Almond Joy Bites

By: Hannah Segur

Try out these energy bites that a perfect for someone on the go. Whether your playing a sport or just running around all day, these bites are a quick and easy way to get all the nutrients that are in a granola bar.

Almond Joy Bites - Photo Credit:  Samantha N Moon Photography

Almond Joy Bites - Photo Credit: Samantha N Moon Photography

Almond Joy Bites

Makes 16-18 bites

Ingredients:
1 cup oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup almond butter
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 packet chocolate protein powder (e.g. Klean Athlete or similar protein Powder)
1/2 cup coconut shavings

Directions:

1. Add almond butter, vanilla, honey, and chocolate protein powder to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stir until the mixture starts to bubble. Heat for one more minute once it starts to bubble. Make sure to keep stirring at this point so the mixture doesn't burn. Remove mixture from heat.

2. Add in vanilla and sea salt. Stir until it combines with the mixture. Add in oats and sunflower seeds, mix until everything is combined. (Optional: if you don't want your chocolate chips to melt, refrigerate the granola for 15 minutes, or until it reaches room temperature).

3. Add in chocolate chips and coconut shavings and stir until they're mixed with the granola.

4. Next, line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Once your sheet is lined, use a spoon to scoop out some of the granola. Roll the granola around until it makes a ball. Place the ball onto the baking sheet and repeat this step until there is no more granola left.

6. Place the baking sheet into the freezer for 1 hour. Once that hour is up, transfer the granola bites to a container and store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts (per bite): 160 calories, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 15 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 5 grams protein

Recipe: PB Chip Energy Bites

These peanut butter chip energy bites are absolutely delicious and they are whole grain based! They are perfect to keep on hand to fuel your athlete.

Energy Bites.jpg

PB CHIP ENERGY BITES
Serves 24 (Bites about 1" - 1.5" each)

Ingredients:
¼ cup honey
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 cups rolled oats
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1.    In a mixing bowl combine the honey, coconut oil, and peanut butter. Mix until well combined.
2.    Then add-in the rolled oats and chia seeds. Stir to mix together. 
3.    Finish with chocolate chips.
4.    Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. 
5.    Then remove from the refrigerator and form into bites, about 1-inch each. 
6.    Place in a storage container or freeze!

Nutrition facts per serving: 180 calories, 11 grams fat, 5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 50 milligrams sodium, 18 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 9 grams sugar, 4 grams protein
 

Preparing College Athletes for Back to School

Source: Getty images

Source: Getty images

If you are an athlete and getting ready to head off to or back to college, this is an important time to calibrate your nutrition and plan and establish a game plan for when you are at school. Sometimes fueling your body can feel like a full-time job but the effort and diligence you put in will certainly yield results. Check out these tips two steps our founder and sports dietitian, Molly Morgan recommends that you take before heading to campus:

 

1. Research what foods and beverages will be available and/or provided to you at school 

Some athletic programs will have specific products like tart cherry juice, protein bars, bananas, etc. that will be available at the gym. Use these items to supplement your eating routine! 

Review menus for dining halls that will be accessible and learn what is offered and what is open when. This will help you for step 2!

Find out where the nearest grocery store is and a way to get there routinely to stock up on items that will keep you fueled while studying, between classes, etc. Check out this Snack Ideas handout for nutrient-rich snack ideas. 

2. Make a Food Game Plan

Once you have done some research you can now craft together your food game plan! Taking time to think this through will help your plan become a reality because fueling your body doesn't just happen by accident. Be sure to consider your class, practice, and game schedule when crafting your plan out as some days will likely be more hectic than others. 

If you are living on your own learn or have access to a kitchen, this summer, learn to prepare some simple meals and snacks that can become part of your eating routine. For example, teach yourself how to make these Maple Sea Salt Energy Bites which could be an on the go breakfast or a great snack.

Plan for at least 3 meals and 2 - 3 snacks to meet your energy needs!

