It’s March….Happy National Nutrition Month everyone! The theme this year is Savor the Flavor of Eating Right. It is all about taking time to really enjoy your food and work towards a more mindful eating mindset. You can find a multitude of resources about National Nutrition Month on eatright.org including tips, handouts, games plus much more if you are looking for ways to promote nutrition in your schools, churches, and communities. There is also a list of bloggers and dietitians talking about NNM at the National Nutrition Month Blogroll (if you are interested).
I’m starting the month off by sharing a recipe that could be a real test of mindful eating. These energy bites are so good it’s hard not to eat them all in one sitting. Luckily they are so flavorful if you take some time and really savor the flavor you might be satisfied with just one or two.
Anyway, I have been lucky enough to escape the Michigan winter with a few trips to warm weather destinations and this past February I wanted to make a batch of energy bites to take along for plane snacks. Energy bites usually use dates as a base, however I was out of dates (I know – a travesty!). Luckily for this story we had a large supply of dried apricots to save the day (btw, if you haven’t tried the organic dried apricots from Costco, what are you waiting for??).
I think I might now be an apricot energy bite convert…sorry dates! Dried apricots are subtly sweet and have the perfect texture for an energy bite. FYI these ended up traveling really well and made a great plane snack!
I wasn’t exactly sure what other flavor would go with apricot but I figured I couldn’t go wrong with almond and coconut. I love the flavor of almond but sometimes when I include raw almonds in a recipe there isn’t a ton of almond flavor. So I added a little almond extract to this recipe. If you aren’t a fan of that distinct almond taste, feel free to leave it out.
I used the good ole Vitamix to make the ‘dough’ but I actually think a food processor works better for this type of recipe. Unfortunately our food processor is less than effective. If anyone has a recommendation of a great food processor, please leave me a comment!
Anyways, pulsed together in a high speed blender or food processor the dough forms up really nicely. If your apricots are on the drier side it might be helpful to soak them in some warm water first. Or if you are having trouble getting the mixture to combine add a tablespoon of water to help get things going. Once mixed the dough actually doesn’t feel as sticky as when I have made energy bites with dates. But if you are having issues when rolling into balls, wet your hands first and that might help.
Enjoy and don’t forget to savor the flavor!
Almond Coconut Apricot Energy Bites
Makes about 20 bites
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup raw unsalted almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened + more for topping
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maple syrup
pinch of salt
Mix all ingredients in food processor or high powered blender until mixture holds together. Roll into tablespoon size balls then roll in finely shredded coconut. Store in the refrigerator.
Be Happy, Be Healthy!