Healthy energy bites bursting with pumpkin pie flavors. Vegan and gluten free, they make a perfect seasonal snack to take with you on any occasion.
I made these pumpkin energy bites for my latest Chicago Breakfast & Yoga Club, as I wanted to prepare something both healthy and seasonal. They turned out to be such a great success among our students that I decided to share them with you here. Be careful, they disappear very, very quickly. Just a friendly tip: you’d better double the recipe quantities. Even if you have too much of them in the end, you can always freeze some in a ziploc bag and take them whenever you fancy a healthy sweet little treat. It’s a great best option to stop you from any kind of junk food.
Energy bites have rally become my favorite healthy snack over the time. They are so easy to prepare that you have absolutely no excuse not to make them; even go to the grocery store takes longer! I also like that they are quite tiny, so I can take two at once without feeling guilty (am I weird or does everything taste better when you take two of them? two cookies are better than one, two chocolate bites, and so on…). Also, I love their both soft and crunchy taste all together in one single bite. Not to mention that you have endless possibilities to twist them as it pleases you, so you can never get tired of them.
Find all my favorite healthy energy balls below, all vegan and gluten free:
- Berry Bliss Balls
- Lemon Coconut Energy Balls
- Raw Spicy Lime Bites
- Classic Chocolate and PB Energy Bites (my favorite)
For even more options whether you are a sweet tooth or more on the savory side, check my healthy snacks category. To me, healthy must always be colorful, tasty (not fade or tasteless, never!), and loaded with wholesome ingredients.
So now what’s inside these energy balls? Pumpkin! I’m completely obsessed with pumpkin lately (it’s hard not to be when you live in the US and experience fall at least once) and there are more pumpkin recipes coming soon, I hope you don’t mind. I had never tried in energy balls before but the idea of using seasonal ingredients hit me when preparing my breakfast for the Chicago Breakfast and Yoga Club, and I figured pumpkin would be a great option as it is low in carbs and calories, healthy, and brings an interesting moist texture. They did indeed do the job pretty well!
As pumpkin doesn’t taste much however, it’s always great to season them with the classic pumpkin spice mix. The use of these wonderful warm spices – cinnamon and nutmeg mostly – have also great healthy properties. Cinnamon is a high source of antioxidants, contains anti-inflammatory properties, fight infections and viruses, among others. Nutmeg promotes digestion, detoxifies the body, and regulates blood pressure.
Then I used some pecans, as they are the perfect seasonal nuts to pair pumpkin in my own opinion. They are loaded with healthy unsaturated fats, and just a handful a day can actually lower the so-called “bad” cholesterol. If you do not have pecans at home, you can easily replace them with walnuts (I tried and loved it too), or even go for some crushed almonds or hazelnuts if you wish. Remember, energy bites are versatile and you can twist them as it suits you. The only thing to remember is to keep a moist enough dough to shape into balls.
If you happen to have a too dry/too humid texture, you can add/remove oats a little until you obtain the desired consistency. Note here that I divided oats in two equal parts. I pulsed on half in the food processor together with all the ingredients (minus the mini chocolate chips), and used the other oats plain directly. I like to proceed that way to get a great texture. However, you could add all the oats at once in the mixing bowl, you don’t necessarily need to pulse them in the food processor, it’really up to you.
Then of course, I added some mini chocolate chips to fix my sweet tooth. I used just a little to keep the bites healthy and went for dark chocolate chips over any other kind (sweet or semi-sweet for instance), because of their more interesting health properties and also as a matter of choice. Again, you can skip them and replace with dried cranberries if you wish. It will work equally well! Enough talking, it’s time to leave you with the recipe now. Enjoy!
- 1 cup (90g) old fashioned oats (gluten free)
- ¼ cup (30g) chopped pecans or walnuts
- ¼ cup (4Tbsp/65g) almond or peanut butter
- ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp (90g) pumpkin puree
- 2 Tbsp maple or agave syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ cup (45g) mini chocolate chips
- In a food processor, place half of the oats (1/2 cup/45g), the already chopped pecans, nut butter, pumpkin puree, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and spices. Pulse two or three times, until well combined.
- Transfer the dough into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining oats, the mini chocolate chips, and stir well.
- Using a cookie scoop or your hands, shape and roll the dough into balls.
- Place onto a plate and chill in fridge for at least one hour. You can store the energy bites in the fridge in a airtight container for up to a week.