The boys are all back to school next week and so begins another crazy year of homework, sports, clubs, religion class, and whatever else the universe throws in our path!  Here’s a super quick, protein packed snack that travels great, freezes wonderfully, and is COMPLETELY customizable to your safe needs.

The base of the energy bites can be whatever your safe “butter” of choice is, whether it be soy, seed or nut based.  Ironically given how many allergies Casey has, soy butter or peanut butter are both two of his very few safe proteins. There are so many options for add-ins, and you can even dip them in chocolate or add some cocoa powder to the base.  These can easily be made as a Paleo option by using nut/seed butter and tigernut or almond meal instead of oats.

The best part for me is that the kids can get involved in the process!  Case uses his plastic knife to help cut the dried fruit, measure, mix and roll the balls.  These really are ideal to make in bulk because they freeze SO WELL and last quite a while in the refrigerator.

So welcome back to the craziness of school!  Cheers to a great year and remember life is short so eat dessert first…safely!💙👩🏻‍🍳

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

 Ingredients and Substitutions

Safe “Nut Butter” Base – Any option that is safe for you is fine here.  We use either Wowbutter soy butter or Trader Joe’s natural peanut butter because those are two of Casey’s few safe proteins. Other options are sunflower butter, almond or cashew butter. Casey is anaphylactic to all tree nuts and seeds so those are not options for him but great for those who have them as safe alternatives.  Please note that if you choose to use a natural nut/peanut based butter, you may need more less than the recipe calls for because they are softer.

Oats – I use gluten free quick cook oats, regular or steel cut are NOT what you want here.  My favorite brand is Gluten Free Harvest-they are certified gluten free and always fresh. For a Paleo option, you can use tigernut flour or nut flour.

Maple Syrup – No place for pancake syrup here!  Pure maple syrup will give the best taste, consistency, and far less unnatural sugar.  OF COURSE maple syrup has sugar, but none of the added stuff.

Coconut – I use unsweetened shredded coconut for texture and less sugar but if you want to use sweetened flaked coconut, I would cut it up a bit and use less dried fruit as it would be very sweet.  Understandably, coconut is an allergen for many so it can be left out but extra oats or other alternatives mentioned above will be needed to help with the consistency.  The coconut helps absorb moisture and let the balls keep their shape. 

Add-Ins – Really the choice is up to you! The boys like a rotation of dried cherries, cranberries, apricots, raisins, and dairy free chocolate chips (hello, Pascha!).  If tree nuts are safe for you then feel free to chop some up to add in.  Please note though that too may add ins will cause the mixture to crumble and not hold together.

Paleo Option – Instead of peanut or soy butter, sub in nut or seed butter.  Oat flour can also be replaced with tigernut flour or almond meal.

Equipment – Alternatively to bites, the mixture can be pressed into an 8×8” square pan and cut after chilling.

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs.**

No Bake Gluten Free Allergy Friendly Energy Bites

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free Option, Nut Free, Paleo, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep & Roll Time: 15 minutes total

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Chill Time: only if very soft

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Approximately 3 1/2 dozen bites, less if made larger

Ingredients

  • ¾ c. safe “nut butter” alternative, ex. soybutter (I like Wowbutter), sunflower butter, peanut butter or tree nut butter See notes above regarding natural types
  • 4 Tbls. (2 oz./57 g.) pure maple syrup (do not use pancake syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. quick cook oats
  • 3 Tbls. (1/2 oz./15 g.) unsweeted dried coconut See notes above for substitution
  • ½ c. TOTAL add-ins, ex. safe chocolate chips, dried fruit chopped small, nuts chopped small
  • For Grain Free/Paleo – sub in tigernut flour/almond meal for oats

Method

  1. If making bars, lightly grease an 8×8″ square pan and set aside.
  2. Finely chop any add-ins such as dried fruit or nuts and set aside. PRO TIP: To prevent dried fruit from sticking to your knife and/or scissor, lightly oil or spray blades with pan spray.
  3. In a medium bowl, add safe “nut butter” of choice, maple syrup, vanilla, quick oats, dried coconut and all add ins. Mix until well combined. If the mixture is too soft from natural nut butters, add a bit more oats.  If it is too stiff, add a little more maple syrup or water.
  4. Using a tablespoon (don’t make heaping golf balls!), scoop energy bite mixture and roll into balls. Drop on a parchment lined pan and keep separated until all done. ALTERNATIVELY, the mixture can be pressed into an 8×8” pan and cut into squares.
  5. If freezing, freeze bites/squares if using a pan, at this point in a single layer then place in a freezer safe container or tightly wrapped package in a freezer zip bag. Place a layer of parchment in between squares when freezing. Otherwise, bites will keep refrigerated, tightly covered, for up to two weeks.  They are fine at room temperature but will get soft if too warm.

Recipe Notes

  • Energy bites freeze great, tightly wrapped, for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator.
  • Too many add-ins will make the bites fall apart so although it’s tempting, don’t add to much!

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Disclaimer

As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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