Amid all the snack innovations that have happened in recent years (and oh, boy, there have been many), “energy bites” fascinate me the most. I mean, they basically claim to be the noshing equivalent of a tall cup of coffee. And in the era of being tired all the time it seems necessary. Of course though, not all energy balls are created equal (health-wise or energy-wise). We have to be extra-choosy with our snacking choices—and what better way to do that then to take a (recipe book) page from the residents of Blue Zones—the world’s healthy hubs.
These destinations—which include Nicoya, Costa Rica; Sardinia, Italy; and Okinawa, Japan—are known for producing centenarians. And the no-bake nut energy bites that appeared in a recent Blue Zones newsletter feature a few favorite ingredients of 100-year-olds. According to the site, the primary ingredient is handful of nuts fit to boost brain function. Once all the other components have been mixed well, what you end up with is a treat that’s naturally sweet and loaded with fiber.
Apart from the almonds, almond butter, and shelled pistachios to meet that brain food quota, the recipe also calls for dates, rolled oats, cranberries, white chocolate chips (which you could sub for normal chocolate chips if you feel “bleh” about white chocolate—as I do), chia seeds, cranberries, and agave. All you have to do is mold the ingredients into a dough, roll it into bite-sized balls, and pop it in the refrigerator for chilling.
And that’s it. It’s a no drama kind of recipe—just the way Blue Zone folks like it.