My Easy Protein Energy Bites are so simple to make. With just four primary ingredients, the flavor options are endless! These gluten-free bites are perfect for on-the-go snacks or a post-workout fuel source. I love traveling with healthy options like these to save me money and save myself from buying a candy bar!
I’m in the process of scrambling together my suitcase. Canaan and I are flying for the last time before I have the next baby (I still have a road trip or two up my sleeve), which means I’m already many packing lists deep.
Let me tell you, flying with a kiddo is a game-changer. I’ve been flying with Canaan since he was 3 months old, but because kids are so drastically different month-to-month, no two trips have ever gone the same.
Knock on wood, our little guy is a really easy traveler so far. I go in with very few expectations, which I think is key. When you are open to things just going wrong, things usually go better than planned.
One of my biggest “musts” when traveling is to always have tons of snacks on hand. But not just for him, for ME too.
Before I had kid(s), I was that person who would make an organic veggie and quinoa salad, perfectly packed with a bamboo fork, all ready for my flight. Don’t get me wrong, I miss those days. But that is FAR from realistic now.
Wait, why can’t I pack a giant salad? Because when you travel with a child, you loose your lap and the use of both your hands AND you more than likely have tiny hands in your container too, battling your fork. Real life. So what does that leave? Quick snacks.
When I’m flying with my kid I usually pack: a baggy of Canaan’s current favorite cereal (either Rice Chex or now it’s pumpkin Joe’s O’s), LaraBars, Rx Bars, or Perfect Bars, dried coconut strips, apple slices, celery or carrots, homemade Easy Protein Energy Bites, a banana and Justin’s vanilla almond butter packets and sometimes a small container of rinsed chickpeas.
That sounds like a lot, but when you have a few options, the entertainment is endless. Plus, you never know when your flight will be delayed, you’ll be stuck on the tarmac, you’ll be stuck in baggage claim, renting a car will take more than an hour…seriously, you should just pack like your happiness depends on it, because it does.
So, these Easy Protein Energy Bites are really quite simple. I’ve been making variations of them for years before trips, and they usually last me at least a few days as I’m traveling. It’s nice to have a treat that is healthy to grab when you’re stuck in a plane or wandering a city you aren’t familiar with.
For the ones I have pictured, I used Wild Friend’s seasonal pumpkin spice chocolate chip flavor. I’ve been hoarding this one since last year, but this year they updated it to a chocolate pumpkin spice flavor. I’m sure that’s amazing too. The flavored peanut butter alone made for tasty bites without having to add a ton of extra ingredients.
I’ve made these bites with plain Smucker’s peanut butter before too and even used chocolate protein powder. Anything works. So just go with what you have in your cupboard and run with it.
Because I used a pumpkin spice peanut butter, the flavor enhancers I used were vanilla and cinnamon. If you’re more plain Jane, you can stick to all vanilla or even just a dash of cardamom with a plain peanut butter flavor. Don’t over think it, just stick to what you like.
The coconut flour really pulls these together. It absorbs any excess moisture and creates the cookie dough-like texture for the balls. You really shouldn’t swap it for another flour…but an almond flour might work in its place. I just haven’t tried that.
I’ve made these Easy Protein Energy Bites with a few types of protein powders in the past. I have used Aloha protein, Vega Sport and Tone It Up powders. It all depends on what you like. If you tend to hide your protein in a smoothie because it tastes awful, don’t use it here. You’re eating it straight, so you can taste it. I like the Tone It Up protein for these for that reason. It isn’t cloyingly sweet from artificial sweeteners, tastes like vanilla and is full of just simple ingredients. Perfect!
I think that’s it! Time to get rolling! Then traveling…right?
Easy Protein Energy Bites
Recipe by Melissa @ Treats With a Twist
Yields 18 bites
½ cup creamy peanut butter (I used Pumpkin Spice Wild Friends)
¼ cup local honey
1/3 cup vanilla protein (I used Tone It Up protein) + more for rolling
1/3 cup coconut flour
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. cinnamon + more for rolling
In a bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, vanilla protein powder, coconut flour, vanilla and cinnamon. Mush and stir until it comes together into a crumbly dough (you can pinch some together with your fingers, but it isn’t wet like cookie dough).
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. In a small ramekin, combine 2-3 Tbs. of the vanilla protein powder with a quick shake of cinnamon and stir together. This is what you’ll roll the finished bites in.
Use a mini cookie scoop or small spoon to scoop even amounts and roll balls. Roll each ball in the protein powder shaking off the excess and placing them on a plate. When you’ve rolled all of the dough, cover the balls and place in the freezer for 30 minutes or until very firm. Now you can transfer them to a zip-top bag to keep in the fridge.
Enjoy a few as a quick snack anytime!
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