Today, I bring to you all the recipe for Sugar-Free Energy Bites, an easy but delicious sweet treat that will be much loved by kids and adults alike.
Have you been wanting to make your own energy bars at home? Have you been looking for a healthy snack for those in-between-meal times? Would you want to make a guilt-free dessert for your kids? Would you like to try out a simple post-workout snack that will boost your energy? If you can relate to these questions, these Sugar-Free Energy Bites are just the solution for you.
All of us at home are big fans of Dry Fruits & Nuts Barfi from Anand Sweets, which are loaded with nuts and absolutely delicious. We love this barfi so much and would indulge in it so often that I started recreating them at home. Taste-wise, they come pretty close, I would say. Do check out the recipe, try them out, and share your feedback!
Why these energy bites are great..
~ They have no processed ingredients or refined sugar. I have used a bit of rose essence in them, which you can avoid if you want.
~ They are full of the goodness of dates, dried fruits and nuts. They are guilt-free and act as energy boosters, like I was saying earlier.
~ They are delicious! Both adults and children will like these.
~ They require just a few ingredients and are ridiculously easy to prepare. There’s minimal cooking involved.
~ They travel well and can easily be carried in purses or lunch boxes.
~ They stay well for a long time. So, you can make them at your convenience and use them as needed.
~ They are vegetarian and can easily be made vegan (plant-based). They are completely gluten-free too.
~ They can be customised to suit your family’s tastes and preferences. You can add in any dried fruits and nuts you prefer.
~ They are perfect for festival treats when you don’t want to make something very elaborate. They make for great edible gifts too!
#DateWithDates At Foodie Monday Blog Hop
Dates are not just a natural sweetener, but they are also packed with nutrients. (Check out this article by Healthline to understand the nutritive value of dates.) It wouldn’t be wrong to call them a superfood. Considering this, the team over at Foodie Monday Blog Hop is talking ‘dates’ this week!
The Foodie Monday Blog Hop is a group of passionate food bloggers who share recipes based on a pre-determined theme, every Monday. The theme this week is #DateWithDates, and all of us are showcasing interesting recipes made using dates.
Aruna of Vasu’s Veg Kitchen was the one who suggested the theme for the week. I love the simple, tried-and-tested recipes that Aruna shares on her blog. She has written about several traditional foods from Andhra Pradesh, as well as many dishes from around the world. I have already bookmarked her lovely Amla Rasam to try out – hopefully, soon!
How to make Sugar-Free Energy Bites
Here’s how I make them.
Ingredients (makes about 20 pieces):
- 1-1/2 cups dates, when de-seeded
- 1/2 cup apricots
- 1/4 cup brown raisins
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup cashewnuts
- 1/2 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 4-5 drops of rose essence (optional)
1. Measure out the cashewnuts and almonds. Transfer them to a mixer jar.
2. Coarsely pulse the cashewnuts and almonds. Do not make a fine powder. Keep aside.
3. Measure out the dates and apricots. Remove the seeds from the dates. Transfer the de-seeded dates and the apricots to a mixer jar.
4. Pulse the dates and apricots till you get a soft mixture as shown in the picture below.
5. Heat the ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan.
6. Add in the coarsely processed cashewnuts and almonds to the pan. Turn the flame down to medium.
7. Add the poppy seeds to the pan.
8. Toast the nuts for 1-2 minutes or till they turn slightly aromatic. Take care not to burn them.
9. Now, add the processed dates and apricots to the pan. Mix well, breaking down lumps with your spatula. Cook on low-medium flame for a minute or so, till all the ingredients are well incorporated together. Switch off gas.
10. Add in the rose essence (if using). Mix well.
11. Let the mixture cool down enough to handle.
12. When the mixture has cooled down, shape 2 big logs out of it.
13. Place these logs in a clean, dry, air-tight box. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours, then remove and cut into pieces using a sharp knife. Your Sugar-Free Energy Bites are ready. They can be eaten immediately or later.
Tips & Tricks
1. You can use any dried fruits and nuts of your preference, in these energy bites. Cranberries, figs, walnuts, unsalted pistachios, dried oranges and blueberries are examples of some ingredients that would work really well in the making of these bites.
2. I have used some ghee here, due to which these energy bites are not vegan or plant-based. Use coconut oil instead to make them vegan.
3. Use good-quality dried fruits and nuts that are fresh and free of pests and odours.
4. Skip the rose essence if you are not comfortable with using it, though it does add a lovely touch to these bites. You may use cardamom powder instead, too.
5. Adjust the quantity of dates, apricots and nuts as per personal taste preferences. The above quantities work perfectly for us.
6. Make sure the nuts do not burn while toasting them in the pan. They just get lightly toasted and fragrant.
7. Make sure all the seeds are removed from the dates before proceeding to use them in the recipe.
8. The poppy seeds I have used here can be substituted with white or brown sesame seeds. I prefer using poppy seeds, though.
9. Don’t miss out on chilling the logs in the refrigerator, once they are ready. This helps in setting them, and you get a neater cut. You may wrap the rolls in aluminium foil or cling wrap before refrigeration. I just use a clean, dry, air-tight box to do so.
10. Once you cut the rolls, you can roll the sides in some poppy seeds to decorate them. I don’t usually do so.
11. Stored in a clean, dry, air-tight box, these Sugar-Free Energy Bites stay well for up to a month. At room temperature, they stay well for 10-15 days. They are best used within 10-15 days, I would suggest.
12. I have coarsely processed the nuts using a mixer. You can even chop them up roughly, if you so prefer.
13. I have used soft dates from the Lion brand and Turkish apricots here. The apricots give a mild sour flavour to these bites, as do the brown raisins. If you would like them to be all sweet, skip the apricots and raisins, or reduce the quantity. Use more dates instead.
14. Instead of making logs and then cutting them into rounds as I have done here, you can also shape small rolls out of the mixture once it has cooled down enough to handle.
Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!