Do you ever find trail mix hard to eat when you're on the run? I love it, especially this one, but sometimes I need something I can literally pop into my mouth while driving between meetings. Otherwise it's almost guaranteed I'll knock my entire container of cashews and cacao nibs into the center console.
Which is how these little jeweled beauties were born. They have everything you'd want from a traditional trail mix, but in energy bite form. I made these nut-free to keep it allergy friendly, but feel free to swap whatever you'd like - peanut butter would be delicious here. And for the dried fruit, I used the last little bits of this and that I had hanging in the pantry - apples, raisins, cranberries, and figs. This recipe is great for utlizing the bulk bin. See what looks good and is on sale, then go from there!
Trail Mix Energy Bites
Makes 16 -20 bites
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (pulse briefly in food processor or blender, or use quick-cooking)
1 cup mixed seeds (or chopped nuts, I used sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, and flax)
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup mixed dried fruit (I used raisins, apples, cranberries, and figs)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
1 cup runny sunflower butter (or nut butter of choice)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Line a 9-inch square baking ban with enough parchment paper to overlap two sides.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss together the pulsed oats, seeds, shredded coconut, dried fruit, cinnamon, and sea salt.
In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup or small bowl, measure out the sunflower butter, 1/2 cup honey, and vanilla extract. Whisk well until blended. If your honey or sunflower butter are on the thicker / hard side, warm them gently in a small sauce pan or the microwave. You don’t want to cook them.
Pour liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir together with a wooden spoon until the two are evenly combined and there are no dry spots. You’ll need to use some elbow grease - I’ve honestly been known use my clean hands too! If the mixture seems too wet / dry add more oats or honey depending. You want a thick dough that holds together when pressed between your fingers.
Transfer mixture to lined baking pan and spread evenly. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or flat bottomed glass to firmly press the mixture down as evenly as possible
Cover and chill for at least one hour or overnight to set the bars. Remove bars from baking pan using the parchment paper to lift them up in one solid slab. Cut into 16 square-shaped bars using a sharp knife.
Alternate: Roll batter into rounded tablespoon sized balls. Place on parchment and chill for one hour.
Bites will keep room temperature for several days or frozen for several months. I like to wrap then individually in parchment paper. They’re best eaten room temperature.