Product Tip: Fuel For Fire

It is always important to have planned snacks that will deliver the fuel to keep your body running at it's peak. Although when your schedule is crazy it can get challenging. Sports dietitian, Molly Morgan's latest product tip is Fuel For Fire Smoothie Pouches. This product has a perfect blend of fruit and protein, each pouch provides about 100 calories, 15 grams of carbs, and 10 - 12 grams of protein.

Fuel for Fire Smoothie

Plus the ingredient list of the pouches is simple - for example the strawberry banana smoothie ingredients include: banana, strawberry, water, whey protein isolate, natural flavor, citric acid, and ascorbic acid (aka vitamin c).

The pouches are available in a variety of flavors including: tropical, sweet potato apple, strawberry banana, coffee, and banana cocoa. Note: The coffee one has 65 milligrams of caffeine, which is ideal for adult athletes over the age of 18 and would not be recommended for younger athletes. 

When should you add these pouches in as an athlete? When you are active for longer periods of time it is important to routinely have carbohydrates, some protein, and fat to keep energy levels up and balance blood sugar levels. This is especially for activities that are lasting longer than 1 - 2 hours.

What is great about these Fuel for Fire pouches is that once they are opened you can put the cap back on - making this ideal to stick back in a bike jersey pocket, backpack, or golf bag. 

Another suggestion of when to include these notes Morgan, is for a quick on the go snack! "I bring a couple of these along with me for busy days to help keep our little guys fueled and I always bring them along when the boys are out playing a golf match," states Morgan. 

Fuel For Fire pouches are available at Wegman's grocery stores or also buy them on-line directly from Fuel for Fire

Recipe: Maple Sea Salt Energy Bites

Energy bites are great to make ahead and have ready for a on the go breakfast or snack! This energy bite recipe pairs the sweetness of maple syrup with the crunch of pecans and sea salt - plus with a base of whole grains.  Each bite will deliver: 130 calories, 2 grams of fiber, plus 3 grams of protein! 

Maple Pecan Energy Bites

Makes 12 - 16 bites per recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup (240 mL) old fashioned oats
1/2 cup (120 mL) almond butter
1/2 cup (120 mL) flax seed meal
1/2 cup (120 mL) chopped pecans
1/3 cup (80 mL) maple syrup 1 tablespoon
(30 mL) chia seeds sea salt

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Stir until combined.
2. Form into 1” blocks and transfer to parchment paper. Sprinkle with sea salt.
3. Place in a freezer bag or container and store in freezer or refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts (per bite) : 130 calories, 9 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 35 milligrams sodium, 12 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

Dinner Solution: Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry

Curry is a rich in flavor that gets much of its flavor and color from turmeric that is a staple of curry dishes. Turmeric is a primary spice in curry powder; turmeric comes from the root of the plant Curcuma longa and is known for its bright yellow color that is provided by the polyphenol compound found in turmeric. Look for curry powder in the spice aisle of the grocery store.

The best part about this curry recipe is that it is a slow cooker recipe so when you are headed out for a busy day of sports, you can have a delicious meal ready when you return! Also switch up this recipe and add additional protein (e.g. cubes of chicken, tofu) or other veggies (e.g. sweet potatoes instead of red potatoes, broccoli instead of green beans)! 

Vegetable Curry (Source: Getty Images)

Vegetable Curry (Source: Getty Images)

Vegetable Curry

Serves 6 (1 1/3 cup servings)

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed or cooked
1 1/2 cups red potato, cubed
1 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 cup (1-inch) frozen green beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (14-ounce) coconut milk

Directions:
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, sugar, ginger, garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Place onion mixture in a 5-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients (through broth). Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add coconut milk.

Serving suggestion: Serve over rice

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 275 calories, 7 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 620 milligrams sodium, 45 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fiber, 11 grams protein

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

These Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins are perfect for athletes, a nutrient-rich breakfast and perfect to pack for tournaments. Each muffin has 210 calories and 5 grams of protein and is made with a whole grain base.  

