Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cashew Chia Bites Two Ways

I've definitely fallen down the rabbit hole of obsession here. I wanted to try making my own snack bites or granola bars. My granola bar experiment of last year wasn't so great but I was willing to make another go of it. Key ingredient: Medjool dates. Note that this is very different from the dates you get in the little cardboard box in the dried fruit section. Not those dates, the ones that look like prunes.

I had never had a Medjool date before so was curious to try them. Lesson 1: they have a pit. Lesson 2: they are delicious. I snacked on too many of them and had to go back and buy more in order to make this recipe workable. Small sacrifices.

My go-to snack craving is all about the chocolate. My office has a lot of bad snack food around and candy at the reception desk so it's too tempting to just grab a handful of chocolate and call it a day. But there are so many variations of protein balls that I decided to try a non-chocolate one as well. Of course, that meant lemon.

Regardless of which one you want to try, all of the ingredients are blended in a food processor. I put everything in there at once but recommend processing the nuts first before adding your other ingredients. For the chocolate recipe, I used chocolate protein powder so needed to balance the dry ingredients with coconut oil to make everything stick together.

I was expecting the mixture to be scoopable but I still needed to roll the dough between my hands to keep everything compact (just like making cookies!). The last step is rolling in shredded coconut (again, like cookies!).

The second version had more cashews and lemon juice instead of protein powder so no additional oil was needed. Then they were also rolled in coconut but topped with lemon zest.

I can't decide which one I like better! And you would think it would be the chocolate one, right? Or the lemon one since this is Livin Lemon. Inconclusive.


Chocolate Chia

  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/3 cup unsalted cashew pieces
  • 1/3 cup chocolate protein powder
  • 4 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (more if the mixture is dry)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut, divided
  1. In a food processor, coarsely chop the cashews. Add the pitted dates, protein powder, chia seeds, 2 Tablespoons of shredded coconut. Pulse to combine.
  2. Add the coconut oil a little at a time. Mix in the food processor until the ingredients bind together. Add more coconut oil as needed until you can compress the ingredients together and they stay.
  3. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop dough into your hands and roll into bite sized balls. Roll in remaining shredded coconut and place on a sheet of wax paper.
  4. You can freeze or refrigerate these until you're ready for a snack!

Lemon Coconut

  • 1 cup unsalted cashew pieces
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 8 Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  1. In a food processor, pulse together the cashews, oats and coconut until they are combined and resemble a course meal.
  2. Add the dates, water, chia seeds and lemon juice. You can also zest some of the lemon into the food processor for more lemon flavor. Pulse to combine.
  3. In a small bowl, add some coconut flakes and lemon zest. This will be for rolling.
  4. Set up a tray with wax paper. Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop the dough out of the food processor and roll between your hands.
  5. Roll in the coconut and lemon zest before placing on the wax paper. Repeat until all of the dough is used.
  6. I kept these in individual containers in the fridge as a grab and go snack but you could also freeze them!
Each recipe makes about 10 snack bites

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