chocolate chia bites

Dates (the food) are interesting. Interesting in a way that when I left two in a zip lock bag on the kitchen counter my husband got super annoyed because he thought I had left Olivia’s fecal sample where we prep food. TMI? Well they are pretty funny looking. They taste great though! Especially as a pre-run snack with peanut butter. Yum.

Anyways, I’ve had a Sam’s size tub of them in my fridge for a while so I thought I’d use some up. And this week Al and I are steering clear of anything unhealthy and really packing in the fruits and vegetables so I thought I’d make us a healthy yet tasty dessert!

I headed over to Ashley’s blog and typed in ‘dates’. Alright, Chocolate Chia Bites it is! I was missing a couple ingredients but you know that never stops me!

Before I began, I had to create the required makeshift chihuahua bed for Belle. That lady will step all over my feet the whole time I’m in the kitchen! ‘Tis pretty cute but I think she’d rather lay down and watch me cook (hence the bed) because as soon as I make one… plop, she’s down and settled.

Yes, I use a ramekin for her dog bowl. HA.

First, I pitted the dates and chopped them up a couple times to prep them for the food processor.

I processed them into a big ball by themselves before adding the other ingredients.

Like Ashley says, once the other ingredients are added, it really does look like dirt!

I had two substitutions in the mix. I didn’t have any almond extract so I used cinnamon which is what Ashley suggested. The other thing I did was use whole wheat flour instead of chia flour. It appears that whole wheat is a lot drier than chia because I couldn’t get the bites to shape into balls, they were just too crumbly. I got the soaking food processor out of the sink and added five more dates to the mix. It was the perfect consistency after that. So if you happen to use a flour other than chia, I would watch the sticky factor!

After all that, I added in the chia seeds and shredded coconut then shaped them into little balls using my hands.

That’s it!

They’re like little gooey brownie bites. I’m keeping them in the fridge to make sure they stay nice and chewy and have already tucked them in the back so we don’t scarf them in one sitting. Better than eating a tray of ‘real’ brownies though right??

What’s your favorite dessert? I might just have 5.

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yummy: protein energy bars

I’m am totally on top of operation NO CANDY. The same day I announced that I was stopping candy, I made one of Angela’s recipes as an alternative. Go me!

Yesterday I made Last Minute Protein Energy Bars. I initially made them for my husband because he likes to scarf down two Nature Valley bars a day. I decided to make him a substitute since they aren’t very nutrient dense (compared to brands like Kashi or Cliff) and also that’s a ton of trash that we don’t need! <- a good example of my hippie itch.

This is another great, simple recipe. There’s no cooking required and they’re ready to eat in minutes!

the dry ingredients

The dry ingredients were easy to find but I substituted honey for the brown rice syrup & peanut butter for the sunflower butter. I found both of those ingredients on the supermarket shelves but they’re just too pricey for me.

honey - no high fructose corn syrup here!

Another substitute I used was chocolate protein powder instead of plain. It’s just what I had on hand. To offset the flavoring in the protein I used less of the melted chocolate on top. It worked just fine!

mmm chocolate

I’ve been told by my husband that these are the best bars I’ve made yet. I’m so glad they’re easy to make since I’ll now be making them every week!

chocolate drizzle

Oh and I also doubled the recipe to make the bars a little thicker. I used a 13×9 glass baking dish.

a sample for the cook!

Not only does my husband have his snack and I have my candy alternative but I also have a hearty dessert to eat after my training runs! Score! Lately I’ve felt like I haven’t gotten enough calories or protein due to all the extra calories burned so I’m hoping these bars will help.

I bet they won’t last till the end of the week!