These wee little balls pack a serious bite! Everyone has their own guidelines for what they consider healthy; in our house these are “mama approved” because the sugar comes from dates and honey. They have a lovely sweetness and a slight crunch – delicious! My kids love alliteration and fun food names so when we realized the 2-year-old was sneaking big handfuls straight from the bowl, the “Sneaky Snack” moniker was created.
My version was inspired by these Cranberry Pitsachio Energy Bites from Ali at Gimme Some Oven. Although I love pistachios, I do not have enough patience to shell them, so I adapted Ali’s recipe to include whatever nuts were hanging around in my baking cupboard. Then my 5-year-old wanted to take them to school. He is very sensitive to food texture (many foods are too sticky or slimy) so I was thrilled we’d found a new snack option and set out to replace the nuts and make our Sneaky Snack Bites school safe.
Here’s what I ended up with:
1 cup dates (packed fairly tightly)
½ cup honey
1 Tablespoon chia seeds
1 Tablespoon flax seeds
1 ½ cups old-fashioned quick oats (dry, not cooked)
1 ½ cups raisins and dried cranberries (split evenly)
1 cup pepitas and sunflower seeds (again, I split it evenly between the two but it’s really personal preference)
Pinch of salt
Place the dates, honey, chia seeds, flax seeds, and salt in a food processor. Turn it on until the mixture is smooth and transfer it to a bowl.
Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
Full disclosure: this is messy and sticky. I find it easier to smoosh everything together with my fingers (using a spoon just takes too long!)
Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. The cold firms up the mixture and makes it easier to form into balls. Roll into whatever size ball you’d like. We usually aim for golf ball size. Refrigerate and enjoy!
These also freeze really well. I freeze the balls with layers of parchment between them and pop out a few in the morning.