Happy Tuesday! I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend! Edward and I made it out to the drive in which was a lot of fun and then I spent the rest of the weekend binging on seasons 2 of “13 reasons why” and “Riverdale” as well as working on some new baking projects. However, since it was in the 90’s I opted to do a lot of no bake recipes, one of which was these no bake energy bites.
These babies are loaded with nutrient dense ingredients like oat flour, olive oil, walnuts, and dark chocolate. I also added my favorite go-to protein powder livwell nutrition (use my code foodventures for a discount) for a little extra protein boost. Plus, for an extra extra boost, I added various superfood powders like beet powder, spirulina, and maqui berry. I love using superfood powders to add not only some extra health benefits but also some color to my recipes! Just look at the beautiful color payoff in this batch of beet powder energy bites I made:
Even the cat was interested in them (you can see him peeking in the background)
So here’s the 411 on the superfood powders I used and you can decide for yourself if they are something you want to invest in:
- Beet powder is full of the same nutrients as fresh beets so the powder is full of antioxidants, dietary fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, folate and manganese. In addition, beets are a great source of nitrates which can help lower blood pressure as well as improve blood flow. For this very reason, beets are pretty popular in the fitness/body building world because improved blood flow can lead to dem gains. For real though, they can help improve performance in the gym. How, you may ask? In the body, nitrates are converted to nitric oxide, a compound that relaxes and widens blood vessels to make it easier for the heart to pump blood. This also translates to muscles being able to get more oxygen and nutrients during workouts which will help you feel less fatigued thereby improving gym performance and workouts. This increased blood flow can also positively impact your brain by helping prevent degenerative diseases related to aging. Studies have found that high nitrate diets can increase blood flow to the frontal lobe of the brain which is associated with cognitive function and is often seen to decline the most in the elderly. Beet powder does have the same flavor as beets so something to keep in mind when adding it to dishes.
- Maqui berry powder: maqui berries, like any other fruit, are an antioxidant powerhouse, especially the antioxidant anthocyanin which is associated with protecting against inflammation in the body and fighting the onset of degenerative diseases. And it’s said that the powder form of maqui berry contains even more antioxidants than the fresh berries and that it only takes a tablespoon to reap the benefits. And unlike beet powder, maqui berry powder doesn’t seem to have a strong flavor profile so you can easily add it to a lot of different dishes without it adding a super weird flavor which I find to be a big plus.
- Spirulina powder: This is another food that has been garnering a lot of attention lately because of its nutrition profile. And for good reason. Spirulina is a great plant based source of protein – just 1 oz offers 16g of protein! And it contains all of the essential amino acids making it one of the few plant based complete proteins. Plus, spirulina is touted as being an easy to digest protein because its cell wall contain no cellulose, making spirulina 85-95% digestible. And because it is easier to digest, the body is better able to put the protein to use. In addition, spirulina also contains a host of other nutrients like antioxidants, iron, calcium, potassium, and zinc. And one thing to note with this superfood powder, it does have a seaweed flavor to it so something to keep in mind.
So while I don’t use superfood powders to replace foods, necessarily, I have found that they do come in handy. Like if I can’t get my hands on a good variety of fruit, having the dried powder form is beneficial. And as mentioned above, they do add a beautiful color payoff to whatever you add them to.
No bake (superfood) energy bites
⁃ 1 cup oat flour (about 1 cup + 2-3 tbsp oats)
⁃ 1/2 cup vegan vanilla protein powder like @livwell_nutrition
⁃ 1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil
⁃ 1 tsp baking soda
⁃ 1/4 cup maple syrup or local honey
⁃ 1-2 tbsp milk or water, as needed
⁃ 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
⁃ 1/2 cup chocolate chips
⁃ Optional superfood powders like beet, maqui, spirulina, Turmeric, etc
In a food processor, blend oats into an oat flour then combine with protein powder and baking soda. If using superfood powders, add 1-2 tbsp of desired superfood powders at this time and blend well. Add in oil, maple syrup or honey, and water or milk. Add the liquid slowly, just until mixture comes together. Once combined, add walnuts and blend until combined. I blitzed the walnuts into my mixture but you can just mix them in by hand if you prefer. Add in the chocolate chips. Form into bite sized pieces then store in fridge.