My kids have a sweet tooth. Who am I kidding? I have a sweet tooth too! I consider these quick and easy peanut butter chocolate chip energy bites a fairly healthy treat that I can feel good about giving to my kiddos when they are craving something sweet. So easy in fact that my eight and eleven year olds can make them on their own. Which is always an added bonus!
The recipe calls for old fashioned oats, which I think gives the energy bites more texture and chew than finer instant oats. The flaxseed I buy is already ground. If you have never tried flaxseed meal before I highly recommend it! Not only does it contain omega-3 essential fatty acids, but it is also a good source of fiber. Flaxseed meal can also be easily added to oatmeal, cereal, pancakes, waffles, muffins, and other baked goods.
When buying coconut flakes, don’t let the term “unsweetened” fool you. Despite not having any sweetener added, these coconut flakes are full of natural sweetness. I toast mine in the oven as I like how it brings out a nuttier flavor, but if you are in a hurry, you could probably make these energy bites without toasting the coconut. Just keep in mind that the overall flavor may be slightly different.
Adding the next few ingredients requires a bit of patience, but shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to achieve the correct consistency. Once you add the honey, peanut butter, and vanilla, the energy bite mixture will slowly start to bind together. Natural peanut butter is my preference, as it is made from only peanuts and salt. Usually I buy Adams brand or natural peanut butter from Costco and Trader Joes. After the ingredients have been thoroughly mixed, you add in my favorite part – the chocolate chips! Any type of chocolate chip will work for this recipe, so use whatever you prefer. My oldest daughter and I love dark chocolate chips, so I used what we currently had on hand.
Once your energy bite mixture looks like the picture above, you can either immediately roll it into small balls, or you can refrigerate the mixture for about an hour. I like to stick it in the fridge as the bites seems to roll together better. It is also helpful to have slightly wet hands when rolling the mixture into individual sized balls. Store the energy bites in a container in the refrigerator. I promise you, they will go fast!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut, toasted
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use dark chocolate chips)
Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a single layer spread the unsweetened coconut flakes onto a baking sheet and place in the center rack of the preheated oven. Bake for about 3-4 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs, stirring once for even toasting. Keep a close watch as the coconut flakes will toast quickly. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.
In a medium sized bowl mix together the old fashioned oats and ground flax meal. Stir in the toasted unsweetened coconut flakes once cool. Next add the peanut butter, vanilla, and honey. Stir well for several minutes until all of the oats are covered and the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Mix in the chocolate chips.
Store the mixture in the refrigerator for at least an hour before rolling into golf sized balls. Enjoy!