Lemon Chia Seed Energy Bites

It's snowing here. I can't even believe it! It's the end of April and we are in full white-out mode. I should have expected this, but I was totally enjoying the summer dress weather. Today has been an excellent day for listening to podcasts, cozying up, drinking tea, and conducting baking experiments in the kitchen. 

We are both big snackers in this house. My husband and I eat a lot, and three meals in a day is just not enough to keep us satisfied or to meet our caloric requirements for the day. We do often buy some protein bars and other snack foods to have on hand, but I try to make a lot of our snacks at home. We are also extremely busy and active people, so having options that are portable, quick, and easy to digest in the middle of a climbing session is critical for us. I love energy bites for this reason. 

The only thing that I don't love about energy bites is that most of the time, they include peanut butter, oats, and chocolate chips. I don't always love peanut butter and chocolate in every snack. Sometimes when I am thinking about snack options, my thought train goes something like this: almonds... peanut butter and an apple....trail mix.....peanut butter and celery..... just plain peanut butter.... 

I get a little tired of peanut butter is all I'm saying.

So today I thought I would play around with a slightly more refreshing taste palette. These energy bites are full of the light taste of coconut with a hint of lemon and chia seeds for a "lemon poppyseed muffin" kind of vibe. They are satisfying, chewy and the perfect balance of sweet and salty with a dash the bright flavor tone of lemons.

LEMON CHIA SEED ENERGY BITES
Makes: 16 bites
Total Time: 10-15 minutes

INGREDIENTS: 
1.25 cups dates
1 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1 cup rolled oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup cashew butter
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
2 Tbsp. chia seeds

extra coconut and oats to roll bites in. 

DIRECTIONS:

1. Pulse coconut and oats in the food processor until a flour-like texture has formed. 
2. Then add dates and continue to pulse. 
3. Once everything is chopped to a fine texture, add in lemon extract, vanilla extract, cashew butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and chia seeds. 
4. Blend until it forms a ball. If you the texture is too wet, add more coconut or rolled oats. 
5. With a spoon, spoon out 2 Tbsp. size rounds of the mixture and form into balls. 
6. On a seperate plate, spread coconut shreds and oats in a single layer.
7. Roll out the balls on the coconut and oats so that some sticks to the outside. 
8. Voila! Store in the fridge and enjoy!