PB&J Protein Bites
It’s a new year, did you set any goals or intentions for 2017? I hope you did and I hope you crush them all!
For a lot of us, some form of “eat healthier” goal probably made that intention list. Fortunately, eating well and fueling our bodies with wholesome, nutritious food does not have to be disgusting nor difficult.
That’s where these PB&J Protein Bites come in.
I don’t know about you, but I have a pretty big sweet tooth and often find myself craving a little something sweet in the afternoon post-lunch. Thanks to these PB&J Protein Bites, I no longer have to look longingly at the candy bowl of Snickers and Reese’s while I sadly eat my carrots (<- I actually love carrots, but sometimes they just aren’t exactly what I want). Instead I get to snack on these delicious, healthy bites that make my body happy.
These PB&J Protein Bites can be yours in just a few minutes. All you need to do is get out your food processor, add in flour, protein powder, dates, and peanut butter, and process until smooth and thick like cookie dough. Then add in dried cherries and pulse a few times until they are slightly chopped and mixed into the dough. Roll the dough into bite-size balls and then pop them in the freezer (or your mouth!).
This recipe is pretty customizable and can be easily adjusted depending on your taste preferences. Here are some potential swaps:
- Almond flour for oat flour
- Vanilla protein powder for chocolate protein powder
- Dried cherries for dried cranberries, blueberries, apricots, or strawberries
- Peanut butter for almond butter, cashew butter, or tahini
As you can see, the ingredient list for these PB&J Protein Bites is short, but is full of healthy things. The almond flour, protein powder, and peanut butter supply us with protein and healthy fats, which also help to make these snacks filling and substantial. Compared to those sugar-laden candy bars, these protein bites satisfy your sweet tooth with the naturally sweetened dates and dried cherries.
Pack one or two to bring to work as your afternoon snack when that sugar craving hits. These would also be perfect to eat post-workout so that you can quickly supply your body with some protein. Other prime opportunities to snack on these: Sunday errands, hiking, skiing, reading other Minneapolis Running posts, post-dinner dessert, Saturday morning cup of coffee sidekick, or basically any other time you need a quick, satisfying, healthy, delicious treat.
PB&J Protein Bites
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- ¼ cup vanilla protein powder
- 7 medjool dates, pitted
- ¼ cup peanut butter
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- In a food processor add the almond flour, protein powder, and dates. Process until mixture resembles a thick cookie dough.
- Add cherries and pulse ~10ish times until they are slightly chopped up and mixed.
- Form into balls. This recipe should make 14-15 balls, depending on how much you taste test as you are shaping the balls.
- Snack as needed! Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
- Almond flour or almond meal can be purchased in the grocery store. However, you can make your own by processing almonds in a food processor until it reaches a flour/meal consistency. Processing old fashioned oats would work well, too.
- If you don’t use protein powder, feel free to replace it with ¼ cup almond or oat flour.
- If your dates seem a little dry soak them for 15 minutes in warm water.
- You can replace any type of nut butter for the peanut butter and any type of dried fruit for the cherries