This became my go-to snack to make this summer. I was training for a marathon and I have a serious sweet tooth. I love candy and chocolate, and it seems that running makes me want it even more. These protein bites are a perfect after run snack and they also work as a great quick bite before you run. They are full of awesome ingredients all runners need, and they take less than 5 minutes to make!
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup oatmeal
¼ cup honey
¼ cup flax seeds
¼ cup packed shredded coconut
½ cup mini chocolate chips
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. If it seems too runny add more oatmeal and any other dry ingredients you prefer. I usually stick to adding more oatmeal and flax seed. The “dough” should be sticky but firm. Using a tablespoon scoop out dough and roll into approximately 1 inch balls. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer for an hour. Then eat!
The best part of this recipe is that once you get used to making it a few times you can start adding in whatever you want or swapping ingredients to fit your mood. The possibilities are endless; below are a few options and swap outs.
Peanut butter is an excellent source of protein and other vitamins, including folic acid. It is a great fuel source for running. I prefer all natural peanut butter to steer clear of added preservatives. If you are allergic to nuts or like to be nut free, you can swap the peanut butter out for sun butter. You can also try this out with almond butter, cashew butter, you name it.
As for the honey, it is a favorite of mine because of its anti-inflammatory properties and for helping our bodies store glycogen. If you are trying to steer clear of honey because you follow a vegan diet, you can perhaps swap it out for maple syrup or molasses. I have tried both and they offer a nice added flavor.
Coconut is not always one of my favorite things to eat, but it really does work in this recipe. I could go on and on about the benefits of coconut; it is so incredibly great for your immunity, high in calcium and electrolytes (catch your attention runners?) and so many other vitamins. I will admit, I get the sweetened version, which isn’t the best option….but hey I have to cheat somewhere!
As for the flax and chia seeds, both are just too good not to throw in. Flax is an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies need to function normally and help reduce inflammation. Chia seeds are not only full of omega-3 fatty acids but also protein, antioxidants, and a whole host of vitamins.
So I am not going to say that if you eat the whole batch that you are going to turn into a super fit superhuman. Nor will eating these help you qualify for the Boston Marathon. However, these are an awesome fuel before your run in the morning with your cup of coffee, a delicious post run snack, or even a healthy option for your post dinner dessert.