These portable no-bake energy bites are loaded with good-for-you ingredients, including dried cranberries, raisins, dates, and almonds, with a little chocolate for good measure. They're perfect for snacking on when you're on the go, or to make ahead and pack along on a picnic or hike.
My favorite candy bar has always been Cadbury Fruit and Nut. I love the combination of sweet raisins, creamy milk chocolate, and the crunchy bits of almond hidden in the chocolate. As I've gotten older, my sweet tooth has diminished, and I try to limit the number of candy bars I scarf down (although I will always have great difficulty saying no to a fruit and nut bar.)
These tasty little no-bake energy bites are the perfect solution when a craving for something sweet hits. They're packed with dried fruit, nuts, and just enough dark chocolate to balance it all out. I love them for on-the-go breakfasts, post-workout snacks, and to tuck in my bag for hikes and picnics.
Why This Recipe is Great for Camping
- You can make the no-bake energy bites recipe ahead of time so you've got an easy camping or hiking snack.
- They're filled with plenty of nutritious ingredients to keep you satisfied between meals.
- They make a great on-the-go breakfast if you're busy packing up, or moving between locations.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Almonds--I prefer the flavor of roasted unsalted almonds here, but you can use raw ones, if you like. You can also substitute a different type of nut. Pecans or walnuts will work well. To roast your nuts, spread them on a baking sheet and stick them in a 350°F oven. Roast until they smell fragrant and are turning a darker shade of brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool them completely before using.
- Dates--These add the necessary sweetness and stickiness to stick everything together. If your dates have pits, simply slice them open and pop the pits out before soaking them or adding them to the food processor.
- Dried cranberries and raisins--Feel free to play around with the combination of dried fruits here. Try swapping in golden raisins, dried blueberries, or dried cherries.
- Dark chocolate--I love dark chocolate and it pairs wonderfully with the dried fruit in this recipe, but if you prefer milk chocolate, feel free to use that. You can also substitute chocolate chips, if you've got them on hand. If you do, simply stir them into the mixture by hand. If you're keeping this recipe dairy-free, be sure to choose a dairy-free chocolate, such as the Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips or chocolate bars.
- Soak the dried fruit in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes.
- Blitz the dried fruit and nuts in a food processor until coarsely ground.
- Add the chocolate and pulse to combine.
- Roll the mixture into golf ball-sized bites and store in the fridge or freezer.
Definitely. Instead of rolling the mixture into individual balls, press it into an even layer in a 8-by-8-inch square pan. For easy removal, line the pan with parchment. Chill the bars in the fridge for an hour (or in the freezer for 20 minutes), then slice them into bars.
Yes. Store the energy bites in a sealed container or resealable bag in the freezer for up to 6 months. You can thaw them in the refrigerator before eating, or munch on them while they're still a little frozen. Either way, they're delicious!
Tips and Troubleshooting
- To get ahead, make these before heading out on your camping trip. Store them in your cooler.
- Keep the energy bites out of direct sunlight and avoid leaving them somewhere warm as they will become sticky, messy, and difficult to handle.
- These date energy bites are suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan diets.
Store the no-bake energy balls in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 6 months.
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No-Bake Fruit and Nut Energy Bites
- ½ cup (70 g) pitted dates
- 1 cup roasted almonds
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup raisins
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 ounces (57 g) dark chocolate chopped (⅓ cup)
- Place the dates, cranberries, and raisins in a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for 10 minutes to soften, then drain. (If your fruit is already very soft, you can skip this step.)
- Combine the drained fruit, nuts, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is uniformly chopped and sticks together when pinched. This should take 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the chocolate and pulse until it's finely chopped and incorporated into the mixture.
- Roll the date mixture into golf-ball sized pieces. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.
- Get ahead--Make these before heading out on your camping trip. Store them in your cooler.
- Keep them cool--Keep the energy bites out of direct sunlight and avoid leaving them somewhere warm as they will become sticky, messy, and difficult to handle.
- Storage--They can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- Dietary--These date energy bites are suitable for gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan diets.