These bites were originally meant for after school but running late to school after hibernating at home for a couple of snow days, they quickly became the perfect “eat in the car breakfast, because we are beyond late!” After school I like to include a snack that is packed with protein to curb that afternoon grumpiness in my boys. They’re not fans of too many whole nuts at a time so crushing them into a nut meal seems to work really well and blended with the banana, raw cacao, spices, and orange, it’s closer to a treat than a snack. This is a great one for the kids to help with and they can be stored in the refrigerator to pop out at snack time and maybe even those super rushed mornings.
Orange Spiced Energy Bites | gluten free and grain free | adapted from this recipe by Apartment 34
1 cup almond meal (coconut flour or cashew meal would also work well)
1/2 t. asian five spice (or cinnamon)
1 T. raw cacao powder
1 ripe banana mashed
2 T. raw honey
1/2 c. almond butter
dash of salt
1 t. of orange juice or a few drops of orange extract
unsweetened coconut for rolling the bites in
cooking note … if you would like to use a blend of nuts and pulse them in a food processor, this works well too. I find almond meal and cashew at Trader Joes.
If you are making your own meal from nuts just crush them in a processor or a blender until ground, but not into a butter. For the almond butter, you can certainly just make your own while you are already blending nuts.
Place the nut meal, asian five spice or cinnamon, and the cacao powder in a large bowl. Mash the banana on a plate and then add in the honey and almond butter. Add this mixture to the nut meal mixture. Mix in the salt and the orange juice or extract. Mix this all together with a wooden spoon. Let this cool in the refrigerator for an hour and then roll into 1″ round bites. Freeze the bites for 30 minutes and then roll them in coconut (you could also roll them in chopped nuts instead of the coconut).
We’re always looking for new healthy (gluten free + grain free) homemade snack ideas here so feel free to comment with your favorites.
This warming tonic is a year round routine for me, but it’s especially warm and nourishing in the winter months. Lemon has so many benefits for cleansing the body, as does the cayenne and raw honey. I started this after I went to a workshop on Cooking in the Ayurvedic Kitchen with Kate from San Fran Shakti and I’m so grateful of what I learned during the workshop for warming and invigorating my chilly body during the bitter cold midwest winters. (side note: today is almost 5o degrees, but I know the bitterness will return). We recently had some very dear friends move to San Francisco, so hopefully I’ll have the chance to visit and take another workshop with Kate.
WARMING TONIC | lemon + cayenne + raw honey
1 c. of hot water
juice of 1/2 lemon, saving the other 1/2 for the next day
a small sprinkle of cayenne pepper ( and I mean SMALL, it doesn’t take much to feel that fire)
small drizzle of raw honey, approx. 1/4 t.
I usually warm my water in an electric kettle and then let it cool before adding in the lemon, cayenne, and honey. If I’m in a rush, I’ll add in a little cooler water to the boiling and then add the ingredients. If you add the lemon and the honey to the boiling water too many of the healthy nutrients will break down from the high heat. I also sip this tonic through a straw since the acid from the lemon may, over time, break down the enamel on the teeth.
It’s pretty simple and a great routine to start the day aiding digestion and the absorption of nutrients from food, cleansing the organs, and boosting metabolism.
here’s more on the benefits of adding the cayenne
Enjoy the week!
Roasted pumpkin seeds are such a special, healthy fall treat. The boys love taking these along for school snacks. We almost ran out of time to carve pumpkins this year and then we all remembered how much we love the roasted seeds and of course the spooky pumpkin carvings too!
Sweet and savory roasted pumkin seeds with coconut oil
2 cups rinsed pumpkin seeds
1-1/2 t. smoked paprika
1/2 t. sea salt
1 T. melted coconut oil
1 T. maple syrup
Preheat oven to 325.
Soak pumpkin seeds in water (most seeds will rise to the top) to remove pulp. Boil seeds in water for 8 minutes (this makes them easier to digest). Drain and pat them dry.
Mix the seeds with the remaining ingredients and roast them on a baking sheet for 18-20 min, making sure they do not burn. Stir with a wooden spoon halfway through.
Enjoy the crisp fall air !