The Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Energy Bites worked out so well, I was inspired to figure out another simple “bite” recipe that athletes can use instead of commercial energy bars. I found the small portion size is just right, allowing me to doll out energy as I need for long bike rides, roller skis, or runs. These bites have a double sesame punch with sesame seeds and tahini (sesame butter): these little seeds are very nutritious and most often used as a garnish, so here’s a good way to take advantage of their superior nutrition.
This is a delicious “whole food” way to fuel your workout. I know, a refined cereal like Rice Krispies seems out of place with the rest of the wholesome ingredients, but the added crunch is worth it. And if you’re going to eat refined carbs and sweet dates, during activity is the best time to do it, when your body processes the sugars to use as fuel and help sustain long workouts.
- 1 cup dates, chopped
- 1/4 cup tahini (sesame butter)
- 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1-1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- Place dates in food processor and process for about 30 seconds (until dates resemble a paste) – if your dates are very dry, add a bit of water – enough for dates to form a paste.
- Put tahini and chocolate chips in a small glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds, add to dates in food processor, and pulse until well incorporated.
- Add Rice Krispies to food processor and pulse a few times to mix them in (you don’t want to crush them into a puree).
- Using a wet tablespoon, scoop the mixture out of food processor and roll into balls in the palm of your hand (you should get about 12, but vary the size to suit your needs). You might find this easier if you wet your hands to roll the balls.
- Put sesame seeds in a shallow bowl, and roll balls in sesame seeds until coated, pressing lightly so seeds will stick.
- Store in the fridge until hardened, about an hour. You can keep these in an airtight container in the fridge for 1-2 weeks, or freeze.
- Sesame seeds may be small, but they are nutrient powerhouses! These little seeds are good sources of iron, calcium, and potassium (if you can find sesame seeds with hulls intact – they have more of these minerals, especially calcium). Like other seeds, sesame seeds contain healthful polyunsaturated fats, vitamin E, fiber, and a moderate amount of protein. Sesame seeds contain sesamin, a type of fiber with potential antihypertensive, cholesterol-lowering, lipid-lowering, and anticancer activities. Sesame seeds are also the richest nut and seed source of phytosterols, compounds that are being studied for their disease-fighting properties including reducing blood levels of cholesterol, enhancing immune response, and decreasing the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
- Sesame butter (tahini) has similar nutrients to sesame seeds, and has long been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. It is widely available, and is a main ingredient in hummus, a popular dip featuring garbanzo beans. You can use tahini in many dips and sauces. Often the oil rises to the top of a jar of tahini—be sure to mix in before using. If the tahini is too thick to spread, mix in a little hot water and lemon juice. For a sweet treat, spread tahini on whole grain toast and drizzle with a little honey. You’ll find some other great ideas for cooking with tahini here.
- 122 calories
- 2.2 g protein
- 19 g carbohydrate
- 5.7 g fat
- 0 mg cholesterol
- 2.4 g fiber
- 10.6 mg sodium
- 171 mg potassium
- 81 mg calcium
- 34 mg magnesium
- 2.6 mg iron
More SWEET Recipes . . .
Cookies, Bars, & Workout Snacks
- Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Rich CHOCOLATE cake (with beets)
- Lemon Blueberry Cake
- Apple Walnut Cake
- Rich Chocolate Glaze