peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter… they all make healthy foodies drool. decadent and delicious, people obsess over nut butters it seems. it’s a favorite that begins in childhood and lasts… forever. a lot of the nut butter love has to do with the versatility of this pantry staple. it can be used in everything. on toast, baked in desserts, in dressings and sauces, and even scooped right into the blender for smoothies or drizzled on top of oatmeal. I chose to make vegan energy bites with them.
but sometimes people steer clear because of the high fat content. I know I used to. despite the fact that we NEED fat for energy and optimal health.
fear of fat?
people love peanut, almond and cashew butter because they taste so damn good. they fill you up. And they also pack a nutritional punch. I’ll get to all that, but first I’m sharing a quick personal history with nuts and seeds.
I’m pretty open about my past struggles with an eating disorder and my recovery. THANK GOD I have recovered from my fear of nuts and seeds. usually someone with an eating disorder may have “fear foods”, AKA foods that scare them, big time. this could be a fear of the calories in the food, the possibility of bingeing on it, etc. it poses a “threat” and is therefore avoided.
<if you have any further questions or comments about fear foods or ED otherwise, contact me– happy to chat more as you are NOT alone!!>
my fear in the past was around fats in general. high fat foods freaked me out. at the time I would have rather snacked on a 100 calorie fat-free item (ew. which we should all know those are horrible for us), than a handful of raw almonds.
I avoided cheeses and avocado for the same reasons.
and although I wasn’t totally in the wrong for skipping the cream based dressings, milk and cheese (just wrong intentions when avoiding!), I totally should have kept the nuts, seeds and avocados around.
this was all a while ago, and looking back I realize I was missing out on the ease of avocado toast in my college dorm…sigh.
so, there’s zero reason to fear. we need fats to stay healthy, but what’s great about nuts and nut butter??
keep the fat. cut the crap.
fats provide energy and promote cell growth. they help with nutrient absorption. your body definitely needs fat. nuts have plenty of it, and the right kinds. nut contain monounsaturated and polyunsaturated which aid in lowering bad cholesterol levels.
Some of the many benefits of nuts include…
– healthy monounsaturated fats (the kind that makes your brain work and your
– iron (this iron filled smoothie contains cashew butter)
each type of nut has additional benefits, these are just the main positives across the board.
when purchasing nuts and seeds, shoot for raw rather than roasted and salted – to keep all the nutrients in tact!
why it’s perfect for snack time.
protein, fiber, and a healthy fat are the trifecta I shoot for when snack time rolls around. this trio provides ENERGY. instead of avoiding what your body and brain are craving (the fat), and grabbing an afternoon latte- try the vegan energy bites below. my favorite nut butters to eat and cook with are almond butter and cashew butter rather than peanut butter, and I go for a brand that doesn’t have the following….
hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, loads of sodium, added sugars, etc. – gross.
Costco is offering a new line of nut butters from LARA Bar (yup, the amazing vegan, gluten free, non-gmo fruit and nut bars I’ve honestly been eating for years). THEY ARE INCREDIBLE. no jokes here, this stuff tastes great.
run, don’t walk to Costco and pick up a jar. actually two, because both of the flavors I tried were delicious. I had the banana nut butter over a smoothie bowl and my next idea is a peanut butter banana bread using it. I also tried this crunchy chocolate coconut nut butter blend and added them to these energy bites below. they are perfect for the mid afternoon slump. when your body gets that lethargic feeling and glaze over the eyes, it’s time to reboot. which means add a little good fat.
but back to Lara’s nut butters again… these spreads are fantastic and sure to please kids and adults alike.
my only honest suggestion with these nut butters is be mindful of the added molasses. if sugar is something you’re trying to stay away from, maybe save these nut butters for baking desserts or as treats rather than in your breakfast smoothie.
just keep in mind there is a touch more sugar in these than some other brands – however these are still way better for you than the generic jar of PB.
my second favorite thing about Lara’s new products is that they feature a crunchy blend of various nuts and seeds. like in this chocolate coconut butter it has some cashew, some almond, some flaxseed, pumpkin seeds AND sunflower seeds.
have you ever had a nut and seed blend in a nut butter? I hadn’t and I found it drool. worthy. Plus allll of that variety of ingredients means all the more variety of benefits, vitamins and minerals.
choco-coconut vegan energy bites.
time for the recipe! these energy bites are, you guessed it… GREAT for snacks. they are gluten free, vegan, and like all things including nut butter…really good.
I have 2-3 for a snack and keep the rest of the batch in the fridge for emergency pick me ups. they keep me full until dinner or lunch, and are a yummy, naturally sweet treat.
I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of these recipes and maybe you haven’t made them because they pack too many super foods into each bite. not everyone’s kitchen is stocked like a shelf of Whole Foods!
I tried to keep them fairly simple, only 5 ingredients!
Honestly, these can be made without the dates and still stick together. I love the dates for an added stickiness to bind, and dates have a good dose of potassium.
- 1 1/2 cup LaraBar Crunchy Chocolate Coconut Nut Butter
- 1 cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
- 8-10 medjool dates
- ½ cup coconut flakes to coat
- Add all ingredients to a food processor.
- Process for about 1 minute.
- Scrape the sides, and repeat for 1-2 minutes.
- Roll into 1 inch balls.
- Coat with coconut flakes.
- Chill for at least 20 minutes in the fridge.
- Store in an airtight container and enjoy for the week!
things you need to do over this weekend include:
heading to Costco for LARA Nut butter flavors. (Chocolate Coconut and Banana Nut)
and get over your fear of fat. cause how 90’s is the low fat thing?
then make these vegan energy bites!
xo Happy Labor Day Weekend!