PB & J No Bake Protein Bites
I don’t know how often you frequent the yogurt section of the grocery store (probably a lot) but I’ve noticed a boom in healthy, refrigerated snacks, often ones that boast high protein amounts. Something else they have in common? High calories, high sugar, high carbs…need I go on? It’s like they focused on one area of health and completely neglected the others just to make a “healthy” snack and not be left out of the health craze that so many people are starting to focus on. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a great thing. I think health and nutrition should be a primary focus in every household. But it’s snack traps like these that make people wonder why they can’t lose the weight when they purchase “healthy foods” that are high protein this, that, or the other. Part of the problem is not knowing how to properly read a nutrition label, and the other part is not knowing what all to look for. A good rule of thumb is to be mindful of your macronutrients – calories, protein, fat, carbs, and sugar. Check these items first on the label and make necessary adjustments when purchasing your groceries.
BUT! Enough of the warning on fake healthy food. You came here for something nutritious that you can eat and not feel guilty about, right? Well, we got you. Don’t grab those highly processed, overly sugared up snacks at the store, make these instead! Gluten free, vegan, and packed with wholesome energy. They taste just as good, possibly better, and they’re made from ingredients you can actually pronounce! All seven of them! And if you’re a health nut, or just someone doing their best to stay healthy, you likely have these ingredients. Almond butter (or other low calorie nut butter), sugar free maple syrup (you can also go with monk fruit), protein powder, rolled oats, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, and dried fruit of choice. If you have whole flax seeds, you can always toss them in a food processor to grind them up nice and good. I’ve also heard that ground flax seeds are easier for the body to digest, so maybe flax seed meal is the way to go? For the dried fruit, we went with mango, with no sugar added (the stuff is better than candy I swear!) but you can always use what you have on hand. I’m getting so many fun ideas just thinking about these! I definitely keep the protein bites on hand for the days when I’m not quite in the mood for a meal but know I should eat something to hold me over. They’re filling, and great for the moments when your sweet tooth needs some satisfaction! And best of all, you can prep these in advance to have them ready for breakfast or a post-workout fueling! This makes 14 PBJ bites. Keep them in the fridge for the week, or store them in the freezer for up to a month. Check out this bariatric friendly recipe for quick and easy, no bake protein bites!
- ½ cup creamy salted almond butter, no sugar added. (or almond, cashew, or sunflower butter)
- ¼ cup sugar-free maple syrup (or sub finely chopped dates)
- 2Tbsp whey unflavored protein powder
- 1 ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats*
- 2 ½ Tbsp flaxseed meal
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup no sugar added dried fruit (i.e., dried mango, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, cranberries)
- To a large mixing bowl, add peanut butter, maple syrup, protein powder, rolled oats, flaxseed meal, chia seeds, and dried fruit of choice. Mix until well combined. If too dry/crumbly, add more peanut butter or maple syrup. If too sticky or wet, add a little bit more oats or flaxseed meal.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 5 minutes. Then scoop out 1 1/2 Tbsp amounts and roll into balls. The “dough” should yield about 13-14 balls
- Enjoy immediately and store well-sealed leftovers in the refrigerator for 1 week or in the freezer up to 1 month.