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins - Recipe developed by Molly Morgan. Photo Credit: Howey Mistakos, Novel Studios

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins - Recipe developed by Molly Morgan. Photo Credit: Howey Mistakos, Novel Studios

Chia Cherry Lentil Muffins

Serves 16

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups (370 mL) lentils, cooked
1/2 cup (120 mL) 100% orange juice
2 cups (500 mL) white wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
2 tablespoons (30 mL) chia seeds
1/2 cup (120 mL) sugar
1/2 cup (120 mL) vegetable or canola oil
1/2 cup (120 mL) vanilla yogurt
2 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) dried cherries

Directions:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees Celsius). Prepare 16 muffin tins with paper liners or non-stick cooking spray.
2. Combine the cooked lentils and orange juice in a food processor until the lentils are pureed. 
3. In a large mixing bowl combine the pureed lentils, white wheat pastry flour and salt. Stir to combine.
4. Then add chia seeds, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla yogurt, and eggs. Stir to combine. Then add-in the dried cherries and stir to combine.
6. Pour 1/3 of the muffin mixture in each of the muffin tins. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
7. Cool the muffins on a cooling rack.

Nutrition Facts (per muffin): 210 calories, 8 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 25 milligrams cholesterol, 160 milligrams sodium 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 5 grams protein
 

Garlic Quinoa Poppers

These garlic quinoa poppers are a great quick snack or addition to a meal. What is awesome about them from a nutrition perspective for athletes is that they are made with a base of nutrient-rich quinoa (pictured below).

Quinoa cooks up just like rice but delivers twice the protein compared to rice. Plus quinoa is gluten-free, as it is technically a seed, although is often considered a whole grain. Each serving of this recipe (2 poppers) has 6 grams of protein! 

Make a batch of these poppers up to have on hand for snacking, a great way to keep your energy up between meals! Click here to download the snacking handout for more ideas. 

Cooked quinoa

Cooked quinoa

Garlic Quinoa Poppers
Serves 12 (2 poppers each)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 cup dry quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1½ cups shredded Pepper Jack cheese
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
Non-stick cooking spray

Directions:
1. Combine the quinoa and water in a small pan. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare a mini muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Then mix in cooked quinoa and chopped onion. 
4. Add cheese, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, and cream cheese. Mix until well combined.
5. Transfer mixture to the prepared mini muffin tin (about 1 tablespoon of mixture per muffin).
6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 90 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 grams saturated fat, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 110 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 1 gram sugar, 6 grams protein

Energy Bites

Energy bites are quick and easy to make plus a perfect nutrient-packed snack to addition to a meal. Plus there are endless combinations you can make, stay tuned for more energy bite recipes! 

Energy bites... a perfect on the go snack! 

Energy bites... a perfect on the go snack! 

ENERGY BITES
Serves 16 (1 bite each)

Ingredients
1 cup (~220 g) dates, pitted
¼ cup all natural peanut or almond butter*
¼ cup dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 tablespoons chia seeds (or flax or hemp seeds)
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
2/3 cup rolled oats
Dash of sea salt

*For a nut-free option try: Sunflower seed butter, if needed increase the rolled oats to firm up the mixture.

Directions:

1. Pulse dates in a food processor or blender until they are in small pieces or the mixture forms a ball.

2. Add oats, chocolate, chia seeds, maple syrup, and peanut butter. Then pulse or mix until combined.

3. Refrigerate mixture for 20 – 30 minutes (to help it firm up).

4. Roll into 1-inch bite-size cubes (about 28 grams per bite).

5. To set, place in a storage container and cover. Refrigerate or freeze for 15 minutes or eat as is!

Nutrition Facts (per bite): 100 calories, 4 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 10 grams sugar, 3 grams protein

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