These are truly the most amazing little "bites" you'll ever have! They are so simple to make, very versatile and can be made with almost any dried fruit mix you have on hand, and can have as many additions as you want! So what are they to be such a "powerhouse"?
Nutritional Powerhouse Bites
14 dried figs
10 dried apricots
1/4 c walnuts
1 tbsp chia seed
1 tbsp sunbutter (or any nut butter you have on hand)
1 - 2 tbsp dairy free chocolate chips (or chop up some dark chocolate for even more superfood power!)
a touch of water as needed
Place all ingredients in your food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are fairly chopped and mixed together. Take off the lid and check the consistency... you want it to be pulling away from the sides, and able to stick together if you pick some up with your fingers. If it's not quite there add 1/2 tbsp water at a time until you get to the right "sticky-point". Use a spoon to take out about 1-2 tbsp of the mix and form a ball in your hand, they should be just smaller than a golf ball - using this approximate size I came out with 10 balls. Put the balls into an air-tight container or a plate covered with plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator (they will hold together better this way).
*I couldn't wait for them to cool, I had one... and then another one right after making them ;-)*
Suggestions for Additions/Substitutions
*Any nut would be great in place of or in addition to the walnuts.
*Dried figs are a great base because they are naturally sticky, but any dried fruit (or mix of fruit) would pair beautifully! ...Mango, pineapple, cranberries, blueberries... the options are endless!
*Any nut butter can be used in place of the Sunbutter, you might also give mashed banana or pumpkin a try!
*I love the chia seed because it is so great for the body but it is a bit expensive. Substituting flaxseed would keep those Omega-3s, fiber and protein benefits and still provide many vitamins and minerals.
*If you want to add even more of a boost you could add other seeds like sunflower or pumpkin. And if you are feeling adventurous add some protein powder - though I would stick with only 1 tbsp and would add an equal amount of a "wet" ingredient (i.e. nut butter, banana, juice may even work!)
Now that you know how to make them, do it... now! You won't regret it, I promise! Then once you have made them you can come back here and read about how much your body will appreciate you for eating these delicious and nutritious little bites.
Can these really be called nutritional powerhouse bites?
YES! And here is why...
Figs: A great source of fiber and B vitamins, calcium, potassium, iron, manganese, selenium, copper, and zinc. B vitamins help metabolize carbs, proteins & fats. Calcium is great for our bones, potassium helps to regulate blood pressure and heart function, iron is a mineral that almost everyone is deficient in so you can never get enough!
Apricots: Another good source of fiber, full of vitamin A which helps with vision and combats free radical damage, and because of their rich color they are a great source of beta carotene.
Walnuts: A great source of protein, healthy Omega-3s and vitamin E. Walnuts have continued to move higher on the ladder of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits which help to protect against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems and type 2 diabetes. Whew!
Chia Seed: Chia is the new craze! It is a great source of fiber and protein, has high amounts of Omega-3s, contains antioxidants, B vitamins and minerals, and not to mention is gluten free! They are easily digested, have been shown to increase energy, aid metabolism, and help with regularity. *Chia seeds are also great for athletes as they can prolong hydration and help our bodies to retain electrolytes. (For more info and recipe ideas click here!)
Sunbutter: Another great source of protein and an alternative to peanut butter. It contains 27% of your daily allowance of vitamin E, and is also high in iron and fiber.
Chocolate Chips: Good for the soul! If you use dark chocolate, you are really getting that superfood power as dark chocolate is packed full of antioxidants and has also been shown to lower blood pressure.
Convinced?? I thought so! Now go make these (or whatever version you would like) and eat them guiltlessly as a snack, dessert or as a delightful addition to any meal!