One of my favorite snacks for on and off the trail are energy balls of all kinds. Energy balls are easy to make, take less than 10 minutes, and can be made in advance! I recommend storing them in the fridge or freezer for a convenient snack or last minute hiking trip.
Start with your base ingredients:
Oats and cashew butter make up the base for the protein energy bites. Why?
Oats are rich in carbs and fiber, but also higher in protein and fat than most other grains. They are high in vitamins and minerals.
Manganese, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc and many of the B vitamins which support the cells and provide a direct impact on your energy levels, brain function, and cell metabolism
Oats are high in the soluble fiber beta-glucan. This fiber helps reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels, promotes healthy gut bacteria and increases feelings of fullness.
Cashew butter is smooth, creamy, and slightly lower in fat than other nut butters. It's one of the best sources of monounsaturated fatty acids, essential amino acids, and magnesium. These nutrients are beneficial for blood pressure, sugar and cholesterol control, bone health, the immune system, and your metabolism.
The healthy fats and protein in cashew butter will help keep you feeling fuller longer while hiking and will release energy more slowly to help prevent energy fatigue on long hikes
Add a crunch
Now it’s all about the extras! And, as long as they’re healthy preferences you can not go wrong! I used coconut, cashews, maple syrup/honey, and a little splash of vanilla for my flavors. And, for the “super food” add-ins I used ground flax and chia seeds. Flax and chia are a great source of Omega-3, protein, and fiber which will keep your energy up throughout the day!
In case you aren’t already convinced, here are some reasons why I recommend incorporating Protein Energy Balls into your diet:
They taste delicious
They can help curb your sweet tooth
They offer many vitamins and minerals that keep your body healthy
They are loaded with protein and healthy fats
The are easy to make
Will keep you full for hours
Will help you sustain your energy levels
Coconut Cashew Protein Energy Balls
Makes: about 12-14 balls
1 cup rolled oats
¼ cup shredded coconut
½ cup natural cashew butter or nut butter of choice
2 tbsp ground flax seed (flax meal)
½ cup crushed cashews
⅓ cup honey/ maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
In a bowl combine the cashew butter, liquid sweetener of your choice and vanilla and mix together.
Add in the rolled oats, coconut, cashews, and flax meal to the mix and stir well.
With a small cookie scoop or your hand roll into bite sized servings and enjoy!
Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes or until ready to eat. Can be kept in the fridge for up to a week.
Nutrition Facts Per Ball (for 12): Calories 140, Fat 8g, Carb 16g, Fiber 4g, Protein 3g