Monday, October 24, 2016

Chocolate Orange Fig Bites

I have a new, no bake energy bites recipe to share that's perfect for creating a healthy snack this week with no added sugar: Chocolate Orange Fig Bites.

The fall colors are really coming in this week in my neighborhood and I can't stop snapping photos! A few of my favorites from a walk this weekend:

Another thing I can't stop is snacking on these Chocolate Orange Fig Bites. I may have snacked on three at various times yesterday for a quick bite between meals. These bites are super easy to make in a food processor and contain only a few ingredients.

The special ingredient is one that you don't usually find in energy bites: dried figs. I love dried figs, especially since we can buy them easily at a variety of local stores in our Chicago neighborhood. It was only recently that I realized how healthy figs are - they contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, as well as vitamins A, E, and K. {source} I like using dried figs since they are available year-round and have a delicious flavor and chewy texture.

I combined my dried figs with Medjool dates, unsweetened cocoa powder, raw almonds, and orange extract for this snack recipe. This recipe is inspired by a similar chocolate orange post from last summer: No Bake Chocolate Orange Cookies.

I think this new snack version with figs is even better.

Chocolate Orange Fig Bites
Yields: 12-13 bites

1 cup raw almonds
6 Medjool dates**
6 dried figs
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons orange extract

**If your dates aren't fresh, soak for a few hours or overnight in milk or water. I soaked mine overnight in almond milk, and drained the dates before adding to my food processor.

How to~
*Add all ingredients to a food processor. Process the mixture a few times. Stop the processor and use a spatula to re-combine the mix if needed.
*Keep processing until the ingredients are evenly combined, using the "pulse" function.
*Remove from the food processor and use a medium cookie scoop and your hands to form the mix into balls.
*Bites will last chilled for one week, and a few months in the freezer.

Looking for more no-bake healthy snack ideas? Check out these recipes:

PB&J Energy Bites
Meyer Lemon Snack Bars
Healthy Pumpkin Spice Bites
Chocolate Strawberry Coconut Energy Bites
Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Energy Bites
Key Lime Pie Energy Bites
Lemon Coconut Pie Energy Bites
Chocolate Pumpkin Energy Bites
Peach Pie Energy Bites

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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Apple Cider Breakfast Muffins

This healthy recipe for Apple Cider Breakfast Muffins is a delicious way to get your apple fix this fall, using apple cider, applesauce, apple pie spice, and baking apples.

This post contains affiliate links.

I know Pumpkin Spice Lattes get all the love during the fall season, but my favorite warm beverage is by far a mug of hot apple cider. A few years ago I created a recipe for muffins incorporating apple cider, and I decided to pull it out and dust it off with a few updates. This version turned out even more delicious!

I packed as much apple flavor as possible into these muffins by adding apple cider, applesauce, baking apples, and Apple Pie Spice.

I also included whole wheat flour to create a healthier muffin option that's perfect for breakfast or snack time.

I'm now in the third trimester of my pregnancy and I am finding myself h.u.n.g.r.y. - especially during afternoon hours. I'm trying to tame the afternoon hanger by preparing healthy snacks, and these muffins will definitely fit the bill.

I hope you enjoy!
Apple Cider Breakfast Muffins
Yields: 16 muffins

1 1/4 cups all-purpose {white} flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup apple cider
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 baking apples
2 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon Apple Pie Spice or ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt

How to~
*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients - eggs, applesauce, cider, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla, until smooth.
*Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined. Fold in the chopped apples.
*Spoon batter into muffin cups or a greased muffin tin.
*Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.