Carrot Cake Energy Bites

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carrot cake energy bites-6 Energy bites are one of my very favorite snacks for several reasons. I love that you can make them with myriad ingredients depending on your mood. Today it’s carrot cake energy bites because it’s spring, the weather is warm, and I want to be outside. And for that I need a snack that gives me a little energy boost – these bites do that. They are grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, and naturally sweetened with dates. They also come together very quickly and keep well in the fridge for a week or so, of longer in the freezer. That means you can whip up a batch or two and not have to worry about making more for a few days. The other thing I love about these is that my kids will eat them. SO much better than a chocolate chip cookie after school and just as tasty. carrot cake energy bites-7

I sat down to think about my favorite components of carrot cake – the carrots (duh), coconut, nuts, and dried fruit. I also like the spices in carrot cake. (Okay, I like the cream cheese frosting too, but there wasn’t any room for that in these energy bites!) Normally when I make energy bites, I use gluten-free rolled oats. For these I like to use raw cashews. They’re a bit like Larabars that way. The dates sweeten them just a bit without being too sweet and also helps them hold together. The sunflower butter also helps with that. You could substitute almond or another nut butter if you want, or even leave it out and add a few more dates. I love the flavor of these, but they do benefit from some cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. It takes the bites into the realm of tasting like dessert without actually being dessert. I leave them plain, but if you want to, you can roll them in shredded or desiccated coconut. carrot cake energy bites-8 carrot cake energy bites ingredients

Carrot Cake Energy Bites
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A healthy and nutritious treat for snacks and on the go.
Author:
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: American
Serves: 18-20
Ingredients
  • 1 cup diced carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 10 medium sized dates (5 very large)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons raw sunflower butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
Instructions
  1. Place carrots into the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Next place raw cashews into the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Place in bowl with carrots.
  3. Repeat the same process with the coconut and transfer to the bowl with the other ingredients.
  4. Put the dates into the food processor and pulse until chopped, then add the carrots, cashews, coconut, 2 Tablespoons sunflower butter, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. Pulse until the mixture comes together. If it's too dry, add more sunflower butter a little at a time. Scrape down sides and pulse again, if needed.
  5. Lay a piece of parchment paper in a clean, dry surface. Use the small ice cream scoop or tablespoon-sized measuring spoon to form the mixture into 18-20 balls. Eat immediately, or place in fridge or freezer to firm up a bit. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for about 1 week, or in the freezer for a month or two.
  6. Note: You can roll them in unsweetened coconut or leave them as is.

As I said, you’ll want to keep them refrigerated, but that doesn’t mean you can snag a few for the road. They are great little snacks when you’re hiking or doing something else outdoorsy. carrot cake energy bites carrot cake energy bites-5



Lindsey Johnson is a freelance writer, food photographer and stylist based out of Salt Lake City. She writes the food blog Cafe Johnsonia. She fell in love with vegetables after recovering from a childhood deeply entrenched in picky eating. She has been gluten-free since 2010 and is head over heels in love with green smoothies and salad. Get in touch: Website, Facebook, Twitter

  • Lezlie M says:

    Wow, these photos are incredible. I want to make this, I love that there isn’t anything processed in it :).

  • Vicky says:

    Love the sound of this particularly how quick these seem to be to put together and that you’e turned the super unhealthy and sugary standard carrot cake into a refined sugar free snack! Love it! I’d love to share this post on my blog in a post where I share my favorite recipe finds of the week. Would it be ok to grab a photo from this post (with link back to your post of course)? Just wanted to double check : )

  • Is there an alternative to the cashews? I’ve got a nut allergic son and would love to be able to make these friendly for him.

    • Hi Sharon! You might be able to sub raw sunflower seeds. Or you could use rolled oats, but you’ll have to play with the other ingredients a little bit to make sure it will stick together. Maybe do that and use a little more sunflower butter and an extra date or two? Hope that helps!

  • Leslie says:

    Just made these with almond butter and they’re DELICIOUS! Thank you!

  • Danielle says:

    I will DEFINITELY be making these! Although I have a question…can you use PB instead of sunflower butter? If so, would you recommend organic or natural PB? Or something else?

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