Editor's Note: Last month, 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin published her book, Cook to Thrive: Recipes to Fuel Body and Soul.
In honor of National Nutrition Month, here’s an excerpt from Natalie’s book – a recipe for Peanut Butter Energy Bites.
Cook to Thrive is available now at Amazon.
PEANUT BUTTER ENERGY BITES
MAKES ABOUT 20 BITES
During high school, I made myself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat for lunch nearly every day. The lack of diversity in my midday meal drove my mom crazy, but nothing she tried managed to break my PB&J habit (until senior year, when she started making my lunch for me!).
My culinary skills have drastically improved since those days, but I still love peanut butter. These snack bites are a great option for healthy between-meal nibbling, as they’re packed with protein, fiber, healthy fats, and minerals. They are portable and can be enjoyed before, during, or after a workout to help sustain your energy level.
½ cup natural whole (raw) almonds
1½ cups old- fashioned rolled oats
4 pitted Medjool dates
½ cup smooth natural peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
½ cup popped amaranth (see Note) or other popped cereal
1. In a food processor, process the almonds until they resemble coarse sand, about 30 seconds. Add 1 cup of the oats and pulse until the almonds and oats are pulverized, 8 to 10 pulses. Add the remaining ½ cup oats and pulse a few more times. (Adding the rolled oats in stages gives the bites a nice variation in texture). Add the dates, peanut butter, honey, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is well combined. Add ½ cup water and process until the mixture forms a sticky dough.
2. Place the popped amaranth in a medium bowl. Scoop up the dough by the tablespoon and, using your hands, roll it into balls. Roll the balls around in the amaranth until they are coated. The snack balls will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Note: AMARANTH If you can’t find popped amaranth, you can easily make your own. For 1 cup popped amaranth, start with ¼ cup uncooked amaranth. Heat a large skillet over medium- high heat (make sure the skillet is heated fully). Add 2 tablespoons of amaranth to the skillet and cover the pan. The amaranth should start popping after a few seconds. Shake the skillet until nearly all the amaranth is popped, and immediately pour the popped amaranth onto a baking sheet. The amaranth burns quickly, so keep a close eye on it. Repeat until you have enough popped amaranth.
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