Lockdown snacks: try these energy bites
To all the parents out there who are working from home and managing the juggle, kudos to you!
Some of you are managing with an enviable finesse, others are just about making it to the end of the day with their sanity intact. Either way, after pushing out meals and snacks all day, the last thing you want to do is spend more time in the kitchen.
If you’ve got older kids, now is the time to start outsourcing some of the culinary jobs to them. It gives them amazing life skills and social reach too; in my experience, no one who knows how to cook a curry or a roast remains without friends for long!
Having said that, challenging your child to cook a proper meal might be overkill to start with. Try a simple recipe to build up their confidence instead. My kids started with these energy bites and they were hugely popular at kids’ camp too. You do need to make sure they know how to use a food processor properly ie NEVER put anything in, or take anything out of the blender while it is plugged in.
The recipe below is really simple and the blender only needs to be plugged in once the ingredients are in and the lid is on. Once the ingredients have formed a dough, unplug the blender before removing the lid and rolling the dough. The ability to follow safety instructions is an equally valuable life skill!
If the idea of letting your kids loose with a food processor fills you with fear, then you might want to be involved until the dough is made. But then leave the rolling to them. Try not to be OCD about the bites being equal sizes … that rarely happens, even when adults do it. Just try and embrace the uneven nature of homemade goodies!
Energy bites are a great snack to have on hand in either the fridge or freezer. They are naturally sweet and contain some fibre and protein too. This means the energy release is more sustained – and that’s exactly what you’re looking for. Sustained energy leads to better mood and better focus. The quick up and quick down of refined, sugary, processed treats just leads to irritability and an energy crash. Not what anyone wants during shelter in place!
Coconut Caramel Energy Bites (makes approximately 14)
12 Medjool dates, room temp, pits removed, chopped
1/2 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened (I like the Let’s Do Organic brand from Miles)
2 dessert spoons almond butter
1.5 tsps unrefined extra virgin coconut oil
Whizz everything together in a food processor til the mix forms dough around the blade.
Form into small balls and roll in extra coconut.
Store in the fridge or freezer!
Extra note: if your family aren’t fans of coconut, try the chocolate version. Simply replace the coconut with ¼ cup cocoa powder, use 3 tbsps cashew butter instead of 2 tbsp almond butter and process/roll in the same way. Top with a little melted chocolate and a pistachio, dried cranberry, cocoa nib – or even some natural sprinkles. Set in the fridge or freezer as above.
Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram