Everyone in the food blogosphere has been raving about energy bites for the past few years. If you haven’t heard of energy bites before, they’re basically a bite-sized granola bar in ball form. They usually contain fibre-hearty rolled oats, a natural sugar such as honey or agave, and some form of protein. I’ve never been a huge fan of these little guys. I prefer my granola in bar form or crunchy and doused in milk, fruit, and Greek yogurt. I think my problem was most of the recipes I tried were either too sweet, had little flavour, or weren’t filling enough to sustain me after a work out (their original purpose.)
But these? Oh man, guys. Just you wait until you try these babies! They’re so effing good! Eating these little powerhouses is a breeze – they go down as swiftly as a swig of your afternoon latte. They’re so creamy and packed with chai-spiced goodness. I’ll pretend I only ate two after this photoshoot. But we all know I’m lying.
For those of you who don’t know me well, you should know that I’m a tea addict. And a tea snob. My boyfriend is a coffee snob, so we balance each other out well! Due to this tendency, I usually only buy loose leaf tea. (I say usually because I always have a box of Twinnings Earl Grey in the cupboard for sick days.) I find it has the best flavour, doesn’t leave you with a metallic aftertaste, and there are HEAPS of different flavours to try!
For these tasty treats, I went with my favourite chocolate chai tea blend. But feel free to use regular chai tea if that’s all you have. I do suggest using loose leaf for this recipe as the measures are very specific. It’s quite inexpensive and tastes loads better than the bagged stuff. If you only have bagged tea, you can always slit the bag open to measure out the required amount of tea in the recipe.
These energy bites are great for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up with a cuppa, or after a work out when you need that boost of healthy fats and protein. They contain protein powder, rolled oats, a little bit of coconut oil, and almond milk, so you get a burst of both groups. Although the dark chocolate chips are optional, they provide a little bit of sugar (which is good for recovery), and they also have powerful antioxidants. I’ve sweetened them with some natural raw honey, which also acts as a binding agent. If you’re vegan, you could easily substitute agave for the honey.
My favourite part of these guys is that they taste exactly like a chai latte, packed with flavour. And they taste better the longer they refrigerate! I’d say that’s a bonus.
Chai Latte Energy Bites
- 2/3 cup almond milk
- 2 heaped tsp loose leaf chocolate chai tea (or regular loose leaf chai tea)
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 3/4 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder*
- 3 tbsp wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp all spice
- scant 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted and slightly cooled
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup minus 1 tsp runny honey
- 40g mini dark chocolate chips (optional)
Line an airtight container with baking paper and set aside.
MAKE THE TEA: In a small saucepan, heat the almond milk over medium heat. When it begins to simmer, lower the heat to low and add the chai tea and the cinnamon stick. Simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid. Allow the tea to steep for a further 3 minutes. Strain the tea into a mug and set aside to cool.
MAKE THE BITES: In a medium bowl, combine the oats, protein powder, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice, and cloves. Stir well to combine. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, honey, and the reserved tea to the dry ingredients and mix very well. The dough should be very thick and should stay in a ball when squeezed together in your hand. If it seems a little wet, add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach the desired consistency. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Flour your hands and roll the dough into 9–10 ping-pong sized balls. Place each ball into the baking paper lined container. Use extra paper to line the top of the bites if two layers are required. Cover the container and let refrigerate at least one hour. The flavours intensify the longer the bites sit.
The energy bites will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 4–5 days.
- *Feel free to use other flavours of protein powder. Vanilla was the only flavour I had on hand, but you could also use unflavoured (just be sure to adjust the vanilla extract by an extra 1/4 tsp) or chocolate for a mocha-chai flavoured energy bite!
I hope you enjoy these chai-spiked bites! What other flavours of energy bite have you tried? Which one was your favourite?