These yummy Apple Pie Energy Bites are a delicious and healthy treat that is gluten free and clean eating (and can be vegan). They make a perfect pre/post workout snack.
For me, make-ahead healthy and delicious snacks are essential in helping my healthy eating habits. In our family we strive towards mostly (80%) whole, real foods.
Cooking healthy meals from whole food ingredients for my family has become second nature to me. Even healthy desserts are something I love to test and make a lot.
But snack time is a whole different game!
Either it's my daughter asking for a cookie out of the blue. Or I myself suddenly HAVE to have something quick and right now to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings.
These are the times when it can be so tempting to just fall back onto some packaged, processed snack foods. Unless of course, I thought ahead and made a big batch of healthy snacks like these Apple Pie Bites.
And it is really so easy to whip up these healthy treats on the weekend. They store really well in a covered container in the fridge.
The 'apple pie' flavor in this snack comes from applesauce and homemade apple pie spice mix. They are naturally sweetened with Medjool dates and some (raw) honey.
They are also a great treat with an afternoon coffee and make an easily packaged lunch box snack.
How To Make Apple Pie Energy Bites
This recipe starts with Medjool dates. Soak the dates in hot water for 10 minutes to soften them.
Process the softened dates into date paste by using a food processor or food chopper (an immersion blender might work too). If your appliance requires more liquid or volume to function, you can also add in the applesauce at this point.
Then combine the date paste, applesauce, honey (or maple syrup), vanilla extract, and salt in a large bowl. Add the rolled oats, chia seeds, and spice mix. Stir everything to form a uniform mixture.
How to shape energy bites
Chill the batter. Rolling the bites is easier with cold dough.
If it still seems too sticky after half an hour of chilling time, you can thicken it with a little coconut flour or flax meal. Only add 1 teaspoon at a time though, to not accidentally dry out the mix.
Rolling the bites is easiest with slightly moist hands. You can also use a cookie scoop to really pack the batter together tightly.
Optionally, you can roll the apple pie energy balls in dessicated coconut or the spice mix to give it a pretty outside.
Super Time-Saving Tip
Here is an idea that blew my mind when I first heard it 🤯
You DON'T actually HAVE to roll energy bites into spherical shapes!!
You can also press the dough mix into an ice cube tray. Or spread it into a small baking dish and simply cut into squares once chilled.
You are welcome!
How to Store Apple Pie Energy Balls
These apple pie energy bites are best stored in the fridge or freezer. They last a couple of weeks in the fridge and several months in the freezer.
Use an airtight container to keep the snacks from drying out and to prevent freezer burn. I especially like my silicone bags for storing the snack bites.
Items I used in this recipe
A food processor or food chopper are the best tools for turning dates into a smooth date paste, which is the base for this recipe.
Although oats don't naturally contain gluten, they are often contaminated with gluten during processing (in the same plants where wheat is being handled). So be sure to use only certified gluten free oats if you are avoiding gluten.
I love my homemade apple pie spice mix for any and all recipes with apples. The unique mixture of cinnamon, cardamom, and other warming spices gives apples a delicious extra flavor touch. Of course you can also use store-bought spice mix (but it usually doesn't include cardamom). Or simply replace with ground cinnamon if that is all you have on hand.
More Healthy Snack Recipes
Apple Pie Energy Bites
- ½ cup Medjool dates pitted and soaked
- ½ cup applesauce
- ¼ cup honey preferably raw, use maple syrup to make vegan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats use certified gluten free oats, if required
- ¼ cup chia seeds *
- 1.5 teaspoons apple pie spice or cinnamon
- coconut flour or ground flax seed for thickening if needed
- desiccated coconut for rolling
- Soak the pitted dates in warm water for 10 minutes. Then remove from water and process them into a paste using a food processor/chopper. (If needed, add applesauce at this point already.)
- Add the date paste into a large bowl together with the applesauce, honey, vanilla and salt. Stir until combined.
- Now add the dry ingredients (oats, chia seed, spice mix) and fold into the wet mixture. Once thoroughly combined, chill the mixture for about 30 minutes in the fridge (or freezer).
- If after chilling, the mixture still seems too wet to handle, stir in coconut flour or ground flax seed (1 teaspoon at a time) to thicken. You don't want it too dry though.
- With your hands roll the mixture into 1 tablespoon sized balls. Or use a small cookie scoop to make rolling easier.
- Optionally, roll the snack balls into desiccated coconut or spice mix for a pretty coating.
- Chill again and store refrigerated in an airtight container.
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