If you are looking for a nutritious “whole food” way to fuel your workouts, these little bites are for you! They are simple to make, delicious, and a terrific alternative to commercial energy bars. Their bite-size portion is often “just right,” so you can doll out energy as you need fuel during long hikes, runs, cross-county skis, or bike rides. The oats and raisins are a good source of carbohydrates, the peanuts provide healthy fats, rounded off with a double-chocolate hit of cocoa and chocolate chips.
Interested in sports nutrition and the best way to fuel your workouts? Read more about energy bars and real food alternative to energy bars here, and nutrition strategies for optimal performance here.
- 1 cup raisins
- 1-1/2 cup rolled oats (quick, regular, or large – you’re going to grind them up anyways!)
- ¼ cup cocoa powder
- 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2-3 tbsp. water (if needed)
- Place raisins and oats in food processor. Process for about 30 seconds.
- Put peanut butter and chocolate chips in a small measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds.
- Add peanut butter mixture and cocoa to oats and raisins in food processor and pulse until well incorporated. If the mixture looks a bit dry, add a little water and process again (1-2 tablespoons).
- Scoop the mixture out of food processor with a wet tablespoon to roll into balls in the palm of your hand (you should get about 16, but vary the size to suit your needs). You might find this easier if you wet your hands to roll the balls.
- Store in the fridge until hardened, about an hour. You can keep these in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
- Raisins are a nutrient-rich and concentrated source of carbohydrates and minerals, and like grapes contain the phytochemical compound resveratrol, an antioxidant studied for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and cholesterol lowering effects. For endurance athletes, raisins can fuel exercise, and research shows they perform as well as sports jelly beans, sports chews, or sports gels.
- Oats are well-know for their cholesterol lowering properties, and recent research shows that they contain antioxidant compounds called avenanthramides that help decrease chronic inflammation that can lead to disease.
- Peanuts have similar health benefits to other nuts, but are much more economical. They are a decent source of protein (about 7 g per 2 tbsp peanut butter), and are also a good source of the antioxidant resveratrol. Although some people consider nuts fattening, added to a healthy diet they do not promote weight gain, and have many health benefits, including reducing heart disease risk. Peanuts and peanut butter might also help control blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to this study in women. And another study suggested that replacing a serving of red meat with a serving of nuts would decrease type 2 diabetes risk by 21%.
- Cocoa contains compounds called flavanols that have been found to lower blood pressure and improve endothelial function, neutralize inflammation, increase healthy HDL’s, dilate blood vessels, help prevent atherosclerosis, and increase nitric oxide production (which has heart and potential endurance exercise benefits). You can find out more about cocoa and flavanols here.
Nutrition Per Serving
One serving=one energy bite
- 105 calories
- 3 g protein
- 17 g carbohydrate
- 4 g fat
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 2.5 g fiber
- 5 mg sodium
- 180 mg potassium
- 11 mg calcium
- 31 mg magnesium
- 1 mg iron
More Foods to Fuel Your Workouts
- Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Bars
- Sheila’s Quick & Easy Oatmeal Bars
- Sesame Date Energy Bites
- Strawberry Banana Recovery Smoothie
- Rich Chocolate Cake (with beets – no one will guess, honest!)
More recipes featuring OATS
- Simple Peanut Maple Granola
- Fabulous Fruit Tart in a Walnut Crust
- Sheila Quick & Easy Oatmeal Bars
- Traditional Swiss Oat Muesli
- Tasty Veggie Burgers