Back when I was I running frequently, I was constantly trying new snacks as pre-run fuel. It had to be quick, give me energy, and sustain me on a long run. I also wanted to keep it as close to real food as possible – I’m not a huge fan of gels, nutrition bars, etc. So many things I tried either gave me side cramps or just weren’t enough to keep me going. After a lot of trial and error my favorite snacks were peanut butter filled dates. Around this time I read Christopher McDougall’s Born to Run and started experimenting with chia seeds. See my related post. One recipe led to another, and I eventually came up with this great little energy filled snack.
These chia bites contain slow and fast release carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Dates are high in simple sugars, carbohydrates, and potassium. They are also really easy on my stomach. Peanut butter contains fat, protein, and fiber, and gives you a slow, sustained release of energy. Chia seeds are another super slow release energy source. They are also able to absorb up to 9-12 times their weight in water. When in the gut, this means that water loss is minimized and electrolyte balance is maintained for longer.
….and then chocolate chips because they’re delicious.
Chia Bites (Print Me!)
Makes about 24.
- 3/4 cup dates
- 1/2 cup all-natural peanut butter
- 2-3 Tbsp. almond milk
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup chia seeds
- 1/2 cup Enjoy Life! mini chocolate chips
Place your dates in small microwave safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave for 2 minutes until soft. Add dates, peanut butter and 2 Tbsp. almond milk to your food processor. Process until smooth. Add 1/2 cup oats and process until the oats are VERY fine. Add 1 cup chia seeds and process until just combined. You might need to add another Tbsp. of almond milk to the mixture if it’s too thick. Dump your chia seed/date mixture in a large bowl and fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips.
Place your mixture in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to let it cool. Roll your mixture into balls (I used a Tbsp. to measure), and place them in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.
These are perfect for long runs, hikes, pre-workout snacks, road trips, long days at kid’s sporting tournaments, and just about everything in between. They’re easy to pack and travel really well, but don’t forget to pack your floss as well. 🙂
Here’s the nutritional information: