I have a confession to make. I’m pretty lazy when it comes to snacks. I typically don’t prep snacks, because I find it a lot easier to simply grab a small piece of fruit and some nuts or roasted seeds, no cooking or prep necessary. The holidays, however, having me feeling a bit inspired, though. Also, my kids are kind of bored with the fruit-and-nuts-every-single-day snack plan, so I developed this recipe for us all to enjoy something festive that would help us get out of our snack rut.
These cute, little energy bites will satisfy your craving for something sweet, and the yummy gingerbread spices will have you humming all of your favorite holiday tunes in no time. They also deliver a ton of nutrients thanks to fiber-rich dried plums, good fats from the cashews, and a small dose of collagen.
Once known as “prunes”, but since re-branded as dried plums, these powerhouses pack some serious antioxidant punch. In addition, dried plums’ combination of soluble fiber and the natural sugar sorbitol help keep things moving along in the digestive tract quite nicely, if ya know what I mean. Soluble fiber is also very effective at keeping blood sugar levels stable, increases your body’s sensitivity to insulin, and leaves you feeling satiated.
I included a couple of tablespoons of hydrolyzed collagen (a.k.a. collagen peptides or also collagen hydrolysate) in this recipe for a couple of reasons. First, it adds a small amount of protein to the energy bites. Second, collagen provides certain amino acids that our diets can often be lacking, even if we are eating adequate protein in general. There’s some evidence to indicate that collagen, in its variety of forms, confers a wide range of health benefits.
These no-fuss energy bites involve just a quick zip of four simple ingredients in your food processor. Feel free to double the recipe (honestly, you probably will want to eat a double batch of these). If you don’t have any gingerbread spice blend on hand (sometimes my local market stocks it), you can make a quick batch of this gingerbread blend. That recipe yields enough for this recipe, plus some extra to sprinkle on your morning oats, or in your coffee for a treat! And, if you want to skip making the blend, I listed in the recipe instructions the exact amount of each spice you’ll need to get you through just this recipe. You do you.
- 3/4 cup raw cashew pieces
- 15 bite-size prunes/dried plums (equivalent to approximately 2/3-3/4 cup)
- 1 teaspoon gingerbread spice blend (store-bought OR 1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon, ground ginger, and allspice, plus 1/8 teaspoon each nutmeg and ground cloves)
- 2 tablespoons collagen powder (a.k.a. collagen peptides, hydrolyzed collagen, or collagen hydrolysate)
- Pulse cashew pieces in food processor until they take on a crumb-like texture (see picture).
- Add remaining ingredients, and process until it forms into a slightly tacky dough-like texture (see picture).
- Using a tablespoon or small, cookie-dough scoop, portion out dough a tablespoon at a time, and roll into balls. Store in the refrigerator.