These chocolate chip peanut butter bites are an easy way to satisfy your sweet tooth, while packing in protein, fiber and phytonutrients, too.
I love sweets, but I rarely bring them into the house. Cake on my countertop is way too tempting, especially if I’m hungry. That doesn’t mean I avoid sweets all together, though. The key to satisfying your sweet tooth is to have healthy options on-hand.
Hello chocolate chip peanut butter protein bites! Aside from being delicious, these bites are packed full of good-for-you ingredients. I know you want the recipe, but the dietitian in me has to share the nutrition you get with each bite.
Whey Protein Powder
There’s a reason I pack protein into my recipes as often as possible. Research consistently shows that including protein with meals and snacks increases satiety and decrease hunger. That means you don’t have to eat the entire recipe to feel satisfied. In fact, you’d feel pretty crappy if you did. Whey protein is a complete protein in that it contains all of the essential amino acids your body needs. It’s also one of the best sources of branched chain amino acids (BCAA), including leucine which has been shown to stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
I prefer to use whey protein when baking because it’s an easy way to increase protein content, without adding much fat or carbohydrates. That means more room for other yummy ingredients – like peanut butter!
Oats are well-known for their role in promoting heart health. That claim can be made due to its fiber content- both soluble and insoluble.
Like protein, fiber helps you feel full, but for different reasons. Dietary fiber is bound together in a way that makes it difficult for your body to digest. That means it makes it through your digestive tract much slower than other carbohydrates. The result, you feel fuller faster. helping you to fill up faster and longer on less food. Soluble fiber also interferes with the digestion of fat and cholesterol. That interference plays a key role in helping to reduce LDL or– the bad– cholesterol. Oats also have another type of fiber, referred to as insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber provides “bulk” to stool. Once in the colon, this helps to speed up the movement of waste and can help prevent constipation.
Now comes the sweet treats. Dates are high in natural sugars, so you might be tempted to avoid them. But, these sweet fruits are chockfull of nutrients. Every bite of sweetness brings with it more fiber to fill you up. They’re also a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, vitamin B6 and iron. Plus, dates are high in polyphenols, the antioxidant compounds known for their health promoting benefits.
Dates add more than nutrients and sweetness to recipes, though. Their chewy, sticky consistency make them an ideal ingredient in energy bites.
Does peanut butter even need a reason? I mean, it’s peanut butter! Aside from adding flavor, peanut butter plays an important role in this recipe. It helps hold the ingredients together. Peanut butter may contain a significant amount of dietary fat, but it’s the type that benefits heart health. Including healthy fats also helps fight hunger. So far, we have four ingredients to help you feel full and satisfied.
Honey’s main purpose in this recipe is to add natural sweetness and, together with peanut butter, hold the ingredients together. But that doesn’t mean it’s without any nutritional benefits. Honey actually contains a wide array of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, just in small amounts. High-quality honey also contains flavonoids and phenolic acids, which act as antioxidants. The exact amount of each nutrient, as well as the color and flavor, depends on the floral source. There are more than 300 unique types of honey available in the United States alone. Want to learn more about honey? Check out the National Honey Board’s website.
Mini Chocolate Chips
The mini chocolate chips are included I this recipe for one reason – I love chocolate. They can be left out if you’d like, but I can’t imagine why you’d want to.
When you roll all of these ingredients together, the result is a sweet treat that’s both rewarding, filling and nutritious. The recipe here make ~60 bites. That means you have plenty to pack away for another day. You can also freeze them for a day when you just need a sweet treat.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites
- 1.5 cup dry oats
- 1 cup vanilla whey protein powder
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp water
- 8 oz. dates
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Nutrition Facts (per 4 bite serving): 240 calories, 33 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 8 g protein, 11 g fat, 2% DRI calcium, 6% DRI iron, 2% DRI potassium
- Meal Planning Servings: 2 CHO; 1 PRO; 2 FAT
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Tag @heathermangierion Instagram and hashtag it #HeatherMangieriNutrition