Healthy Snacks for Athletes: Pecan Chia Peanut Butter Bites

Healthy Snacks for Athletes: Pecan Chia Peanut Butter Bites
Growing up, my mom liked to use the word ‘granola’ as an adjective. “Oh, she’s just very granola,” she’d say. Then, this summer while hiking in Colorado, I overheard a girl say, “This is the most granola I have ever been.” I’m wondering, is this a real term? Webster, can we add a new part of speech to the definition? Graᐧnoᐧla; adjective; used to describe an outdoor enthusiast wearing Chacos and beige colored clothing. Most likely found lounging in a hammock while eating with biodegradable silverware. Pass the bug spray, because I feel every aspect of the word while eating these granola balls. These are full of all the healthy nature things like whole grains (oats), protein (almonds), and fat (chia seeds) to make anyone feel like a granola girl/guy. As they are rolled into a convenient, portable snack, these bites have quickly become my go-to, on-the-go, post recovery snack. I also keep them at my office for that inevitable mid-morning snack graze. These are nutty, hearty, wholesome, and most importantly, delicious! If you weren’t on the energy bite train before, welcome aboard. Ways to customize this recipe:
  1. Throw in a handful of dark chocolate to the mix. This satisfies your sweet tooth and makes it socially acceptable to eat chocolate for breakfast.
  2. Add raisins or other dried fruit after blending the oats and nuts for a more natural sweet taste.
  3. Substitute any or all nuts for your favorite combination. Peanuts, walnuts, or cashews work great.
Place pecans or your choice of nuts in a food processor to blend
Combine all your dry ingredients together in a bowl

Granola Balls

Yields 16 bites 1 cups oats (quick cooking or old-fashioned) ¼ cup pecans ¼ cup almonds ¼ cup pepitas 1 tbsp. flax seeds 1 tbsp. chia seeds ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt ½ cup creamy peanut butter or almond butter ¼ cup honey ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine oats, pecans, and almonds. Pulse lightly 4-5 times until nuts are roughly sliced.
  2. Empty oat and nut mixture into large bowl and add pepitas, flax seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together nut butter, honey, and vanilla until well combined.
  4. Pour liquid mixture over dry mixture and stir until all the oats are coated.
  5. Using your hands or a cookie dough scoop, roll into balls about 1 tablespoon at a time.
  6. Let balls set in the refrigerator 30-60 minutes before eating. They are best kept in the refrigerator or freezer.
Nutrition facts per 1 ball
  • 115 calories
  • 11 g carbohydrate
  • 7 g fat
  • 5 g protein
  • 80 g sodium
  • 5 g sugar
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