Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinterest Challenge Day 27: No-Bake Energy Bites

When I read the word "energy" on a food product, I immediately translate it to "calories" because, well, that's what calories are. But let's be honest with ourselves: regular baked goods are high in calories and aren't very nutrient dense. These "energy bites" might be high in calories at about 150 per bite, but they're made with simple ingredients and have a lot of nutrients in them. It's probably better to eat two of these than two "standard" cookies.

So, I decided to give these a whirl:

They came out very greasy. They were so greasy that the chocolate chips were too oily to really stick in the balls. Also, they left grease marks on the wax paper I set them on.

Here are all the leftoverchips that were too oily to stick:

The only "oil" used was in the peanut butter, so maybe I used the wrong kind--I used Jif Natural. I like getting protein from the peanut butter, though, so I'm wondering if I reduced the honey (the only other liquid besides the touch of vanilla), maybe the dry ingredients would be able to absorb the oils from the peanut butter better. I think I'll try these again one day (soon, since now I have leftover ground flax and shredded coconut) and cut back on the honey to see if that fixes the problem. If it doesn't, then I'll have to try decreasing the peanut butter or increasing the flax.

Here were the bites I made. I actually got 20, but Oliver sampled 2 as I rolled them out:

Up close, you can see how shiny these bites are from the oil. Check out the glistening chocolate chips:

These tasted good, and they were filling, which I like. On the other hand, they were so greasy that my son left miniature chocolate chips all over the house from where they fell off the energy bites.


Samantha said...

Hmm.... do you think you could somehow do without some of the oil and therefore reduce the grease?

whirledpeas1129 said...

Well, there wasn't oil except in the peanut butter. So I definitely need to either decrease the wet ingredients or increase the dry. Andrew gobbled them up, though, and told me not to cut out any PB! ;-)

Andrew said...

If I may offer my opinion-

Add a starch (not flour) to the recipe to act as a binder. Flour wouldn't work because it will make it clumpy and prevent binding.

Cornstarch (or any other starch) would allow the lipids from the peanut butter to continue binding without creating a cake-y or dry feeling. I'd suggest 1 tablespoon for every cup of peanut butter.

One last thought after reading the pin you linked in the blog. If you look at the images they posted, it's obvious they did two things:

1) They melted the peanut butter and drizzled it over a matt of all the other ingredients.

2) They froze the balls for at least 24 hours after rolling them up in order to eliminate much of the water content and allow the oils to saturate the fibers (oats, etc.)

Both of these techniques are very common among food photographers.

I watch too much Alton Brown.