My senior year of college was a hectic time in my life. I was commuting an hour and half to college, working part-time as a nanny, and had an internship with a legislature. I remember discussing with my supervisor at the internship how I never had time to eat a good breakfast. When I did eat breakfast it was usually super sugary and handheld. Something I could eat while driving! She then introduced me to no-bake granola bites. They are very easy and customizable granola bars, but made into bite size pieces. I started to make them all the time, but once the hectic mornings ended, I stopped making them as much.
Recently my husband said that he wish he could have something quick and on the go for breakfast. Nearly everything we looked at in the store had way too much sugar, sodium, or fat. I decided to make him some easy on the go breakfast. No-bake granola bites were reintroduced into our life.
I seriously cannot stress how amazing these things are! My friend describes them as cookie dough bites, which I know I can eat endless amounts of that!
The base recipe is very simple:
- 1 cup oats
- 1/4 cup peanut or almond butter
- 1/4 cup honey
From there you can go crazy! I found this great website that gives 8 different recipe ideas for this along with the nutrition facts. They also give some great tips and tricks to make them the best they can be.
I found these tips to be most useful:
- Resting time in the fridge – I tried my first ones with no resting time. Not only does this give the dry ingredients time to absorb the wet ingredients, it makes rolling them so much easier!
- Adding different ingredients you love – I added flaxseed to all of mine. I love flaxseed and it gives an added nutritional boost. I added a tablespoon to each recipe. If you add more and feel like it is not sticky enough to hold all the ingredients, add a little extra honey or peanut butter. A little bit goes a long way!
Tips for the Peanut Butter:
The FDA is banning all Trans Fat from food by 2018. We are currently still in 2017, so it’s still important to read the labels for this. Peanut butter is a common food that has hidden Trans Fat. If it has less than 0.5 grams, the company do not need to list it on the nutrition facts. However, it will be on the ingredient list. If one of the ingredients is hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil then Trans Fat is actually in there.
Sadly, the Aldi brand we normally get has hydrogenated vegetable oils. We chucked that peanut butter out and went to the grocery. While searching we found the best peanut butter to get is the natural peanut butters. If you hate stirring peanut butter, we have found Jif Natural to the best alternative.
Trans Fat is directly related to heart disease. Artificial Trans Fat is made by a harsh chemical process by pumping hydrogen molecules into vegetable oils. Trans Fat increases LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol), but does not increase HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Other fats tend to increase both, which helps balance each other out.
By avoiding peanut butter with Trans Fat you will make this delicious treat even healthier! I did not realize until we met with Alex’s nutritionist how much of my favorite foods still have some Trans Fat in it. Even when you try to go the healthier route, hidden bad ingredients still exist.
Storing the Energy Bites
The best way to store these in my opinion is the freezer. You won’t be tempted to eat all of them at once, like I want to if they are left out on the counter. They also keep for a very long time in the freezer. We usually only leave them there for about a month at most, but that is because we eat them all before them! When we want them we just pull how many we want out of the freezer bag and let them sit a few minutes to thaw a bit. They stay nice and chewy without becoming gooey messes!
This is also one of my go to snacks for camping since they keep so well. We freeze them overnight in a ziplock bag then put them in the cooler right before we leave for our trip. As long as your ziplock is sealed tight, these babies will stay good the entire trip!
We are not huge snackers to begin with. You will have a heard time finding potato chips, crackers, or cookies in our pantry. However, once in awhile, a quick little snack is needed. Or even a quick on the go breakfast. These granola bites have been a great substitute for the not-so-healthy snacks in our lives!