing snack.
If you happen to follow Dr. Mark Hyman’s work you might have heard of the word “Pegan” (pronounced pea-gan) its paleo meets vegan.. well, for the most part anyway. In Dr. Hyman’s latest book “Eat Fat, Get Thin: Why the Fat We Eat Is the Key to Sustained Weight Loss and Vibrant Health” he talks about the benefits of adding more (healthy) fat into your diet. A great source of healthy fats are raw nuts and seeds which are a main ingredient in these treats.
Sources of healthy fats include:
- coconut oil – This is my go-to for cooking and baking – I use coconut in place of butter.
- avocados – Give your smoothies a wonderful creaminess while keeping you full and energized.
- nuts – walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, etc. Raw is best. Store in the fridge or freezer.
- seeds – chia, hemp, flax, pumpkin, etc. Sprinkle on salads, oatmeal, yogurt and more.
- fatty fish like wild-caught salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Wild caught fish can sometimes be pricey or hard to find that’s why I supplement with a ultra-pure, ultra concentrated Omega 3 fish oil. I also give my sons the same brand but in liquid form.
- extra virgin oilve oil (Drizzle over vegetables, use in dressings but be careful cooking with olive oil – it has a very low smoke point.)
There are many wonderful sources of fats, as you can see. Did you know in order to absorb nutrients from foods like vegetables and leafy greens – specifically vitamins A, D, E and K – you need to eat a source of fat? They are fat soluable vitamins and require fatty acids to be absorbed and ultilized by your body. So top your salad with some nuts, seeds, and a drizzle of olive oil and add some avocado or coconut oil to your green smoothies!
OK. Enough about fat – let’s get to the recipe!
VANILLA COCONUT ENERGY BITES
- 1 cup raw nuts (I used 1/2 c walnuts and 1/2 cup almonds)
- 4-5 pitted unsweetened dates (good source of fiber, minerals and B-vitamins)
- 1/2 cup vegan, grain-free vanilla plant protein (No, they are not all created equal. The healthiest and best tasting I’ve found is this one.)
- 1/4 cup Grade B maple syrup
- 1/8-1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup raw unsalted almond butter (or natural peanut butter – not paleo)
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 – 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Place the nuts in a food processor (or use a Vitamix) and pulse until coarsely ground. Add the dates and pulse until well combined with the nuts. Add the vanilla protein, maple syrup, almond milk, nut butter, vanilla extract and salt. Process until thick and smooth.
- Scrape the sides a pulse until well mixed…it’ll be sticky so do this a few times.
- Prepare two bowls, one with the mixture and one with the shredded coconut. A shallow bowl works well for the coconut to roll the balls in the coconut to coat them well.
- Form into golf-ball size balls by rolling between your palms. Roll the balls in coconut. Place in a container lined with wax paper and freeze until hardened. That way they keep their shape. After they are chilled, you can transfer them to a ziplock so they take up less space. You can eat them straight from the freezer or transfer to the fridge for a little bit softer texture.
- Even when they’re chilled the texture is still chewy goodness.
Makes 15 – 20 balls depending on size. ENJOY
I made 9 large (for me) and 6 small (for my kids).
Thank you, Shannon, over at Happy WifeStyle for the original recipe and giving me permission to share my version with you all! 🙂