Saturday, February 25, 2012

No-Bake Bites!

I love cookies, especially freshly-baked, homemade ones! Unfortunately, I don't have an oven and can't bake cookies while I'm at school.

So I compensate; enter these No-Bake bites, as seen on Smashed Peas & Carrots. I was a little skeptical at first as to how these would taste, but trust me, they're delicious. These are sweet, dense, and strangely addicting. They don't have the exact texture of a cookie...think of them as denser than an oatmeal bar, chewier than a granola bar, and more crumbly than an average cookie. Whatever you classify these bites as, I can almost guarantee that you can't just eat one! The oats, nut butter, and flax make these substantial--they're loaded with fiber and good fats that will give you a huge boost of sustaining energy as either a snack or dessert.

I actually made two versions, one chocolate flavored and one apricot/banana flavored. See below for instructions for both!

Chocolate No-Bake Bites, for when you're really craving that chocolate
Here's the recipe, modified a bit from the original:
1 part oatmeal
1/2 parts nut butter (you can use any type--I used roasted almond butter with flax seeds from Trader Joe's)
1/3 part honey
1/4 part flaxseed
1/4 part dark chocolate chips

Mix everything together in a bowl, making sure it's well incorporated. Chill in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour, then form into ball shapes. You can eat them right away or store them in the fridge (for up to about 5 days) for later!

I actually don't have a set of measuring cups, so I used just a random glass cup I had lying around in my room (I counted one full cup as one "part"; everything can be converted via proportions!):
oats: I used raw old-fashioned ones.

This almond butter is absolutely amazing. I can eat it by the spoonful! The toasted flavor really came through in the bites and added a more complex flavor to them.

My packets of honey--I used 3 packs for a small batch that made around 8 bites. The honey is the ingredient that really causes the balls to stick together.

I mixed the core ingredients together first (oats, nut butter, and honey)

Then I added dark chocolate--I found these mini pieces at Trader Joe's near the checkout line!

This is what it looks like when you're mixing it all together. Chill this for 1/2 hour.

Licking the spoon!

of course, I had to make use of the 1/2 hour fridge time and studied some physics!

what the batter looks like after 1/2 hour in the fridge.

shaping the batter into balls! I found it easiest to just grab the right amount in your palm and squish it together till a ball shape forms rather than trying to roll it out.

the finished products! Although they don't look too fancy or appetizing, they are good. I swear. My roommate approved and asked for the recipe!

Apricot-Banana No-Bake Bites, for when you want something sweet and fruity
I actually made this modification after I realized I didn't have that much more honey left, and doubted that the balls would stick together as they should without the appropriate amount. To compensate, I added mashed banana, which helped make the entire mixture cohesive when I microwaved it. In addition to helping hold the bites together, the banana changed the entire flavor and consistency of the bites.

1 part oatmeal
1/2 part nut butter
1/6 part honey
1/3 part mashed banana
1/3 part chopped dried apricots
flax and cinnamon sprinkled to taste

Combine the oatmeal, nut butter, honey, and mashed banana in a bowl. Microwave this mixture for 1 minute to really incorporate the banana and nut butter. Mix in the apricots, flax, and cinnamon, then refrigerate for at least 1/2 hour (I left for a meeting and took out the mixture 4 hours later and it was fine to work with!) Then form the balls, and you're ready to eat them!

after microwaving and before mixing in most of the apricots.

after refrigerating, when you're ready to make the balls.

finished! These had a pretty strong fruity flavor from the bananas and apricots. I'd say these were actually sweeter than the chocolate bites!

mmm....these barely lasted over a day! Note: ****The recipes are very flexible and you can really use whatever you have in your pantry! I'm considering making a more savory one with sunflower seeds, as well as a raisin/cinnamon version. Other ideas: coconut flakes, cashews, vanilla, cocoa powder, granola, goji berries, cranberries....what would you include??

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