Are you a fan of lemon-flavored treats? Growing up, I was never really one to reach for lemon bars on the sweets table (I’m more of a chocolate fan), but as I’ve gotten older and have incorporated fresh lemon into my water and most of my cooking, it’s starting to grow on me!
For many dishes, squeezing a lemon at the last minute helps brighten up the flavors in the dish without overpowering. But in this recipe, lemon is the star of the show. Lemon, by nature, is tart, but combined with the sweetness of the dates, you get a little tang with a little sweet.
Most of the energy bites I make end up having some kind of nut or nut butter in them, but I wanted this recipe to be nut-free and gluten-free for those looking to manage the amounts of fats in their diet and cutting out gluten for inflammation’s sake.
The bulk of this recipe for zesty lemon energy bites (and where we’re getting this energy from!) is made up of dates, commonly known as “nature’s candy”.
When I started cooking healthier foods, I had no idea what dates were. I thought they were prunes! I mean, they look kind of similar, right? Wrong. Dates have now become a staple in my kitchen and one of my favorite ways to eat them is with a spoonful of almond butter for a satisfying snack.
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The nutritional deets…
Dates are full of fiber (which helps sustain energy found in the sweetness of the fruit and keeps your digestive system healthy!), potassium (which helps prevent muscle cramps and rev up metabolism) and magnesium (which is anti-inflammatory and lowers blood pressure).
These zesty lemon energy bites also contain one of my favorite superfoods, chia seeds! Chia seeds are an excellent source of complete proteins and healthy fats.
And of course, there’s the superstar ingredient, lemon, which is high in vitamin C and aids in digestion and detoxification.
These zesty lemon energy bites would be a fantastic addition to your meal prep day to have on hand throughout the week before a workout, or when you’re feeling the need for an energy boost!Print
- 2 cups Medjool dates, pits removed (about 20)
- 1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes, plus more for coating
- 2 Tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 Tablespoons lemon zest (about 2 lemons)
- 2 Tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons water
- In a food processor, add all of your ingredients. Pulse on HIGH until well mixed and beginning to form into a ball. The oats and dates should be finely ground.
- Scoop the mixture out with a melon baller or spoon and form into little bite-sized balls. Repeat until all of the mixture is gone.
- Sprinkle leftover coconut flakes on a plate and roll the bites to coat the outside.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for a few months!
Are you more of a sweet or sour person? What’s your favorite snack when you need an energy boost? Share with me in the comment section below!
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