These healthy gingerbread bites taste like Christmas! The combination of molasses and aromatic spices gives this (workout) snack an unmistakable seasonal flavor. This no-bake recipe is vegan, gluten free and paleo friendly.
To enjoy the cozy flavor of gingerbread, you aren't limited to traditional cookie recipes. Although there is nothing wrong with those.
Give these classic German Lebkuchen recipe or my healthier, grain free spiced ginger cookies a try this holiday season.
What are energy bites?
Energy bites are tasty little spherical snacks. They are very popular as quick sources of fuel pre or post workouts.
And even if you aren't working out, these gingerbread bites are a delicious healthy snack any time of day. I myself love them as an afternoon treat between lunch and dinner, when I feel like a quick pick-me-up but also don't want to fill myself up too much.
These energy bites rely on dates for sweetness as well as the soft, chewy texture. This particular recipe doesn't include oats, so it is paleo and gluten free.
The typical gingerbread flavor in this recipe comes from the molasses and spice mix.
I am using cashew nuts for a crunchy texture contrast, but almonds or other nuts can be substituted. I could even see hemp seeds or sunflowers in this recipe if you need it to be nut free.
How to make Gingerbread Bites
Making this recipe starts with soaking the dates. This ensures that even drier dates get thoroughly softened so they easily turn into smooth date paste in the next step.
Process the soaked dates in a food processor with molasses, gingerbread spice, vanilla extract, and salt. You want a very uniform mixture.
Then add the cashew nuts and either flax meal or coconut flour for thickening. Now use only the pulse function to incorporate these.
But don't overmix. The nuts should break up into smaller chunks, but you don't want them to integrate completely.
For easiest rolling, refrigerate the batter. Once it's chilled, it is easier to scoop and roll the bites.
I like to use a small (1 tablespoon size) cookie scoop for that. Optionally, you can also roll the energy balls in desiccated coconut or some more of the spice mix to give them a pretty outside.
What is in Gingerbread Spice Mix
Growing up in Germany we always bought little envelopes of "Lebkuchen Gewürz" (Gingerbread Spice) for christmas baking. Although I can now see that McCormick sells something similar, I never encountered gingerbread spice when we first moved to Canada.
So I started making my own homemade gingerbread spice mix years ago. And still to this year, at the beginning of the holiday season I like to mix up a jar to use liberally on any and all of my holiday recipes.
Aside from ground ginger (as the name implies), this mix also includes
- ground cinnamon
- star anise
- black pepper
This list may seem long, but the amazing flavor it produces is worth it. If you don't already have all these spices on hand, I recommend getting just small amounts from a bulk food store.
Can you freeze energy bites
Yes! These gingerbread bites actually need to be stored chilled.
Place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge or freezer. The date paste base keeps them soft even when they are cold.
More Healthy Recipes:
Gingerbread Energy Bites
- 1 cup dates pitted
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1.5 teaspoon gingerbread spice mix
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 cup cashew nuts
- ¼ cup flax meal or coconut flour
- dessicated coconut or gingerbread spice for rolling optional
- If your dates aren't very soft, soak them in water for 10 minutes. Then drain and add them to a food processor.
- Add molasses, gingerbread spice, vanilla + salt and process until smooth.
- Add cashew nuts and flax meal or coconut flour. Pulse a few times until combined. The nuts should be coarsely chopped.
- Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes before rolling into 16 bites. Optionally, you can roll each energy bite in desiccated coconut or in more gingerbread spice.
- Store the bites in a container in the fridge or freezer.
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