You probably don't need to shop — and you barely need to cook — to make this no-bake energy bites recipe.

By Toby Amidor
October 02, 2020
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Credit: Ashley Lima

While the beginning of quarantine was filled with plenty of intensive baking projects (looking at you, sourdough and Navajo fry bread), now that we've settled into month 280 (who's counting?) of quarantine, most people have adopted more of a just-get-by way of life. And with most folks working from home and also supervising their kids' homeschooling, cooking recipes with long ingredient lists is probably the last thing on your mind.

I know — who would have thought you could make so many meals and snacks using only three ingredients? I admit I was a little skeptical before I got to work creating the recipes for this book (available now for pre-order, out on real and digital shelves October 15). Then, once my creative juices got flowing and I started testing the recipes, I couldn't believe everything was so tasty. Not only did I like then, but from new favorites to simplified classics, my three-ingredient recipes pleased even the pickiest critics — my children. While recipe testing, they kept asking me to make these simple dishes again and again. (Related: Easy 4-Ingredient Recipes for Post-Workout Muscle Recovery)

With a few tricks, I was able to pare down the recipes to only three ingredients, (along with a few pantry staples) and make them just as delicious as the more complex versions. Each of the recipes in the cookbook uses easy-to-find ingredients you can grab at your local grocery store (or may even have at home already). For example, many recipes call for staples such as olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper, which you should already have stocked in your kitchen.

The best place to incorporate super simple three-ingredient recipes? Your snacks. With a combo of protein, carbs, and healthy fat, these no-bake energy bites are the perfect, tasty, post-workout snack or for when you need a little something to tide you over between lunch and dinner. Heck, you could even eat these for breakfast or dessert. (Related: Irresistible Recipes for Protein and Energy Balls)

Plus, each of the three ingredients included serve a purpose and provide nutrients:

  • Old-fashioned rolled oats: Oats are a whole grain (aka a healthy carb!) and help provide a chewy texture to these almond butter energy bites. They also add soluble fiber which helps keep you feeling satiated. Try Bob's Red Mill Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats (Buy It, $15, amazon.com).
  • Almond butter: Made from ground roasted almonds, almond butter is rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant. This nut butter also provides omega-3 fat, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron. You can also choose to swap the almond butter for another nut or seed butter, such as peanut butter, sunflower butter, or soy nut butter. Try Justin's Classic Almond Butter(Buy It, $9, amazon.com).
  • Pure maple syrup: 100 percent pure maple syrup adds natural sweetness to these energy bites and contains small amounts of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and several B-vitamins. There is a small amount used in this three-ingredient recipe, helps balance the flavor without skyrocketing the sugar content. Try Butternut Mountain Farm Pure Maple Syrup (Buy It, $15, amazon.com).

Once you get the hang of the basic recipe, you can make it your own by adding dark chocolate chips, raisins, dried tart cherries, or roll them in coconut flakes – the possibilities are endless. (Here are more energy bite recipe ideas to inspire you.)

Almond Oat Energy Bites

Makes: 8 bites 

Cook time: 10 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250 mL) large-flake (old-fashioned) rolled oats
  • 6 tablespoons (90 mL) almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon (0.5 mL) salt

Directions:

  1. Place oats in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Toast oats until they start to brown around edges, about 4 minutes. Remove oats from hot pan and set aside to cool for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Add cooled oats, almond butter, maple syrup, and salt to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. If dough isn't sticky enough to form balls, add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until right consistency is reached.
  3. Using clean hands, roll about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into a ball, and place on a baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture, spacing bites 1 inch apart, and refrigerate until firm; at least 30 minutes.

Copyright Toby Amidor, The Best 3-Ingredient Cookbook: 100 Fast & Easy Recipes for Everyone. Robert Rose Books, October 2020. Photo courtesy of Ashley Lima. All Rights Reserved.